Often and wrongly promoted as a biblical precept, unconditional love works against the purpose of Jesus in the New Testament. Nowhere is this point more clearly expressed than in the parable of the wicked vinedressers in Matthew 21. What does Matthew’s parable reveal about biblical grace and the problem of entitlement? Why does God allow the vinedressers to commit such violent crimes, against not only his servants but his own son? What implication do God’s actions in the story have for human parents and teachers? As always, the pastoral wisdom gleaned from Scripture looks foolish to human eyes; but then, so too looked the stone in the eyes of the builders.
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