Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
Then He proceeded to teach them many lessons in figurative language; and in His teaching He said,
(And His disciples came and asked Him, "Why do you speak to them in figurative language?"
"But give me your judgement. There was a man who had two sons. He came to the elder of them, and said, "'My son, go and work in the vineyard to-day.'
Again Jesus spoke to them in figurative language.
"To you," He replied, "it is granted to know the secrets of the Kingdom of God; but all others are taught by parables, in order that they may see and yet not see, and may hear and yet not understand.
"Where shall we prepare it?" they asked.
"Listen to another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, made a fence round it, dug a wine-tank in it, and built a strong lodge; then let the place to vine-dressers, and went abroad.
Then He proceeded to speak a parable to the people. "There was a man," He said, "who planted a vineyard, let it out to vine-dressers, and went abroad for a considerable time.
And He gave them the following parable. "A man," He said, "who had a fig-tree growing in his garden came to look for fruit on it and could find none.
"I am the Vine--the True Vine, and my Father is the vine-dresser.
And if some of the branches have been pruned away, and you, although you were but a wild olive, have been grafted in among them and have become a sharer with others in the rich sap of the root of the olive tree,
This is he who was among the Congregation in the Desert, together with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and with our forefathers, who received ever-living utterances to hand on to us.
What special privilege, then, has a Jew? Or what benefit is to be derived from circumcision?
To them belongs recognition as God's sons, and they have His glorious Presence and the Covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the Temple service, and the ancient Promises.
It is like a man living abroad who has left his house, and given the management to his servants--to each one his special duty--and has ordered the porter to keep awake.
"Why, it is like a man who, when going on his travels, called his bondservants and entrusted his property to their care.
No long time afterwards the younger son got all together and travelled to a distant country, where he wasted his money in debauchery and excess.
So He said to them, "A man of noble family travelled to a distant country to obtain the rank of king, and to return.