Family Bible Study:PASSAGE: Matthew 21:33-46 ‘“Listen to another story. A man who owned some land planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it. He dug a pit for a winepress in it. He also built a lookout tower. He rented the vineyard out to some farmers. Then he moved to another place. When harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the renters. He told the slaves to collect his share of the fruit. “But the renters grabbed his slaves. They beat one of them. They killed another. They threw stones at the third to kill him. Then the man sent other slaves to the renters. He sent more than he did the first time. The renters treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. “But the renters saw the son coming. They said to one another, ‘This is the one who will receive all the owner’s property someday. Come, let’s kill him. Then everything will be ours.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard. Then they killed him. “When the owner of the vineyard comes back, what will he do to those renters?” “He will destroy those evil people,” they replied. “Then he will rent the vineyard out to other renters. They will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what the Scriptures say, “ ‘The stone the builders didn’t accept has become the most important stone of all. The Lord has done it. It is wonderful in our eyes’? (Psalm 118:22,23) “So here is what I tell you. The kingdom of God will be taken away from you. It will be given to people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces. But the stone will crush anyone it falls on.” The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ stories. They knew he was talking about them. So they looked for a way to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowd. The people believed that Jesus was a prophet.’ Matthew 21:33-46 https://my.bible.com/bible/110/MAT.21.33-46
QUESTIONS/STUDY:

  • Who wants to read today passage? (if your child isn’t old enough to read, just read it to them.  If you have multiple children, break the passage into a couple parts and let each one read some)
  • Jesus loved telling stories, who want to help me tell this story again now that we’ve read it?  (have your child(ren) retell the story in their own words – you can even have them re-enact it if you want – let them have some fun with it).
  • Ok, so, why did Jesus tell this story? (PARENTS NOTE:  remember, Jesus is talking to the religious leaders, he is teaching this parable as a way to condemn them for being opposed to the prophets God has sent them.  Help your kids understand this in “kids terms”.  For our family, we just said, “these religious guys were like the bad renters, they didn’t listen to God and when he sent people to tell them, the would be mean to them, even to the point of killing Gods own Son”)
  • What does Jesus mean when he says, “the stone the builders didn’t accept has become the most important stone?”  (PARENTS NOTE:  the actual word here is “cornerstone,” a cornerstone was used in ancient construction as the first stone in a  building project.  It had to be perfect and square because it was the reference point for everything else in the building.  Jesus is saying that the very stone these religious people were rejecting was the one that God was going to use to build His entire Kingdom – Jesus Himself)
  • Jesus says that anyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but the stone will crush anyone it falls on.  Let’s have some fun! ACTIVITY: put a couch cushion on the floor and have your child fall on it, tell them, “now break into pieces” 🙂, now tell them to lay on the floor and you will drop the cushion on them.  After you drop the cushion, have them say, “ugh, I’m crushed”
  • What does Jesus mean that whoever falls on the stone will be broken to pieces but if it falls on you it will crush you?
  • SAY:  “It costs people to follow Jesus, if someone choses to follow Him, they will be broken – ancient Christians used to lose everything, event today, people in other parts of the world can lose even their life for following Jesus.  But, if someone doesn’t chose to follow Jesus, they will lose even more, because someday Jesus will return or that person will die and they will be separated from God for ever in a terrible place called hell.  Jesus says it will be like being crushed.  The good news about Jesus is when we break by falling on Him, He is able to put us back together even better than we were before. 

PRAYER TIME:

  • If your child hasn’t chosen to follow Jesus, ask them to start thinking about whether they want to follow Him.  Spend time praying for people who haven’t fallen on Jesus yet – pray by name for them.  
  • Thank God that He can put us back together!