The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers!!!
“Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vine dressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?
“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet…. Matthew 21:33-46
In our previous study, we read of Jesus using the Wisdom given by the Holy spirit to reply to the Chief priest and rulers who came to Him questioning Him on who gave Him permission to cleanse the Temple. Here, Jesus speaks a Parable basically to explain the Sin and ruin of the Jewish nation. But with the Help of the Holy Spirit, we shall be applying it to the Christian Church of today. This Parable depict that there is no favourite with God. Let us therefore open our hearts and learn from the Jewish nation. For if we commit the same Sins they committed, then the same ruin will come upon us, for there is no partiality with God.
There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.: The nation of Israel is a Country that the Lord himself has planted. He called out Abraham and made a Covenant with Him to bless Him and make him a great nation(Gen 12:1-3). He gave them the Laws which distinguished them from every other nations of the world. The Law was an hedge around them that kept them from gross corruption among other gentile nations. They had a tower that Lifted them up towards Heaven. They had a relationship and communication with God and He departed to a Far country leaving them to prove obedience and Love to what He has done for them. Just like the Church was planted by God. It is the building of the Lord(Matt 16:18). The Lord Himself is the Wall of fire around the Church. He has given the Church commands that separates it from the the world. He is always in the midst of the church speaking to each members of the body of Christ. The Lord is not physically with us, it seems as if He is far away but He has given us his written Words and the Holy Spirit that we may find me in the pages of Scriptures.
Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. : The Landowner waited patiently until it was vintage time, He only requested for a fruit out of what He himself has planted. Was that too much to ask? He even sent his Servant to them to remind and receive the fruits in other to save them the stress of coming over to Him. Can will still find such a gracious Landowner today? After the nation of Israel was established, when they have fully occupied the promise land. The Lord gave them time. He never bothered them on the Wilderness journey. And He sent His servants to them which were the Old testament prophets to remind and instruct them of their duties to God. In the same way, God has planted the Church that we might bear Fruits of Righteousness that Glorifies the Lord. John 15:8 says, ” By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples(John 15:8). Jesus once said to His Disciples,” You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain(John 15:16)” And He has sent His Pastors, Prophets, teachers to instruct the Church and guide the Church on how to bring forth fruits for the Glory of God.
And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another: But the Nation of Israel instead of being grateful for all the God had done for them, they rejected the words of the Prophets that were sent to them. They beat some, they killed some and stoned another. It has also been so in the History of the Christian Church. Great godly Men and women who proclaimed the Truth of God’s word has been treated the same way. Men who stood for the Truths of God’s word has been jailed, some killed, some stoned. Consider how the Apostles died and it is sad that those who Persecuted them claim to in contact with God. Indeed all the True Prophets of God are treated as the worst thing on Earth.
Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them.: Even though the Nation of Israel had killed those sent to them at first, yet the Lord did not give up on them, He sent more servants that they may repent. Indeed our God is slow to anger and He is rich in mercy and goodness. Even if the old testament prophet as been killed, the Lord sends them even more yet they did not listen!!! So also is the Church. The Lord has raised more Apostles, Teachers, Prophets despite how terribly they treated the early Apostles. The Lord will not give up on the Church, neither will He give up on You. But yet many will not repent in their ways like these Vinedresser.
Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.: Finally, the Last option was given. The Son was sent. Thinking at least they would fear and respect my Son since He has come with a greater authority than the servants. Sending Jesus to the nation of Israel was the final step that God gave Israel before destruction. But yet the nation of Israel did not accept the Son. They rejected Jesus, they Crucified Him and even seek to take away what rightfully belong to the Son.
“Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers? They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vine dressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”: They themselves gave the answers that they will be rejected. The Jewish community saw the sin of others in that parable but they did not see how terrible they have done in killing and rejecting Jesus. Notice that the Landowner Himself did not come to collect the fruits, but He sent His Servant. God sent His Servant who are His representative. And the way we treat His Servant, as far as God is concern is the way we treat Him. We must bear this in mind. I am not talking about every Pastor or Preacher who calls Himself a servant of God, for Many of them are crooks. But there are some true Servant of God in the world today and the way You treat them, God takes notice of it. Also, God has given this vineyard to the Church. He has replaced Israel with the Church. There is no Jew or Gentile today. There is no special favorite of God. No nation is His favourite. No person or Church is the Special Favourite of God. Let us therefore fear and lay hold careful of what was given to us by God.
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?: This saying relates to a tradition in Israel. Anytime they want to erect a building, the most important stone is always the cornerstones that holds the four edge side of the building. So they use to make many cornerstones and begin to pick one by one to see the one that perfectly fit into the corner of the building. So here is a situation whereby a Cornerstone who was initially rejected as unfit for the building was finally selected after other stones were tried. In the same way, Christ whom the Jews rejected has become the cornerstone of God’s House which is the Church.
Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.: There is a lot we can learn from the nation of Israel for this is the reason why they were Rejected. We see the Church also rejecting True Prophets of God. The True Prophets are not popular even today. The Church has heaped for themselves teachers and preachers who tell them that all is well and speak nothing about their Sins. God rejects such church even today. God is seeking for fruits. God does not want us to live fruitless lives. Seek for fruits and you will never be rejected by God.
And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder: Now Jesus used a picture of a Stone to represent Himself. There are two alternatives here, we can either repent and Humble ourselves and fall on this stone and be broken in mourning for our sins. We have to be broken before the Lord can use us. It is not enough to be blessed by God. He must break us. Remember He blessed the bread and broke it before He could use it to bless the Multitude. God Himself arranges circumstances just to break us. Even Jesus had to learn submission to imperfect parent. He Submitted to to Old Covenant parent so as to be broken. It please the Lord to bruise Him( Isaiah 53:10).And it pleases the Lord to bruise us too. You need to fall on Christ and say, “Lord, I want to be broken, totally broken like You were”. And the Lord will use many circumstances, people, elders who don’t understand you and all kinds of difficult situations in order to break You.
But if you don’t respond to that, the stone comes upon you and crush you to nothing. It is far better to fall on God ourselves than the Lord falls on us in Judgement. Let us therefore seek for brokenness. This is what we all need for God seeks to reduce us to nothing before He can use us. So that we may constantly depend on on Him.
Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet: Even today there are people like the Pharisees that anytime they hear strong convicting words from God, they feel disturbed saying, “The preacher is trying to speak to Me”. Definitely!!! The Preacher is speaking to You and not the chairs and tables. We are to be spoken to. We are to be rebuked and corrected for our sins. The speaker is definitely speaking to us. Don’t ever feel bad or disturbed if the speaker speaks a word that exposes your error. Notice, the Chief priest actions were always determined by “What will people say?”. And when a Christian Preacher actions and words are determined by what people will say and think, then He is not a servant of God but a servant of Men.
Dear Friend, look carefully at the nation of Israel. Remember all that the Lord did for them, remember all the Miracles they experienced. Yet the Lord was not pleased with them because they lacked fruits giving Glory to God. There is no partiality with God. What He did to Israel, He will do to us also if we walk in disobedience as they did. The kingdom will be taken away from us also if we fail to give God the fruits of our lives. Value a true Prophet of God, for He comes in the Authority of God. Fall upon the stone which is Christ and be broken. May the Lord keep us from failing Him like the nation of Israel(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.