Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 31, 2008
- View SourceChi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 31, 2008
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Jesus taught, "Listen to another parable. There
was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence
around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a
watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and
went to another country. When the harvest time
had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to
collect his produce. But the tenants seized his
slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned
another. Again he sent other slaves, more than
the first; and they treated them in the same way.
Finally he sent his son to them, saying, 'They
will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw
the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the
heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.'
So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard,
and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard
comes, what will he do to those tenants?"
Robert Farrar Capon shares this insight about how
Jesus used parables in his book "The Parables of
the Kingdom" (page 1). Parables are hard to
understand yet one of the oldest teaching
techniques in the world. They make a point by
comparing one thing to another. Jesus often
spoke in parables without interpreting them for
the crowds. Either the disciples or other
listeners would then ask questions for
clarification. Jesus would often teach the
meanings of the parables to his disciples
privately. Sometimes the parables are confusing
and seem full of paradox and contradictions.
Sometimes we assume their meaning and really do
not understand them at all. So listen with fresh
ears and an open heart.
Listen to the answers of his listeners. The owner
of the vineyard will severely punish the violent
tenants and bring them to an end. The vineyard
owner will then rent his vineyard to new tenants
who will give the owner his share of the crop at
What does this really mean? Jesus clarifies this
disturbing parable about the realm of God.
"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will
be taken away from you and given to a people who
will produce its fruit" (Matthew 21:43). When
the chief priests and the Pharisees heard this
comment, they knew he was talking about them.
We are told that they looked for a way to arrest
him but were afraid of the popular public support
of Jesus the prophet.
God, help us listen closely to this parable and
find our place in it. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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