The Earth Is ... Whose?
The kingdom of man is like unto a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.
When it was time to harvest the fruit, the man sent one of his employees to receive the fruit of the vineyard.
“Who does this guy think he is?” complained the vinedressers. “We are the ones who do all the work. Besides, he doesn't pay us nearly enough for all our work. We have families, and children, taxes to pay, and living costs are going up all the time.”
“But you have a lease,” said the servant. “It is clearly written down what your responsibilities are, and the return that you will get. See, right here is says that you will get your share.”
“We do not care what the lease says,” responded the vinedressers. “Times have changed. The vineyard is producing much more than we thought it would, and we have a right to get more.”
“But the vineyard belongs to my employer,” said the servant. “He planted it, and it is his.”
This infuriated the vinedressers. They rushed upon the servant and murdered him.
When the news came to the Landlord, he was very sad. “I must have been much too harsh,” he said to himself. “I must be sure that they understand,” he said. So he sent other servants, and these, too, were mistreated. Some were beaten, some were slain.
Finally, the Owner said to himself. “I will send my Son. They will respect him.”
But when the vinedressers saw the son coming, they said to themselves, “This is the son and heir. Now is our chance. It is not fair that the workers do not own the means of production. We do the work, and it is not fair for an absentee landlord to get the profit. Even the inheritance is not fair. There must be a more equitable distribution of the wealth. We need to send a message that even the Boss understands. There will never be any equity and justice here until we take possession of the vineyard. We must tear down every vestige of his ownership. His name must not be mentioned anymore in our schools, and the contract must not be mentioned in our courts. The vineyard is for everyone; from now on it belongs to the people.”
So they took the Son, they rejected him and the message from his Father. They cast him out of the vineyard, insulted him, and killed him.
It was very sad. The day came when the Landlord called for enforcement of the provisions of the lease. The vinedressers were miserably destroyed, and the vineyard was given to others. (See Matthew 21:33-44)