|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:9-19 Christ spake this parable against those who resolved not to own his authority, though the evidence of it was so full. How many resemble the Jews who murdered the prophets and crucified Christ, in their enmity to God, and aversion to his service, desiring to live according to their lusts, without control! Let all who are favoured with God's word, look to it that they make proper use of their advantages. Awful will be the doom, both of those who reject the Son, and of those who profess to reverence Him, yet render not the fruits in due season. Though they could not but own that for such a sin, such a punishment was just, yet they could not bear to hear of it. It is the folly of sinners, that they persevere in sinful ways, though they dread the destruction at the end of those ways.
Verses 10-12. - He sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard. After the pains and care bestowed upon the vineyard, that is, after the many mighty works done in Israel's behalf, the Lord of hosts looked for fruits of gratitude and fidelity in some proportion to the mighty favours which it had received from him. The people were intended to be the example to, and the educators of, the world, and, instead of carrying out these high functions, they lived the poor selfish life so sadly depicted in the long story contained in the historical and prophetical books. "He looked that it [his vineyard] should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes" (Isaiah 5:2). But the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. These represent the prophets, those faithful servants of the Lord, whose toils and trials and fate are painted in the Epistle to the Hebrews (11.) in such glowing and eloquent language. And again he sent. In vers. 11 and 12, προσέθεο πέμψαι, literally, "he added to send another" - a Hebraism. This shows St. Luke here based his account on a Hebrew (Aramaic) original. Professor Bruce well puts the thoughts which possessed the wicked husbandmen thus: "When the servants came for fruit, they were simply surprised. 'Fruit! did you say? We have occupied the position of vine-dressers, and have duly drawn our wages: what more do you want?' Such was the actual fact in regard to the spiritual heads of Israel. They were men who never thought of fruit, but only of the honour and privilege of being entrusted with the keeping of the vineyard. They were triflers, men utterly devoid of earnestness, and the practical purpose of the property committed to their charge they habitually forgot. Generally speaking, they had utterly lost sight of the end of Israel's calling." Their anger flamed forth when accredited messengers of the Lord visited them and reminded them of their forgotten duties; they vented their furious wrath by persecuting some and killing others of these faithful men.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And at the season,.... Or "when it the time of fruit", as the Ethiopic version renders it, agreeably to See Gill on Matthew 21:34,
he sent a servant to the husbandmen; or servants, as in Matthew 21:34; the prophets of the Lord, his messengers, whom he sent to them, to exhort them to bring forth the fruits of righteousness, as follows:
that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard; that is, that they, bringing forth good fruit in their lives and conversations, whereby it might appear that they were trees of righteousness, and the planting of the Lord; he, or they observing them, might give an account of them to the Lord, to the glory of his name:
but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty; the Jews not only mocked these messengers of the Lord, and despised their words, but misused them, 2 Chronicles 36:15 they beat them with their fists, smote them on the cheek, and scourged them with scourges; so that they had no account to give of their fruitfulness in good works, but the contrary; See Gill on Matthew 21:35 and See Gill on Mark 12:3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. beat, &c.—(Mt 21:35); that is, the prophets, extraordinary messengers raised up from time to time. (See on Mt 23:37.)
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