Friday 1 April 2022

Matthew 21:33-46

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. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

This is the last of three parables that Jesus directed at his audience the chief priests and elders while in the temple. In this one Jesus is speaking about a vineyard, it’s owner and son. In the Old Testament the nation of Israel is often referred to as God’s vineyard. The imagery is not lost on his audience, they fully understood the parallels He was making. Being convicted, they wanted to be rid of him, v46.

I’ve been struck by the landowner, he set everything up for his tenants, he planted, put in security, installed everything they would need to live a good productive life, to flourish, and succeed. It was the tenants’ choice to disregard this and want to live life on their terms, take everything provided for themselves and do away with anyone related to the owner.

The parallel to our lives today has not changed. We would be wise not to disregard the Son (Jesus), to live how we want completely disregarding God the Father in this fabulous world he has given us. The chief priests, in verse 41, rightly described what would happen if we do … “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,”.  Living for now disregards eternity and our creator God.

Oh Lord, I ask for mercy on all those who disregard your Son. Where we have not appreciated all that you have given us to lead a life that honours you in what we do, have mercy on us. Lord thank you for your mercy and forgiveness, may we always produce good fruit for your Kingdom.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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