The Tenant Farmers…Vineyard Parables pt 7

And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.  And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.  And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.  And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.  And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.  Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.  But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.’ And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.  What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.  And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? (Mark 12:1-11)

Jesus again drew from the parable of the Vineyard, yet modifying it,when he told it in Jerusalem during his last Passover before his death.

Once again the emphasis is partly on preparation;planting the Vineyard,set a hedge of protection around it, and digging(into solid rock) a place for the winepress, and a channel to allow wine to flow. A tower is built to allow watchmen to over see the Vineyard, shepherds and prophets) all with a view towards the production of sweet, useful fruit.

God has so ordained the circumstances of life,to incline us to come to a point in life wherein we would … repent, turn in faith to Messiah, learn to receive the Love of God and to give the Love of God. All of the details of my own life, (in retrospect) have been ordered towards just such a crisis. I was to hear and receive the gospel, turn away from Self and all of my idols, and become a believer in God, living by faith in the Son of God…

This was why I was born in Minnesota in the late 1950s and have lived in Iowa , where there was a church on every corner, and had parents who were earnest and sincere Catholics(at least they taught me of God, heaven and hell) and was taught early the Lord’s prayer, the Apostles Creed, and the Ten Commandments, and stories of Jesus. Furthermore I came of Age at the end of a real revival, something called the Charismatic renewal, in which countless millions were coming into the reality of the New Birth and the Holy Spirit.

All of this was designed to incline me to come to repentance and faith in Messiah, i.e. fruit.

But suddenly Jesus’ emphasis is focused on the management of the Vineyard. The Master of the Vineyard makes all of these preparations, only to lease out the Vineyard to tenant farmers, with the agreement that HE would receive the fruit as his share of the rent.The Master himself went on a long trip, but in his stead He sends his agents to collect the rents.

But the first of the agents,was captured by the tenants, and beaten ad sent away empty. The Tenants of the LORD’s Vineyard rejected the prophets who reminded them of God’s share and requirement of his people.

He sent other prophets, whom they stoned, wounded and drove away. (Notice that the treatment get progressively worse ?). They lash out all the harder, hurting the ones sent in the name of the Master of the Vineyard to collect the rent.

It got to the point where they actually killed one of the agents of the master. All he had done was remind them that they were but tenants and that they owed the master, and that HE wanted fruit for all of his efforts, but they wouldn’t hear it and so they killed Him! Others came later whom they hurt, killed and drove away.

What is this variation of the Vineyard parable teaching us? Among other things it is a revelation of the nature of unbelief. God has a right to expect fruit from all of us, HE has made the preparations, and the Vineyard is his , not ours! But when He sends his agents to remind us of our duty, too often we have mocked them, driven them away, and done whatever we could to silence their voice.

In this way, this generation of sinners seeks to “kill” Christian witness. Political correctness is a way to shut them up, so also are vilification laws, and “hate crimes laws”. One day these things will lead directly to the killing of Christian witnesses in the west.They have stripped away any public reminders, such as ten commandments displays or crib sets at Christmas, and remade our formerly Judeo Christian environment in an attempt to silence the voice.

This is especially true of renegade and backslidden religious leaders. They go from grateful tenants on rented land, realizing the owner’s claims upon their work, to almost feeling like the Vineyard is their own, to do with as they see fit. They grow to hate anyone who would ever tell them otherwise.

Finally in the Parable we see the tenants entertaining an utterly ridiculous idea, you could say it is a “Vain Imagination” and a “Knowledge which exalts itself against the knowledge of God’.

The owner proposes to send his own Son, not a mere agent, this time. He predicts that they will listen to Him. (And ultimately we will all be compelled to).

The Vain Imagination goes like this, “This is the heir, If we Kill Him, the Vineyard will be ours”. If we just do away with Jesus we can live our own lives, bear our own fruit and be happy and whole without God.

IT sounds good, but will it work? Can they silence that voice once and for all, and attain autonomy over the Vineyard? Will it then be theirs to do with as they want? Can they truly ‘cast the Son’ out of the Vineyard?

This is the psychology of unbelief and of general human resistance to God, and his claims on each of our lives. Somehow people sense that Jesus is the true “Heir” of all things, thus to eliminate his voice, his agents, to silence and quench the witnesses of Jesus, and to smother out the reminder of his Father’s claims on each life, in their minds they think (vainly) this would bring total freedom and human autonomy.

They really did Kill Him once, and of they could, they would do it again in this day. The closest thing to killing the Son, would be to kill the seed of the woman, ‘all of this who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus’ as the Revelation ,chapter 12 warns us.

In spite of the vain Imagination, really what would anyone think the true LORD of the Vineyard is going to do to these rebels?

At the end of this telling of the Vineyard parable, Jesus quotes a line from the 118th Psalm, a psalm which the children of Israel had been singing all of that week in conjunction with the Pilgrim feast they had been keeping;

And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 

 

 

 

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8 Responses to The Tenant Farmers…Vineyard Parables pt 7

  1. Kim Sega says:

    How wonderful that HE is coming soon to take us to the Fathers House where we will be forever with HIM..

  2. midrashcreed says:

    Nice to see you Bill leaving all the ‘post truth’ political guff we’ve just endured well behind and returning to your core calling as a Bible Teacher. Hope you enjoyed your visit to England.

    • Jeanne T. says:

      midrashcreed,

      The history of America’s clergy has always been one of involvement in “politics” and speaking out on issues from the pulpit, going back to the very beginning of our history. Everything is spiritual, including politics. Read up on the Black Robed Regiment (so call by the British) during our war for independence, for example. The preachers were a special target of the British. They were very vocal from the pulpit in support of independence from Great Britain, and many wore officers’ uniforms underneath their robes. Many also kept pistols right next to their Bibles on their pulpits — e.g., the Presbyterian Rev. James Caldwell, “The Fighting Chaplain”, of “Give ’em Watts boys, give ’em Watts” fame. When Rev. Caldwell’s men ran low on wadding for their rifles, “Rev. James Caldwell raced on his horse back to town, entered the Presbyterian church, grabbing stacks of hymnals (of which most of the songs had been written by Isaac Watts). Returning to the front line, Caldwell handed out the hymnals shouting, “Here, give ‘em Watts, boys. Put Watts into them, boys!” (“http://www.leben.us/volume-4-volume-4-issue-2/254-james-caldwell-the-fighting-chaplain)

      “Who’s that riding in on horse-back?
      Parson Caldwell, boys; Hooray!
      Red-coats call him “Fighting Chaplain,”
      How they hate him! Well they may!”

      “Call this war by whatever name you may, only call it not an American Rebellion:
      it is nothing more or less than a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian Rebellion.” *

      We need a new Black Robed Regiment in America, men who are willing to speak out and take a stand, and call things as they see them.

      *(The Scots-Irish were 40 percent of the Revolutionary War army.)

      • Jeanne T. says:

        “What distinguishes James Caldwell from most other clergymen of his day is that, while he continued his ministerial activities during the struggle for freedom, he also performed other services demonstrating his devotion to that cause. Others, from many different walks of life, exhibited the same devotion and made sacrifices. But James Caldwell, as the minister who stood with the fighting men in the midst of battle, who rallied others to continue the war when the situation appeared hopeless, who unwittingly sacrificed the life of his wife when he considered it his duty to be with the troops, and who met his own death while performing a helpful service for someone else, stands out above many others.” (http://www.leben.us/volume-4-volume-4-issue-2/254-james-caldwell-the-fighting-chaplain)

  3. midrashcreed says:

    True in principle but it’s all a matter of ‘calling.’ I’ve seen too many anointed Bible preachers trip over as soon as they stray into the area of politics, They’d made the mistake of wondering beyond their calling.

    • Jeanne T. says:

      midrashcreed,

      None of us has the right to decide what should be another’s “calling”.

      • midrashcreed says:

        That’s the sort of think that leads people to accept the likes of Kenneth Copeland and other money preachers. Anyway, I won’t argue the point, I’ve got work to attend to. Also I don’t think this thread is the place for disputation..

    • Jeanne T. says:

      “That’s the sort of think that leads people to accept the likes of Kenneth Copeland and other money preachers.”

      For the record, I do not subscribe to the teachings of Kenneth Copeland and others like him.

      “I’ve seen too many anointed Bible preachers trip over as soon as they stray into the area of politics, They’d made the mistake of wondering beyond their calling.”

      Well, midrashcreed, undoubtedly there are those who also believe that the preachers I mentioned in my post above also “wandered” from their calling by their involvement in the politics of their time, and by using their pulpits to publicly support America’s War for Independence from Great Britain. And not only did they publicly support the war in their preaching, they used their pulpits to encourage their congregations to join this “rebellion” against a tyrannical earthly ruler.

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