This section of scripture is the parable of the man who planted a vineyard, let it out to tenants and then went away. The focus is on the tenants and how they reacted to those sent by the master of the vineyard to receive the fruits of the vineyard. There are a few ways to look at this parable, but here today I will consider only one of those, for it provides a dire warning for the people of the world as well as the people of God.
The vineyard represents this world. God created the world and everything in it and he gave it to man to be enjoyed. We are the tenants of the vineyard and it is to us that the Lord has sent servants desiring fruit.
Fruit of the Vineyard
What is the fruit? If we consider this from a spiritual perspective this may be the fruit of the Spirit that is described in Galatians 5:22-23, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
It is God’s desire for man that he live in peace and in a positive relationship, first with Him and then with his fellow man. To do so it is necessary that man learn to exhibit the fruits of the spirit so that he can live in such a positive relationship. Especially man needs to find the love of God and learn to live in that manner.
However, this is not the nature of man. The only way these things can be found is through seeking and coming to Jesus Christ and learning from him. It is only when we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and are obedient to all the requirements of the New Covenant that we can see and enter the Kingdom of God.
As mentioned we are the tenants of God’s vineyard. And to help us God sent holy men, prophets, teachers, evangelists and so on so that they would show men the error of their ways and hopefully come to God.
But the scripture tells us all of these men were universally rejected. He said in verses 10-12 that these servants were beaten, wounded and cast out of the vineyard. The owner then decides to send his son, who is Jesus Christ, in the hope that man will listen to Him.
But we see what these men did in verses 14-15, “But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’
15 And they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.” They believed that if they got rid of Jesus and killed him, they could have this world to themselves.
The Plan Backfires
Now we know that it was the religious leaders in those days who were instrumental in killing Jesus, for they delivered him to Pilate for condemnation. It was their contention to get rid of Jesus for they were jealous and afraid of losing their power and position over the people. Satan too entered the heart of Judas Iscariot to carry out this deception and to betray the Lord into the hands of men so that he would be put to death.
But what we know now is that this was the very purpose for the appearing of the Lord. He came specifically to be put to death so that He could be the sacrifice for the sins of man, take away sin and through his resurrection be the vessel for our justification and righteousness to be received through faith.
In their anger and desire to be rid of Jesus, they actually set up the process for their own demise. It was through Jesus death that the New Covenant was ratified and came into being. And it was in the death of Jesus that sin was defeated and the devil was conquered.
This is why he says, “But he looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner’? Every one who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on any one it will crush him.” (Verse 17-18) The whole structure of the old religion was crushed when Jesus came and was put to death for the New Covenant makes the old obsolete. They rejected Jesus by casting him out and killing him, but in their actions Jesus became the cornerstone of Christianity and we now worship under the New Covenant, not under the Old Covenant.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng www.sxc.hu/ taken by Samuel Rosa)