Parable of the Vineyard
After the parable of the father and his two sons, Jesus went on to tell another parable. He told of a landowner who planted a vineyard, and after doing so placed a protective wall around his vineyard.
And in it the landowner place a winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.
When it came time to harvest the crops, the landowner sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. But the tenants seized the servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.
Do you see what happened here?
Jesus clearly painted a picture of God the Father (the landowner), the Jewish nation (the vineyard), and the servants (the prophets of old). But the Jews rejected their messages and even killed them for it!
And then Jesus prophesied what they were about to do to Him (Matthew 21:37). Last of all, He (God the Father) sent His son (Jesus Christ) to them, for He trusted them to respect Him. But when the tenants (the religious leaders) saw Him, instead of respecting and honoring him, they refused to recognize Him for who He was.
They rejected His teachings. And, in fact, they were so hostile towards him that they plotted to kill Him just as they had done to the others.
So, Jesus asked, when the owner of the vineyard returns, what should he do with those tenants?
Again the religious leaders responded correctly, in essence casting judgment on themselves. They answered by saying the landowner has a right to bring those wretches to a wretched end. He can then rent the vineyard to other tenants. These “other tenants are the Gentiles, and any other person willing to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah.
And then Jesus pointed them to scripture and asked them if they were familiar with what it says. A truly in-your-face moment of truth. Jesus referred to Himself as “the stone the builders rejected” (Psalm 118:22-23).
That stone has now become the capstone–the One on whom everything hinges or is held together.
Jesus concluded this section by telling them that the kingdom of God would be taken away from them, the Jewish religious leaders, and given to another people. The Gentiles and anyone else who would receive it and produce the fruit of the kingdom because of it!
Why? Because again the leaders refused to believe. Instead of Jesus being a stepping stone of faith, they stumbled over Him and His message of salvation. Therefore they would be crushed by judgment. God’s just judgment would fall on them and every other non-believer in Jesus Christ.
Matthew tells us in 21:45 that when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’s parables, they knew He was talking about them.
But instead of humbling themselves before Him in repentance and confession of faith, they again rejected Him and looked for a way to arrest Him. They were afraid of the crowd, however, because the people believed He was a prophet.
Unfortunately, it’s the same today. People reject the truth about Jesus, and some try to ignore Him by avoiding His people and conversations. Others do everything they can to try to stop and destroy and kill His message by making it what they want it to be. They want to clear their conscience and go on living their lives in rebellion and sin.
But there will come a day when they must face the truth. And unless they face that truth while there is still time, they will face the just judgment of God for eternity. They will forfeit heaven by their rejection of Jesus, and be thrown out of heaven and all that it has to offer.
Not so with those who have chosen to repent and live for God through His Son, Jesus Christ!
Those who refuse God’s gift of His Son will face eternal judgment and separation!
There is only one way to heaven, though Satan and this world would like you to believe differently. That way is through Jesus Christ the Son of the living God.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life!
Who is it that needs to hear this good news of the gospel? Won’t you go and tell them the truth about Jesus before it’s too late?
Time is short. Jesus is ready and willing to reap His harvest. Are you making yourself ready and available to be used by Him?
I will tell you that there is no greater pleasure or sense of fulfillment than to follow the will of God and do what He has prepared for you to do! And to watch others lives be transformed right before your eyes!
May we, like Jesus, be about our Father’s business of reaping souls for heaven’s sake while we still can!
What is it that God is asking you to do for Him today? And why are you reluctant?
Place your faith and trust in Him. He will never leave you or forsake you! He will carry you through to the end if you will continually seek His power and enablement through prayer and humble submission.
Won’t you surrender yourself, your time and your pleasures, and do the will of God?