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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
"The Parable Of The Tenant
History In Review"
The Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost
I. The Vineyard belongs to GodCf. Isaiah 5:1-7; Ps.
80:8ff.; Jer. 2:21
A. The Landowner and the "Beloved" of Isaiah 5
symbolize the Lord. Text, v. 1
B. The Renters are the Leaders of IsraelMatt. 23:2ff.
C. The journey is the time between the Ascension and the Judgment Text, v.1 Cf. Mark 13:34ff.
II. The Owner expected sweet wine, but saw bloodshed.
A. See Isa. 5:2,4 & 7
B The death of prophets led to the murder of Gods Son,
text vv.34-38; Matt. 23:31-37; Luke 13:33ff.; Acts 7:52; Heb. 11:36ff.
C. The blood is still flowingreligious wars--persecution of Christians, etc. Then, as now, much blood is shed in the name of religion.
III. Rebellions result
rejected stone crushes the rebels. text v.41a, 42 & 44Matt. 22:6ff.;
23:35ff.; Isa. 5:5-7; Luke 19:41ff.; 21:22ff.
B. Transferring the
vineyard to other renters who will share the crop with the landowner. Text, 41b;
Matt. 21:45-46; Luke 13:28ff.; Luke 21:24; Acts 18:6.
Last of all
Mark adds that this was an only son, greatly beloved. This
beautifully and most tenderly exhibits the love of God in sending his only Son,
Jesus Christ, into the world to die for people. Long had he sent the prophets,
and they had been persecuted and slain. There was no use in sending any more
prophets to the people. They had done all that they could do. God had one
only-begotten and well-beloved Son, whom he might send, and whom the world
"ought" to reverence even as they should the Father, John 5:23. God is
often represented in the Bible as giving his Son, his only-begotten and
well-beloved Son, for a lost world, John 3:16-17; 1 John 4:9, 14; Rom. 8:3, 32;
Bible: To reject Jesus is to forfeit membership in Gods kingdom. Children
of Abraham cannot be numbered with Gods elect if they renounce Jesus and
avoid repentance for sins. As throughout His history with Israel, God chose the
faithful remnant for His kingdom. The remnant is in Christ. Remnant teaching in
the Bible shows that election is not a determinism which disregards human free
will and choice.
Jesus, in effect, had said to the chief priests and elders,
the men! You are the wretched vine-growers who, by your own declaration, deserve
a wretched end for beating and killing the vineyard owners servants and then
killing his son. Dont you realize that the owner is God, the vineyard is His
kingdom, the servants were His prophets, and I am His Son? You have just judged
yourselves guilty of condemning to death not only the prophets but even Gods
With regard to
killing the prophets, later the same day Jesus said to the unbelieving Jewish
leaders, in particular the scribes and Pharisees, "You build the tombs of
the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say If we had been
living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in
shedding the blood of the prophets. Consequently you bear witness against
yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up then
the measure of the guilt of your fathers" (Matt. 23:29-31).
God had prepared a
place of great beauty and blessing and then graciously given stewardship of it
to His people Israel. It was a place of promise, hope, deliverance, salvation,
and security. But Israel misappropriated all those blessings for herself,
robbing God of the gratitude, glory and honor due Him. She persecuted the
prophets He patiently and lovingly sent to call her to repentance and
forgiveness. Jewish tradition held that Isaiah had been sawed in two with a
wooden saw (cf. Heb. 11:37).
From Scripture we
know that Jeremiah was thrown into a pit of slime, and tradition held that he
was eventually stoned to death. Ezekiel was rejected, Elijah and Amos had to run
for their lives, Micah was smashed in the face by those who refused to hear his
message (1 Kings 22:24), and Zechariah was actually murdered in Gods own
Temple (2 Chron. 24:20-22; cf. Matt. 23:35). Old Testament history bore witness
to their murderous hearts, whose wickedness would culminate in killing the Son
Through this parable
and its explanation Jesus presented one of His clearest claims to divinity. The
parable even alludes to the detail of His being crucified outside the city of
Jerusalem (cf. Heb. 13:12), just as the vineyard owners son was cast out of
the vineyard before being murdered.
Jesus also made it
clear that the Jewish leaders who rejected Him were without excuse, that, like
the evil vine-growers, they knew He was Gods Son but refused to accept and
honor Him as such. They wanted Him dead not because He was evil and ungodly but
because He threatened their evil and ungodly control of the Temple and of the
entire Jewish religious system.
and still today many people refuse to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord
not because of lack of evidence but because they refuse to believe the evidence.
They do not believe simply because they do not want to believe.
Rev. Wayne Dobratz
Ministry Health Sermon
Copyright 2002 Ministry Health, LLC
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:31 PM