Colossians 1:10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
To understand this parable, we must identify the characters:
Owner of the vineyard ….. God
The vineyard ……………. Israel
The tenant farmers ……… Religious leaders of Israel
Servants of the owner …… The prophets
Son/Heir of the owner ….. Jesus Christ
The other vinedressers…..The gentiles
If you are God’s people you must produce fruit
This parable directly and indirectly references Israel and the Jewish leadership and describes what their relationship is, and what it is going to be
God had entrusted them with the advancement and management of the kingdom of Israel
Sure, they had made some bad decisions and ignored some of the prophets, (Servants) but they were in charge of the vineyard
They basically had two jobs- produce fruit. Wait for the owner of the vineyard
Isaiah 5:1-7 OT prophetic of Israel and and its relationship with God
Isaiah 5:2 He dug it up and cleared out its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, And also made a winepress in it; So He expected it to bring forth good grapes, But it brought forth wild grapes.
Ezekiel 17:23 On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar.
Ezekiel 36:8 But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come.
Israel was supposed to bear fruit and they weren’t doing it.
The Goal of YHWH was for his nation, the nation of Israel to bear fruit to show the world what faithfulness looked like. That other nations would see how Israel lived and they would want to live for YHWH
And Israel produced some great spiritual fruit for many years, but they lost their way.
This is what the parable is describing! A lack of fruitfulness an proper management of what they had been entrusted with
What does it mean to you?
God is still in the fruit business! He still wants you to produce some fruit. He wants you to PRODUCE
Heres what hard-The theology- which is true- that we are not a works based people regarding our salvation has produced a generation of Christians who never grow, never work, and never produce fruit
They hide behind this “I’m saved by grace” which is TRUE. Eph 2:10 is GREAT
Eph 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
John 15: 1-2“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
As a Christian you should be in the fruit business. Both internal and external
Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
When John was saying this, he was basically saying- your life should reflect that you’ve turned to God
A life of repentance was never intended to be a private, do nothing, keep it to yourself existence
This idea of “personal relationship” with Jesus has both helped and hurt the church
Yes- The church cannot be your relationship with Jesus- service doesn’t save you
And YES- you need to have a personal relationship, but its not personal.
There are personal fruits of “Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.”
And there are corporate fruits of “ Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Here’s the good news:
God is patient
He sends repeated messengers 3 times the vineyard owner sent his servants (signifying the prophets of the OT) and THEN he sends his son
This is the heart and nature of God. Repeated attempts to try and love, care and interact with his people.
Exodus 34:6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
Romans 9:22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
The vineyard owner gave them 3 times to make it right.
On the fourth one- he doesn’t even send another servant, but his SON. He sends his son- in his mind- he figures, how can they disregard my son?
Vs 6 Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
But they do- they kill the son and hope they can have the vineyard for themselves.
The vineyard owner has been patient tho! 3 different servants he sent!
Much more than any earthly person would have done.
After the first bad interaction- it would have been “go time”
Daughters bball team- late pick ups. Wrote email. 3 days. Late again. Don’t waste time or $. I wasn’t mean. But I hate wasting time. I hate it. I hate wasting others time
AND THAT’S BASKETBALL. If I owned a vineyard- and someone was working me over?
What does it mean to you
Recognize that God is patient with you!
Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Since God is so patient with you, shouldn’t it cause you to repent?
He hasn’t given you what you deserve, he has forgiven you, he has given you TIME
Taking advantage of the opportunity to repent NOW
REPENT NOW. He will deal with you privately- but then PUBLIC because of HOLINESS
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Here’s the main reason you should repent-
God is love
He sent his son. How beautiful is that? This parable is a story of Jesus. Him coming to those who were already disobedient. Already wrong. But his SON was sent to make right
What was the response?
7 But those vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
This is Jesus describing what is going to happen in the crucifixion. They were going to kill Jesus and their hope was that they would squash the rebellion and this Jesus nonsense would stop.
Here’s the deal. God had already flooded the Earth. He could have done it again. Wipe everyone out. “I’m done with you guys” but NO- He decided to send Jesus, and let him be the savior of the world so that everyone could experience the Joy of Christ
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
This is the Gospel! We were the vinedressers- entrusted with producing fruit, awaiting the return of the vineyard owner- Only one responsibility. Watch the vineyard and grow
And so he sends his son as a last ditch effort to keep us.
Me? I would have sent an handful of leg breakers- Not send my son so they could hurt him
Blood. Fire. Lava. Locusts. I’d send it all. But no- God is LOVE. He WANTS relationship
What does it mean to you?
Realize how much God loves you! He sent Jesus to you because he LOVES You
And you’re no different than the vinedressers- You were under dereliction of duty and he STILL loved you
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
STILL SINNERS. It wasn’t the GOOD we were doing that prompted sending JESUS
1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
What a gift! The person that loves me the most selflessly is my wife. Never brings anything in my face. Never gets upset about what I am or not doing. She’s selfless.
How can I not love and serve her? How can I not let it affect me
God is judgment to those who reject Jesus
But there is an end to God’s patience!
This parable demonstrates what Paul describes in Romans 11:22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
There’s a few verses like this.
God DOES NOT PLAY. I’m not worried about losing my salvation because I’m trusting in Jesus DAILY. He IS my salvation. HE IS my peace. When faced with his TRUTH I RESPOND and REALIGN
But to the disobedient who choose to kill the servants and then Kill his son- aint much for them
2 Peter 2:21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
READ Nahum 1:2-6
God gave Israel many years to get it right, but after a period of time, he came as God in the flesh and made it right
And eventually, Jesus is going to come back and make everything right.
What does it mean to you?
If you reject Jesus as the Son of God- your inheritance will be the wrath and judgment of God 1
Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
He is giving you opportunity to respond right now- to ensure that you will be with him forever
But if you choose to reject it- there isn’t much left for you.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
Don’t be that guy! Don’t fall under the wrath of God! Don’t turn away from his love and grace!
I don’t have a lot of pity for people that hear about the impending punishment for non-compliance and then are upset about the outcomes from their disobedience.
The path to righteousness is paved with bricks of obedience and submission.
Here’s the great news about wrath and judgment tho-
God eventually has His way
He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others.
What a great promise of scripture! What others reject, we receive!
Romans 1: 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Jews inability to receive Christ opened the door for the gentiles- and that’s VINEYARD TIME
You get a vineyard- You get a vineyard- Everyone gets a vineyard!
Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!