(a) Examine the theology and teaching found in the Parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard.
Jesus told the parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard to show that as the Jews have rebelled against God, the kingdom of God will now be open to others as a consequence.
The allegorical meaning of the parable is clear; God is represented by the landowner, Israel is represented by the vineyard (likening Israel to a vineyard was common) and the Jewish authorities are represented by the tenants. The servants, sent by the owner, represent the prophets that God had sent to his people, who were then rejected and killed, even by the people who were claiming to be of God and obedient to him. The ...view middle of the document...
As a result, the authenticity of the parable is questionable as it assumes Jesus knew about his death and the fall of Jerusalem; Jesus is making a messianic claim, which he does not do.
Although, some scholars argue that the story is more valid for the modern reader as it is clear that it is an allegory. Although Nineham argues that it is a genuine parable which has been mistreated by the early church as Jesus' parables are not usually allegories. The parable makes the modern reader reflect and consider if they are living like the Jewish leadership did, rejected His word and being disobedient, or are they seeking a relationship with Christ. It also make the believers think about what they have done to become closer to Jesus.
Jesus taught in parables to create a mystery, so that people would think for themselves and to reveal the kingdom of God. Another parable about the kingdom is the parable of the Mustard Seed (Mark 4:30-34) where Jesus likens the kingdom of God to a mustard seed; the smallest of all seeds, which grows into a large plant with several branches for birds to lodge in. This parable is comparing what is known and familiar on earth to the kingdom in order for the readers to understand and relate to. The parable of the Wedding Banquet explains that because the guests rejected invitation to the wedding, it is now open to others. This story stands in parallel to the Tenants in the Vineyard; the kingdom is now open to others as the Jews have rebelled.
(b) Assess the view that the main purpose of the parables was to give guidance for behaviour.
The parables in the gospels are simple stories told by Jesus; what was the central reason for teaching in this way?
There are many parables which explore how one should behave on earth in order to reach God's Kingdom. The parable of the Good Samaritan, according to the Gospel of Luke, tells the story of a traveller who is beaten, robbed and left half...