Today’s Gospel presents us with a bit of a dilemma since Christ forbids his disciples from using the title father or teacher and yet we find ourselves using these titles all the time.
By the time of Jesus, Jewish Law had greatly expanded from the original ten commandments. One writer says that there were 613 actual laws as well as 365 prohibitions (one for every day in the year) and 268 prescriptions (one for every bone in the body).
The Pharisees decide to trap Jesus. They have taken enough stick from him and now they decide it is pay back time.
The parable set before us today is a harsh one. I think that this is quite intentional. Jesus’ ministry is coming to its conclusion, he has already made his solemn entrance into the Holy City and he has told the people a number of important parables which we have heard during these last few Sundays.
The parable we are presented with today is the third in a line of three parables to be found in Matthew’s Gospel which concern themselves with vineyards. It is no mistake that Jesus often uses the vineyard as a symbol of the Kingdom of God.