Mark 12:1-11 "And he began to speak unto them by parable. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the wine vat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. Having yet therefore one son, his well beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be our's. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
This parable is not easy to let in should one believe that Jesus knew the reality of his own death. If Christianity is hollow (if Jesus did not know the way in which he was going to die) then this parable will not clang any deep-set bell, but if it is truth then this parable calls one to consider (among many things) the bravery of Jesus' life. When Christ gave this parable he was inside of the temple. It was here, while being loudly questioned by Chief Priests, scribes and elders that he spoke. The parable was to the point, as all of his were. It was illustrative and simple. Under the smallness of this image there were dark-purple clouds, there was apathetic killing, hostility that seemed to come from nowhere. And beyond these things is the faith-based truth that the main character (the dead son of the owner of the vineyard) was the one speaking.
This parable, unlike other religious teachings, requires one to recognize the placement of the parable. It is not necessary to know the circumstances that caused the poet to write the Bhagavad-Gita. Whatever greatness that exists in the Bhagavad-Gita exists because of the text. The truth, the pain, that I am trying to point out cannot be real if Jesus Christ was simply a human-being. The certain sting I want to bring forth has no worth if He did not see his crucified body before he was kissed (and betrayed) by Judas. But should He have really known his own death beforehand, if he knew it as he spoke, if he knew it and spoke any ways, if he knew it and spoke TO THE ONES WHO WERE GOING TO KILL HIM, then here we can see His bravery.
The parable starts with the origin of a vineyard. A vineyard was purchased by a man. This man set a place for hedges, built a tower and so on. He also hired husbandmen to take care of the vineyard. But these men betrayed the man who employed them. At vintage-time these husbandmen beat away and killed the servants who were sent to recieve crop from the vineyard. The parable states specifically that some were cursed away with stones while others were killed. To this shameful treatment the owner of the vineyard sends his son, hoping that there would be mercy set on him. The words of the father were "They will respect my son".
There is a necessary stop here. Instead of only considering the poetry of the story, consider the story-teller. By faith it is believed that this actually happened, that the son of the existing God said these things...that the son of the vinedresser spoke to the husbandmen before he was slain by them...knowing he was going to be slain by them!
The parable goes on to say that the son goes. Instead of respecting the son as they should have, an idiotic (and I mean truly nonsensical) idea came inside of them to kill the son and keep the land for themselves. In Mark 12:8 it states "So they took him, and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard".
My GOD! What impossibility, what a nervousness there is inside of me! That this is recorded! Imagine a man who said, "I will be assassinated tomorrow", and consider if he was. Not only this but consider that along with knowing the future, the soon-to-be-assassinated man also said, "I am going to let it happen". And even further, consider this: that the man spoke about his assassination through a story after church in his house with some foes and friends! Right there, in that moment, there is where I find the sting. Consider the Existential weight of giving a parable about your own death. How painful must it have been! What kind of pressure He must have felt to say the words, "...So they took him (HIM), and killed him (the Lamb) and cast him (the one speaking) out of the vineyard"!
After verse eight Jesus continues to speak. He asks the crowd what the vineyard owner will do. He says that the father will come and destroy the husbandmen. Jesus ends the parable by stating the verse "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone". The God-man was indeed God but was also man. His life was the most difficult life in all of existence because of the truth I am trying to pull out. It is not just that he was going to die, and it is not just that the death was painful; it is that he willingly spoke about his own torture so that the very killers, betrayers, cowards, liars, whores, beggars, lepers, tax-collectors, fishermen, carpenters, and shopkeepers that left his father would have a chance at following him. What Lowly Love!