33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. 35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way.
This passage is a small part of a series of stories told by Jesus to illustrate the true nature of the kingdom of God. At that time Israel was ruled by the Roman empire but the imagery of agrarian society was well understood. In fact, the idea of tending a garden to make it productive is found throughout all of scripture and so is the idea there are influences that work to derail the labour. In a corporate way this is a picture of the Church but in an individual way we are the garden and we are to tend to the condition of our own mind and heart.
Later scriptures clearly state this story was directed at the religious leaders of Jesus’s day as the ones who were working against the purposes of God. It’s a scary thought but it has left me wondering what things I am doing to hinder my own fruitfulness or worse, am I in some way interfering with the fruitfulness of another person.
I suspect these issues are sometimes far subtler that we realise and require the conviction of the Holy Spirit to be revealed.
Lord, I ask you to help me to be a more fruitful person and how I can encourage others to be more fruitful as well.
Written by David Newton