Luke 20:9-19New International Version (NIV) 9 He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.
13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’
14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”
17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:
“‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’?
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
19 The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
I don’t think I’ve ever looked at this Parable as deeply as Pastor had us dig into it last Sunday. Starting with the ever increasing, utter depravity by which the “tenant farmers” responded to the “authority” of their “land owner”…which included the death of the one he sent that came in “full authority” of “the landowner”! Yet, it astonishes me the “graciousness” with which the “land owner” tried time and again to get the “tenant farmers” to just be obedient to their agreement…demonstrate their respect and honor where it is due. I guess, at this point, the “tenant farmers” thought the fight for the property was over, but it wasn’t…the “land owner” would now appear on the scene.
So now, with the “authority” of the One who sent Him, Jesus leaves no doubt about the outcome for the rejection of God the Fathers’ grace…the New Covenant… “He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”…the “others” being the gentiles…you and me…His Church...established in the blood of the Lamb…the Chosen One…Jesus…the one the “tenant farmers” rejected…who is now the foundation upon which His Church is be built.
Next, the proclamation that Jesus makes v18 is pretty heavy (no pun intended)…definitely spoken with “authority”, and I’d like to share the following excerpt from a commentary that helped me see clearly the depth and decisiveness this warning brings:
“Christ is the Corner-stone of His Church. By faith in His atonement there is salvation for both Jew and Gentile. But everyone that rejects the salvation through His blood must take the bitter consequences which he thus brings upon himself. It is a peculiar, a paradox judgment that falls upon the opponents of the Gospel. Foolish, mentally deranged, and spiritually blind people they are that want to run their heads, with the product of man's wisdom, against the rock of the eternal Wisdom of God. Instead of making so much as a dent in the Rock of Ages, they find themselves staggering back with badly battered heads. And their rejection, in turn, reacts upon them, for the Stone falls on them with crushing judicial effect. They have their sentence of condemnation even here in time. And they will find out, in a dreadful eternity, what it means to reject the mercy of God. These solemn words of warning may well be brought to the attention of many people in our days that think the world has outgrown the old Gospel of salvation through the redemption of the blood of Jesus.”
For me, I have no doubt of the Divine “Authority” of Christ. With that said, how does this parable apply to my life? Well, for starters, did I spend time with Jesus, today? Was I disobedient or go against His Word in any way, today?…and if so, did I confess my sin to Him? Have I prayed for His guidance in my life, seeking His will and the path He has marked out for me? Did I bring His “salt and light” to others?...to the lost?...or…much like the Jewish leaders of that day…the “tenant farmers”, was I on my mission or His?
How about you?
Blessings to you and yours!