Walking in Truth Devotional Update
Parable of the Vinedressers
(Mat 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19 (cp. Isa. 5:1-7))
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record Jesus’ Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers. In our last article we looked at an exchange between Jesus and the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. There we saw that Jesus told them the first of three parables designed to challenge and expose their hypocrisy. In this article we will examine the second of those parables, the Parable of the wicked Vinedressers. While Matthew’s account is the most complete it would be good to read all three accounts and the passage in Isaiah to receive a better understanding.
First, I would like for you to realize that this parable was neither mysterious nor ambiguous because the religious leaders, chief priests, scribes, elders, to whom Jesus was speaking clearly understood that Jesus had reference to them (Matt. 21:45).
Second, I would like for you to see the love of God manifested in this parable. The vineyard belonged to God. The passage in Isaiah 5:1-7 helped the hearers to see that Jesus was talking about God and His relationship with His people Israel, represented by their religious leaders and how hard their hearts had become toward God. God sent prophets to Israel because He loved them, and they were killed. Then God sent His Son, because of His love, saying, “They will respect my son” (v. 37). The patience of God had runout and He said, “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” (v. 40). This was a rhetorical question simply to get those wicked leaders to think about their wickedness and the punishment they deserved.
The rejection of Jesus had been foretold in the Scriptures: Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? (Matt. 21:42; cf. Psa. 118:22,23). The “stone” which they rejected was Christ, the Son of God. Jesus then foretold what would happen: “Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. “And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder” (vv. 43, 44). This angered the religious leaders: “And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So, they left Him and went away” (Mark 12:12).
By turning to the Old Testament, we can see the important lesson of this parable: “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry, and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psa. 2:10-12).
Jesus also had these same people in mind when He made the following statement: “Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar … O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:34-35-37).
This was according to God’s plan that could not be hindered because of their rejection of the prophets and God’s Son. “Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that You can do all things and that no plan of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). I pray that you rejoice in the power of God and His ability to carry out His beautiful plan of salvation for all men despite Satan’s efforts to hinder that plan.
By Guy Roberson
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