The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
It was very clear to the earliest followers of Jesus that Jesus was a prophet like the other prophets who came before him (see Luke 4:24; John 6:14; Jn 9:17).
However, the Gospel writers were eager to teach that Jesus was not like other prophets, but that he was the Son of God. In their zeal, they did not stop to realise that their doctrine does not do justice to God. Some of what they reported in the Gospels reflect badly on God. But they did not seem to realise this. Take for example the parable of the wicked tenants reported in the first three Gospels.
The Gospels show that Jesus wanted to confront the Jews
about their history of killing the prophets, and of their intention to kill him
also. So he told them the following parable which clearly was about them.
The story is as follows:
Those who will analyze this story, however, will easily notice how foolish was the behaviour of the owner of the vineyard. He sent his servants one after another and, knowing that they were beaten and killed, nevertheless sent his beloved son to the same danger. Although he had full power to act, he did nothing until his son is definitely killed. He is also ignorant of the future. He naively assumes that the wicked servants will respect his son. So can anyone compare this foolish man to God? But that is what the story does. This is why it is clearly admitted in the Pelican New Testament Commentaries, St. Mark. p. 309, that it is unlikely that Jesus told this parable.
The whole idea of God having a son is objectionable to God. God considers it an insult to speak of Him in this way. Therefore, although we love Jesus, honour him, and believe in him, we should not call him ‘Son of God’. And we should not compare God’s plan with the plan of a man so foolish as the owner of the vineyard.
Jesus was a true prophet of God; he was the Messiah; and he spoke the truth. But he never claimed to be God’s son.