Matthew 21:39
And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
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(39) Cast him out of the vineyard.—The minor touches of a parable are not always to be pressed in our interpretation of it; but we can hardly help seeing here a latent reference to the facts (1) that our Lord was delivered over to the judgment of the Gentiles; and (2) that He was crucified outside the Holy City, (John 19:20; Hebrews 13:12), which was, in a special sense, as the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts.

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.And they caught him ... - This refers to the conduct of the Jews in putting the Saviour to death.

So they understood it, Matthew 21:45. The Jews put him to death after they had persecuted and slain the prophets. This was done by giving him into the hands of the Romans and seeking his crucifixion, Matthew 27:20-25; Acts 2:23; Acts 7:51-52.

And cast him out of the vineyard - The vineyard in this parable may represent Jerusalem. Jesus was crucified "out" of Jerusalem, on Mount Calvary, Luke 23:23. See the notes at Hebrews 13:12.

39. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard—compare Heb 13:11-13 ("without the gate—without the camp"); 1Ki 21:13; Joh 19:17.

and slew him.

Ver. 38,39. Mark and Luke have the same with no considerable alteration. Our Lord here prophesieth his own death by the means of these wicked priests, and so both lets them know that he was not ignorant of what was in their hearts, and they had been already (as we heard before) taking counsel about, by which they might again have concluded that he was the Son of God, and one who knew their hearts; and he also lets them know, that they should not surprise him, and that he was not afraid of them.

But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said, This is the heir. These words let the Pharisees (to whom, together with the people, he at that time spake) know that themselves knew he was the Son of God, and were convicted in their own consciences that he was the true Lord of the church. Though this was not true of all that had a hand in crucifying Christ; for Paul saith of some of them, that if they had known him, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; yet it was doubtless true of many of them, and those the most knowing men amongst them. But herein did their most prodigious blindness and madness appear, that when they knew this, they should think it possible to prevent his being set as King upon the Lord’s holy hill of Zion. One would think this were impossible to rational creatures. But why should we think so? How many are there in the world at this day, that are convicted in their own consciences, and do believe that the ways and people whom they prosecute to their ruin, yea, to death itself, are the truths, the ways, the people of God, yet they will be kicking against the pricks! And though God makes many of them perish in their enterprises, and suffers them not to come with hoary heads to the grave in peace, yet there ariseth another instead of this hydra, a posterity approving their doings and thinking, though their fathers failed in this or that little policy, yet they shall prevail against God, and his inheritance shall be theirs. Wise Providence thus fitteth the saints for their crown, and suffers sinners to prepare themselves for the day of wrath. And they caught him,.... Seized and laid hold of him, in a rude and violent manner, as they had some of the servants before. This regards their apprehending of Christ in the garden, by a band of soldiers and officers, sent by the chief priests and Pharisees, who with swords and staves took him, bound him, and led him away:

and cast him out of the vineyard; which is not to be understood of their casting him out of the synagogue, which is never said of them; nor does it so much relate to the leading of him without the gates of Jerusalem, where they crucified him, though this is a sense not to be despised and rejected; but rather, to the delivery of him to those, that were without the vineyard of the Jewish church and nation, to the Gentiles; to be mocked, scourged, and put to death by them:

and slew him: for though the sentence of death was pronounced on him by Pilate, an Heathen governor, and was executed by the Roman soldiers; yet it was through the instigation and at the pressing importunity of these husbandmen, the Jewish rulers; and who were afterwards frequently charged by the apostles with the murder of him.

And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
39. cast him out of the vineyard] Words that recall the crucifixion of Jesus outside the city of Jerusalem.Matthew 21:39. Ἐξέβαλονκαὶ ἀπέκτειναν, they cast Him out—and slew Him) St Mark reverses the order of these verbs. They rejected the Lord Jesus both before His death, by denying His right (Matthew 21:23), and even more so, by delivering Him up to a Gentile tribunal; and also after His death, by a hostile interference with His sepulture; see ch. Matthew 27:63-64, etc.[940]

[940] Matthew 21:40. ὅταν οὖν ἔλθῃ) This coming was accomplished in the destruction of Jerusalem.—V. g.Verse 39. - Cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. This is prophecy, and alludes to a particular circumstance attending the death of Christ, viz. that he suffered without the city Jerusalem, Calvary being outside the walls (see John 19:17, and the parallel passages in the other evangelists, and especially Hebrews 13:11, 12, where it is significantly noted that Jesus "suffered without the gate"). The words may also contain a reference to the fact that he was excommunicated and given over to the heathen to be judged and condemned, thus suffering not actually at the hands of "the husbandmen" (comp. Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27). Christ, in his Divine prescience, speaks of his Passion and death as already accomplished.
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