Matthew 21:33-46 – God’s people refuse to return God His due. Confidence in one’s own faith will fail. This is another parable of the kingdom. It is an allegorized parable. The vineyard is Israel. The tenants are the religious leaders. The servants are the prophets. The son is Jesus. The murder was the cross. Jesus is saying that time after time God has sought to redeem his people through the prophets, but each effort was in vain. In desperation, He sent His Son whom they crucified. This is in accord with the psalmist who says the rejected stone became the cornerstone. The outcome of it is that the religious leaders of Israel will lose the kingdom, which will be given to those who produce the fruit of righteousness. Because of their rejection of Christ, the Jews lost, but the Gentiles gained the kingdom.
The owner has a right to receive fruit from the tenants. People owe something to God. Time after time God comes for His due until finally He makes the ultimate appeal in His Son, Jesus. Rebellious tenants kill the Son in hope of taking over the vineyard. Here can be seen the patience of God, trying repeatedly to get the tenants to respond; here can also be seen the greed of people.
What sort of tenants are we? It is our duty to be good stewards, faithful tenants, and good renters. We must continue to share this message of the kingdom with all that we meet, and with all that we know.
God’s sign is still out for all to read and see. It says “VINEYARD FOR RENT.” The terms for the vineyard are as generous as they can be.
In His marvelous love God has considered all of the difficulties renters can give Him and yet He allows us to rent this prime ground. How wicked we would be if we would ever spurn His love.
What a privilege it is to be a tenant in God’s vineyard. What an honor it is to bring Him the fruit of faith with joy. My the Lord so move us to be good tenants until that time in which we move out of that rented ground into a new home, one which has been purchased by the same Landlord we are renting form now – Jesus Christ the righteous one.
Collects for Proper 22 – Gracious God, You gave Your Son into the hands of sinful men, who killed Him. Forgive us when we reject Your unfailing love, and grant us the fullness of Your salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one god, now and forever.
Image: The Parable of the Vineyard copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things