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The servants represent the prophets God sent to Israel, and the fruit borne are those who responded to their efforts. The wicked vinedressers "beat" one servant (meaning to flay or whip so that the skin is taken off), denoting the harsh, unjust treatment God's servants received (Hebrews 11:36-37). They kill another, representing the many prophets who died at the hands of Israel's leaders (Luke 13:34). They stone a third, not necessarily to death, for Mark records, "At him they cast stones and wounded him in the head, and sent him away." God's servants had experienced all these things. The wicked vinedressers' actions show their rejection, not of the servants, but of the landowner, God (I Samuel 8:7). For centuries, He had sent the prophets to warn and witness to the Israelites, and they had been persecuted and slain (I Samuel 22:18). There was no purpose in continuing to send more prophets to the people, so He sent His Son.
Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers