Parable that was a Condemnation
Rev. William Ilnisky
Thursday, 07 June 2018 12:21
This is a parable whose meaning is crystal clear. The vineyard stands for the nation of Israel (Isaiah 5:1-7). The tenants are the rulers of Israel into whose hands the nation was entrusted. The messengers are the prophets who were disregarded, persecuted and killed. The son is Jesus himself. And the doom is that the place which Israel should have occupied is given to others.
The story itself is the kind of thing that could and did happen. In the time of Jesus, Judaea was in the throes of economic trouble and labor unrest. There were many absentee landlords who let out his lands in just such a way. The rent was seldom paid in money. It was either a fixed amount of produce, irrespective of the success or failure of the harvest, or it was a percentage of the crop, whatever it might be.
In its teaching, this is one of the richest of the parables. It tells us certain things about man.
(1st) It tells us of human privilege. The tenants did not make the vineyard. They entered into possession of it. The owner did not stand over them with a whip. He went away and left them to work in their own way.
(2nd) It tells us of human sin. The sin of the tenants was that they refused to give the owner his due and wished to control what it was his sole right to control. Sin consists in the failure to give God His proper place and in usurping the power which should be His.
(3rd) It tells of human responsibility. For long enough, the tenants were left to their own devices; but the day of reckoning came. Sooner or later a person is called upon to give account for that which was committed to his charge.
Life Application: Most of us have had jobs so that should help us to understand the workers. We have worked for someone else and had to understand what it means that the person/company we worked for must make a profit or we won't have a job. But do we plot to kill the owner/ boss? Of course not.
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, You do so much teaching in the Bible. I feel that one of the purposes of the Bible is to teach us how to live our daily life. I know that the purpose of the Bible is to develop our relationship with You. But life is so complicated. I am so thankful for the Bible and my daily reading which teaches me so much. As I read, I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me to understand what I am reading and how to apply it to my daily need. Thank You, my Father, Amen!