Matthew 21:36

ESV Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them.
NIV Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way.
NASB Again, he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they did the same things to them.
CSB Again, he sent other servants, more than the first group, and they did the same to them.
NLT So the landowner sent a larger group of his servants to collect for him, but the results were the same.
KJV Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

What does Matthew 21:36 mean?

Jesus is sharing a parable about some renters of a vineyard who refuse to pay their rent to the landowner. Instead of handing over the owner's share of the crops when his servants came to collect it, the tenants beat and kill the servants. When the owner sends another group, the tenants do the same to them.

The renters, or tenants, in the parable represent Israel's religious leaders. Much as a shepherd is responsible for caring for the safety of a flock of sheep (Jeremiah 3:15), or tenants were charged with tending the vineyard, so too were the religious leaders of Israel meant to care for the people. God is the landowner, and, in the following verse, Jesus is the landowner's son.

The depravity of the tenant is increased as the story continues. Not content to reject and kill servants sent by the landowner, they will even try to usurp the position of the landowner's son (Matthew 21:37–38).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: