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Matthew 21: 33-43

The Story of the Greedy Farmhands

“Here’s another story. Listen closely. There was once a man, a wealthy farmer, who planted a vineyard. He fenced it, dug a winepress, put up a watchtower, then turned it over to the farmhands and went off on a trip. When it was time to harvest the grapes, he sent his servants back to collect his profits.


“The farmhands grabbed the first servant and beat him up. The next one they murdered. They threw stones at the third but he got away. The owner tried again, sending more servants. They got the same treatment. The owner was at the end of his rope. He decided to send his son. ‘Surely,’ he thought, ‘they will respect my son.’


“But when the farmhands saw the son arrive, they rubbed their hands in greed. ‘This is the heir! Let’s kill him and have it all for ourselves.’ They grabbed him, threw him out, and killed him.


“Now, when the owner of the vineyard arrives home from his trip, what do you think he will do to the farmhands?”


“He’ll kill them—a rotten bunch, and good riddance,” they answered. “Then he’ll assign the vineyard to farmhands who will hand over the profits when it’s time.”


Jesus said, “Right—and you can read it for yourselves in your Bibles:


The stone the masons threw out is now the cornerstone.

This is God’s work; we rub our eyes, we can hardly believe it!

“This is the way it is with you. God’s kingdom will be taken back from you and handed over to a people who will live out a kingdom life. Whoever stumbles on this Stone gets shattered; whoever the Stone falls on gets smashed.”


What's going on in this parable? What does it have to do with Jesus' life?


It's a little bit confusing at first, but makes a bit more sense when you realise that the wealthy farmer is God our Father, and his son, who was killed, is Jesus.


So are we like these greedy farmhands? We may not have a farm, but we have all the gifts that God has given us. We have the world around us he gave us to care for, we have friends, family and others to look out for. We'd be like the greedy farmhands if we took these things for granted, only looked to what we could get out of them. Do we let our own interests come above doing good for others? Does money and treating myself become more important than anything else? 

Chris Knowles

Salesian Volunteer & Charity Worker



Help us to resist the greediness that we hear about in this parable.

Let us always remember that the things in life we cherish are gifts from you,

gifts we're called to share with others,

and gifts we're thankful for.


We make this prayer through Christ our Lord


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