Who Really Owns This Place?

There is a fable in which the Angel Gabriel reports to God, after surveying the earth and its inhabitants. The angel Gabriel says, “Lord, it’s my duty to inform you that you are the owner of a choice piece of real estate known as planet earth. But the tenants you’ve leased it out to are destroying it. In another few years, it won’t be fit to live in. They have polluted your rivers. The air is fouled with the stench of their over-consumerism. They frequently kill one another, and all the prophets you’ve sent to them calling for an accounting have met with violence. By any rule of sound management, Lord, you’ve got but one option.”

Then raising his trumpet to his lips, Gabriel asks, “Shall I sound the eviction notice now, sir?”

And God says, “No, Gabriel! Not just yet. I know you are right, but I keep thinking if I just give them a little more time they’ll quit acting like they own the place!”

That’s what The Parable of The Wicked Tenants—and Christ’s summary of world history in Matthew 21:33-46—is all about.

God owns the place, but people keep acting like they do.

Photo: The Angel Gabriel awakes the dead on Resurrection Day, medieval stained glass (Paris region, c.1200), Musée de Cluny / Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris by Spencer Means is licensed under CC by 2.0.