Jesus went on to tell the people a story. "A man planted a vineyard," he said. "He rented it out to some farmers. Then he went away for a long time.
"At harvest time he sent a servant to the renters. They were supposed to give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the renters beat the servant. Then they sent him away with nothing.
So the man sent another servant. They beat that one and treated him badly. They also sent him away with nothing.
The man sent a third servant. The renters wounded him and threw him out.
"Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What should I do? I have a son, and I love him. I will send him. Maybe they will respect him.'
"But when the renters saw the son, they talked the matter over. 'This is the one who will receive all the owner's property someday,' they said. 'Let's kill him. Then everything will be ours.'
So they threw him out of the vineyard. And they killed him. "What will the owner of the vineyard do to the renters?
He will come and kill them. He will give the vineyard to others." When the people heard this, they said, "We hope this never happens!"
Jesus looked right at them and said, "Here is something I want you to explain the meaning of. It is written, " 'The stone the builders didn't accept has become the most important stone of all.' (Psalm 118:22)
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces. But the stone will crush anyone it falls on."
The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest Jesus at once. They knew he had told that story against them. But they were afraid of the people.