Luke 20:13-18

Luke 20:13 (KJB)
Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.

The parable continues to describe the long term relationship between Israel and God the Father. If the husbandmen had treated the servants so bad, normally there would not have been a son sent to them but the owner would have all the husbandmen arrested and brought up on charges. However, we are looking at the patience that God had with Israel and instead of destroying them, in the fullness of time He sent forth His Son to that vineyard. God the Father knew what was in store for His Son when He sent Him but for continuity, Jesus is telling the parable as a father who sends his son to see what is going on at the vineyard. He was counting on the husbandmen to at least reverence or respect his son.

Luke 20:14 (KJB)
But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.

The husbandmen probably thought their little scheme was working and that the owner of the vineyard had died and maybe that is why there was no retribution for their actions. Then they see the son approaching and figuring that the owner had died, they thought that the son was coming to claim the vineyard as his inheritance. If they could kill him, then there would be no one to claim the vineyard and then they could do it through schemes and manipulation. They thought if they could kill him, then the vineyard was theirs. Here in this parable Jesus is foretelling His own death at the hands of the false religious leaders in league with the Romans. (John 11:50 KJV) Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. Once they got rid of Jesus, they thought that their problems were over and they could once again run the country through their evil manipulations.

Luke 20:15 (KJB)
So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?

It seemed that the husbandmen had finally gotten their way because when the son came into the vineyard, they seized him and slew him outside of the vineyard. If they had slain him inside the vineyard, then the soil would be defiled and nothing would be allowed to be grown there. This is the perfect parable as it describes perfectly the attitude that Jesus faced. The religious leaders wanted to hold on to their lucrative positions and wanted nothing to interfere with that and did not care if that included murder in their plans. They hated Jesus because He exposed their hearts as well as their actions and if they could kill Him, then their problems would be solved, so they thought.

Luke 20:16 (KJB)
He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

Then Jesus finishes the parable by asking a very rhetorical question. Since the owner of the vineyard was not dead, when he finally shows up at his vineyard, what do you think that he will do to those who tried to steal his vineyard and those who killed his son? This parable is definitely related to Isaiah 5 where God speaks about Israel being that rebellious vineyard. Then the religious leaders gave the obvious answers that those who had killed the servants and the son were definitely wicked and the owner will destroy them. In addition, those men will be replaced by other husbandmen who will be honest and will be truthful in dealing with the owner and who will bring forth the required fruit when it is the correct season. The religious leaders in Israel are the ones in view here as they wanted all the fruit for themselves, which included the wealth. They had rejected God’s way of doing things and created their own methods. Very soon, God would take away their place and give it to the people who are going to bear spiritual fruit. These religious leaders cared nothing about the spiritual well being of the people but only cared about their position and status. This will also be the same for those false pastors in the churches who have made merchandise of God’s people and for those who taught false gospels trying to make for themselves a following. (2 Th 1:8-9 KJV) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: {9} Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; God will take eternal vengeance on those who have taught falsely or acted falsely in His name.

Luke 20:17 (KJB)
And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

(Psa 118:22-23 KJV) The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. {23} This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. Then Jesus quotes two passages from the 118th Psalm to explain further to them that they were the ones doing the rejecting. The word “rejected” in the above verse carries with it the meaning of “something which is carefully evaluated and placed under scrutiny,” and by this rejection the word also carries with it the meaning of “declared useless.” In Jeremiah 6:30, God states that because of the rebellion of Judah, He has called them reprobate silver and has rejected them. (Jer 6:30 KJV) Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them. They had thought themselves to be silver of the highest grade because they had Abraham and the Scriptures. The problem is that their rebellion caused them to be the dross on the silver and not the silver. The very stone which the builders had rejected because of their hatred, was the very cornerstone which held all the joints and couplings of the whole building. In other words, without this head cornerstone, the building would crumble. The Lord Jesus was the founder of Israel and He is the head cornerstone.

The builders were those who were the religious leaders in Israel and they rejected the very stone which held the nation together for all those years since the times of the twelve patriarchs. He guided them, protected them, brought them out of slavery, gave them a homeland and was now coming to them to personally fulfill prophecy, but He was rejected, the very one who brought Israel through every time of tribulation and trial in her history.

Luke 20:18 (KJB)
Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Here Jesus is giving them a prophecy of double judgment. The first judgment is speaking about His present ministry that those who fall on this stone, that is, those who are offended or stumble over His ministry will be broken. It is a reference to the fact that those who persecute Jesus or His children will eventually suffer in their lives. It is a scenario taken from Isaiah 8:15. (Isa 8:15 KJV) And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. Then the second judgment which comes on those who reject the Lord Jesus till they die is the fact that when Jesus sits on His throne at the Great White Throne Judgment, they shall be ground to powder, that is, they will suffer eternal damnation for their rebellion against the Lord Jesus Christ. So the first judgment will be in this life and the second judgment will be eternal.