On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him, 2 and they declared, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?” 3 But He replied to them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell Me: 4 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” 5 They discussed among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us to death, since they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 And so they answered that they did not know where it camefrom. 8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither am I telling you by what authority I do these things.”
9 But He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and leased it to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. 10 At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him his shareof the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he proceeded to send another slave; but they beat him also and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he proceeded to send a third; but this one too they wounded and threw out. 13 Now the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What am I to do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the vine-growers saw him, they discussed with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let’s kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 And so they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and put these vine-growers to death, and will give the vineyard to others.” However, when they heard this, they said, “May it never happen!” 17 But Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what is this statement that has been written:
‘A stone which the builders rejected,
This has become the chief cornerstone’?
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will crush him.”
19 The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and yet they feared the people; for they were aware that He had spoken this parable against them.