The parable of the wicked tenants in Matthew 21 video discussion

The Sunday lectionary reading for Trinity 18 in Year A is the second of three judgement parables against the Jerusalem leaders in Matt 21.33–46: traditionally, the parable of the wicked husbandmen, or the parable of the wicked tenants.

There is plenty to explore within the passage, and in its relation to the surrounding texts—but it also raises larger questions about the place of judgement in the teaching of Jesus and therefore within our understanding of God and God’s actions.

Join Ian and James as they explore the issues arising from these texts.

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7 thoughts on “The parable of the wicked tenants in Matthew 21 video discussion”

  1. Having to say that ‘having print bibles in the pews is important’ is unbelievable isn’t it. I didn’t know this was a thing- So you actually have C of E churches where there are no bibles in the pews, now? You really couldn’t make it up. But if you are going to play ‘did God really say?’ over basic principles, I suppose it makes sense for the legion of goats and wolves largely running the churches to try as much as possible to keep the bums on seats in ignorance. I wonder what sort of bonkers excuses they trot out for this.

    • Some of us who are faithfully working to bring God’s Word to life in rural settings would love to have Bibles in our pews, but with eight churches to supply from one (small) pot of money, it would be prohibitively expensive. Our preaching usually takes the Gospel reading as our text (using background from Ian’s excellent blog, of course!), and, having examined the text, to apply it to daily life. There is a place for more in-depth Bible study, which we offer as regular, well-attended mid-week study courses, but my sense is that Sunday mornings in this context are best served by looking at the parts of the Bible where we most clearly find Jesus and his teaching, and bringing these before the people in as engaging a way as possible.

      • Eight churches with no pew bibles? How did that happen? Where are the pew bibles that will have always been there? Who removed them? You’d love to have pew bibles but don’t have the money for pew bibles. Seriously. Priorities. It needs to be the first thing bought.
        It is part of discipling people that they get to turn in the pew bibles to the relevant passage and read it. Opening a bible and reading it, modelled in the assembly. If you don’t model this practise in church then people will be less likely to do it at home.
        I’ll be you there’s no kneelers in those churches either. The same people/ spirit who got shot of the bibles got shot of the kneelers?
        If you have a fundraiser for pew bibles I’ll contribute to it.

        • Jeannie I’m afraid this is to misunderstand how a Sunday Eucharist works in the CofE. The lectionary readings for a particular Sunday are more likely to be printed off and given to people as they come to church. In that way, they have the exact text for the readings that Sunday in front of them along with the Collect etc.
          Bible study is crucial and as David has said, that will be conducted at other places and other times more likely in home groups. And that is where the complete volume of the bible is necessary. Pew bibles are not a sign of a biblically illiterate congregation. In fact often quite the opposite. And it is also true that people will bring their own bibles and lectionaries with them so that they can make notes.
          If you go in to an Orthodox Church you won’t find pews, let alone kneelers or bibles. These things are not a sign of Orthodoxy.

  2. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this!
    You talked about links to Isaiah 5’s ‘Song of the Vineyard’ (which is quite singable!)
    The question the Lord of the vineyard asks
    ‘What more could have been done for my vineyard
    than I have done for it?’
    is a heartbreaking and honest enquiry. Makes one weep for God’s pain. It only ends up being rhetorical because it is so patently clear that everything possible was done and there is no excuse for what follows.
    As usual, Jesus (in Matthew) has the long view, the wider perspective on everything.
    He knows the whole story and how it turns out.
    I’m reminded today to not stay bogged down with the bit of the story that is right here, right now (the general troubles of the day/ the persecution for one’s faith that grinds one down) and always be looking up, seeing the story in its wider context and as part of the bigger picture unfolding day on day.
    Thanks muchly. Fab.


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