Unlimited: The Tenants of the Vineyard
Feb 26, 2021 1413
Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed.Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully.He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So, they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard (Mark 12:1–8, NIV).
The religious authorities in Jerusalem challenged Jesus directly on the issue of his authority.
Jesus didn’t tell directly them on what authority he did what he did. Instead, he told them a parable. And it’s one of the saddest, most tragic parables that Jesus ever told.
In this parable, the man who planted a vineyard and built a wall around it is God. The tenant farmers who he asked to look after the vineyard represent the people of Israel, to whom he had entrusted his blessings. But when God wanted to have some of the fruit that was rightfully his, they wouldn’t give it to him. Remember how the day before Jesus had gone to find fruit on the fig tree but found none? It’s really the same story.
The servants whom the owner of the vineyard sent to collect some fruit were the prophets. God continued to send them, although they were ridiculed, rejected, and even killed, one after another.
Eventually the man sent his beloved son, but in the tragic climax of this story, they also killed the son.
As you hear this parable, your natural reaction might be to think, “I could never do what those tenants did to the Son!”
And that’s probably what Jesus’ hearers thought as well. Yet a few days later they would call for his blood.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Find a quiet place today and reflect on where you are at in your relationship with Jesus. Is there a part of you that you are holding back from him?