In Jesus’ parable of the tenants, there is a man who plants a vineyard and rents it out. When it is harvest time, he sends his representative to collect some of the harvest (which is likely the terms of lease). Instead of remitting to the owner what is due him, the tenants refuse, mistreating everyone the owner sends, even to the point of killing his son. The owner then kills the evil tenants and leases the vineyard to others.
Perhaps the first part of this parable is a picture of what God wants from us. As tenants in his creation, he desires us to give part of our “crop” to him as a form of “rent” for the privilege of living here. This seems simple enough, but often we are greedy, wanting to keep everything for ourselves. The implication is that God will then find someone else who is willing give to him what is due him.
This is perhaps what Jesus had in mind when on another occasion says “…and give to God what belongs to God.”
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