|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:33-46 This parable plainly sets forth the sin and ruin of the Jewish nation; and what is spoken to convict them, is spoken to caution all that enjoy the privileges of the outward church. As men treat God's people, they would treat Christ himself, if he were with them. How can we, if faithful to his cause, expect a favourable reception from a wicked world, or from ungodly professors of Christianity! And let us ask ourselves, whether we who have the vineyard and all its advantages, render fruits in due season, as a people, as a family, or as separate persons. Our Saviour, in his question, declares that the Lord of the vineyard will come, and when he comes he will surely destroy the wicked. The chief priests and the elders were the builders, and they would not admit his doctrine or laws; they threw him aside as a despised stone. But he who was rejected by the Jews, was embraced by the Gentiles. Christ knows who will bring forth gospel fruits in the use of gospel means. The unbelief of sinners will be their ruin. But God has many ways of restraining the remainders of wrath, as he has of making that which breaks out redound to his praise. May Christ become more and more precious to our souls, as the firm Foundation and Cornerstone of his church. May we be willing to follow him, though despised and hated for his sake.
Verse 45. - Pharisees. They have not been specially mentioned hitherto, but they formed the majority in the Sanhedrin, and are properly here named by the evangelist. He spake of them. They could not fail, especially after ver. 43, to see the drift of the parables; their own consciences must have made them feel that they themselves were herein signified, their motives and conduct fully discovered. But, as bad men always act, instead of repenting of the evil, they are only exasperated against him who detected them, and only desire the more to wreak their vengeance upon him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when the chief priests and Pharisees,.... Which latter, though not before mentioned, were many of them of the grand sanhedrim, as well as the chief priests, scribes, and elders: "had heard his parables"; that of the two sons being sent into the vineyard, and that of the letting out the vineyard to husbandmen,
they perceived that he spake of them: they plainly saw that they were designed by the son, that promised to go into the vineyard, but did not; only talked of works, but did not do them: and that they were the husbandmen that acted the ungrateful part to the householder, and the cruel one to his servants, and would to his son, their own consciences told them they were the men. They knew that the whole was levelled against them, and designed for them, and exactly hit their case.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
45. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables—referring to that of the Two Sons and this one of the Wicked Husbandmen.
they perceived that he spake of them.
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