Zoom Bible Study - Parable of the Tenants
St. Philip’s Zoom Bible Study
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Welcome! So glad you can join us today to study God’s Word. We are going to discuss Jesus’ parable of the tenants. We’ll read the text from Matthew 21 and then work through some discussion questions (listed after the Scripture). You are very welcome to participate in conversation, raise questions, etc. – or you can listen in, whatever you prefer. Let’s dive in.
The Parable of the Tenants
33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.
Bible Study Guide
Inductive Bible study means ‘drawing out’ the meaning from the text as opposed to ‘reading in’ our own ideas. It’s a way of letting the Bible speak for itself by listening carefully to what it says. Once learned, this method can be done in as little as 5-10 minutes or as long as an hour or more.
Part 1: Pray
We start by asking God’s Spirit – who wrote the Scriptures – to be our Guide in helping us understand the Scriptures.
Part 2: Observation
What does the passage say?
1. If it is a story, identify the characters, plot, setting, and so on. What happens in this scene?
2. If it is a letter or poetry, what are some of the key images, metaphors, or ideas?
3. What are the main concepts and themes in the passage?
4. What is the tone of the speaker or narrator?
5. Do you see any repetitions, contrasts, or causes-and-effects?
6. Are there any promises, commands, exhortations, or questions?
Part 3: Interpretation
What does the passage mean?
1. Imagine the perspective of the characters in the scene and/or the first recipients of this passage. How would they have responded to these words?
2. Develop some questions based on the text. You can ask ‘What is significant?’ about your main observations of the passage.
3. Answer your questions from the text and the context.
4. Try to summarize the passage in one sentence. What is the main point the author is communicating to the audience?
Part 4: Application
How does my life fit into God’s story?
1. What do you see in the passage that leads you to give thanks to God?
2. What in the passage leads you to confess a particular sin or sins?
3. What in the passage leads you to ask God for a need?
4. What are the implications for your community (e.g., family, work, church)?
Part 5: Pray
Ask that God will help you believe, confess, give thanks, and obey in response to your understanding of the passage.