Parable of vine­yard and vine­dressers warn­ing yet to­day

Westside Eagle-Observer - - OPINION -

“Hear another parable: there was a cer­tain landowner who planted a vine­yard and set a hedge around it, dug a wine­press in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vine­dressers and went into a far coun­try….” Matthew 21:33-46 (Cf. Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19)

This parable of Je­sus was spo­ken as a warn­ing to the re­li­gious lead­ers of the Jews. The peo­ple of Is­rael were God’s plant­ing, His vine­yard. God had re­deemed them and made them His own peo­ple.

The chief priests, scribes and elders were like the wicked vine­dressers in this parable. They were en­trusted with the task of car­ing for God’s peo­ple by teach­ing them from the Word of God and lead­ing them in wor­ship and in ser­vice to God. But when God sent His ser­vants, the prophets, to call the peo­ple to re­pen­tance, the prophets and their mes­sage were re­jected. Some were even mis­treated and killed. God sent John the Bap­tist to pre­pare His peo­ple for the com­ing of their Mes­siah. John called upon all to re­pent and be bap­tized that they might re­ceive for­give­ness from the Lord God, but the re­li­gious lead­ers of the Jews re­jected John and his bap­tism (cf. Luke 3:1ff.; 7:29-30; Mark 1:1ff.).

Fi­nally, God sent His own beloved Son; but He and His Word were re­jected of them too. Their Christ they handed over to Pon­tius Pi­late to be cru­ci­fied. The re­li­gious lead­ers of the Jews were to be build­ing the king­dom of God by rightly teach­ing the Word of God and pre­par­ing the peo­ple for the com­ing of their Mes­siah and Sav­ior; but, in­stead, they laid aside and re­jected the Chief Cor­ner­stone, Je­sus Christ (Psalm 118:22). In­stead of point­ing peo­ple to their Sav­ior, they re­jected and killed the very Son of God!

Un­less they re­pented, they faced eter­nal de­struc­tion and tor­ment in hell for their re­jec­tion of Christ Je­sus (cf. John 3:18,36; 2 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 1:7-9). And, be­cause th­ese lead­ers of God’s peo­ple re­jected Christ, God put oth­ers in charge of His flock, faith­ful shep­herds who would feed God’s flock with the pure Word of God (cf. Jeremiah 23:1-4).

Pas­tors to­day can take ad­mo­ni­tion from this parable of Je­sus as well! They are to faith­fully pro­claim the doc­trine of the Apos­tles and Prophets – the true Word of God – and they are to faith­fully hold up Christ Je­sus and His re­demp­tive work as the cen­tral teach­ing and cor­ner­stone of the Chris­tian Faith. Chris­tian con­gre­ga­tions, too, must take great care to build upon Christ and His Word, lest they for­sake the only true foun­da­tion and set aside the Chief Cor­ner­stone, which is Christ their Sav­ior.

Bring those into Thy fold who still to Thee are strangers; guard those who are within against of­fense and dan­gers. Press on­ward with Thy Word till pas­tor and his fold through faith in Thee, O Christ, Thy glory shall be­hold. Amen. (The Lutheran Hym­nal, Hymn #485, Verse 7) [Devo­tion by Randy Moll. Scrip­ture taken from the New King James Ver­sion®. Copy­right © 1982 by Thomas Nel­son. Used by per­mis­sion. All rights re­served.]

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