And he began to speak to them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and dig a place for the winefat…
God's truth overcoming human opposition: — There is a legend which I have seen somewhere, which describes the origin of the figure in this way: That at the building of the temple a stone was cut and shaped in the quarries, of which the builders could make no use. It lay about daring the period of the building, held by all to be a hindrance (a stone of stumbling), but at the very last its place was found to be at the head of the corner, binding the two sides together. And so the Father explains Christ the cornerstone, as binding Jew and Gentile in one Church of God. It is very remarkable how often this has been repeated in the history of the Church — how great religious movements have been frowned down, if not actively opposed, by those in high places, which have afterwards subdued all opposition. In our own times, in this very century, this has occurred twice. First, the great evangelical movement in our Church was set at naught by the builders, though it was the assertion of the primary truth of personal religion — that each soul must have a personal apprehension of Christ, and look to Him with the eye of a living faith; and then the great Church movement was almost unanimously rejected by the bishops between 1810 and 1850, though it was the assertion of the truths patent through all the New Testament, that the Church, though a visible organization, is the mystical body of Christ — that it is a supernatural system of grace, and that its sacraments are the signs of grace actually given in and with the outward sign. In neither of these cases did "the builders" discern the strength of the principles asserted, and foresee that they must win their way; though the formularies of the Church, of which these builders were the exponents and guardians, assert very unmistakably both these truths in conjunction, viz., spiritual apprehension of Christ, and sacramental union in His body.
(M. F. Sadler, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.