5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. 6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. 7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.
This is a lot tougher parable than it looks. The husbandmen, typology for Israel’s historical rulers, admit, “This is the heir: come, let us kill him.” They had rejected God’s authority over them, even while paying lip service to God, when they demanded a king like the nations around them a thousand years before Jesus.
1Samuel 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
And yet, on the Cross, Jesus implores God the Father to forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing and Peter acknowledges that in Acts. Well, it might be asked, what is it? Did the Jews knowingly kill God in the flesh, the Son of God, or did they not know what they were doing?
Paul says that Jesus was the seed for whom God made promises to Abraham.
Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
All things are His. See Colossians 1:16. Christ is the heir. This parable reveals the paradox of human evil. We know but we don’t believe. Knowledge is in the head, belief is in the heart. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily result in obedience, belief demands obedience. If I know the fire will burn my hand, I still may test it to see if that is indeed so, but if I believe the fire will burn my hand, I will not put my hand in the fire. Christ was revealed through the Scriptures and yet the Jews did not believe what they said although they knew what they said. We are willfully ignorant, and that’s when we’re at our best. Many times we know and believe something is sin, and still do it anyway. Our lust for sin is then greater than our reverence for God.
Head knowledge and heart knowledge are two different things, and the Jews killed Christ not out of a lack of head knowledge but a lack of heart knowledge.
Exodus 4:1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.
To hearken is to obey. If you heard, an act of will, not an accident of sound, you will obey.
Deuternonomy 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
1Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
The Jews ignorance revolved around their substitution of their own righteousness for God’s which Christians do when they are all puffed up.
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.