Who Is Over It All? {Luke 20}

3:56 AM

By Becky Bramlett Austin 

The Parable of the Vineyard is a convicting and powerful story that should make anyone stop and reflect upon life and the vast Universe and think ""Who Is Over It All?"

In this story, there is a vineyard.  The owner of the vineyard is away and has rented it to some tenants.  The owner is symbolic of God and the tenants were the religious leaders.  It was common in that day for landowners to rent out their land.  In exchange for use of the already fertile and usable property, the tenants would share the fruits of the harvest with the owner.  Sounds like a Win- Win situation to me.  But in this story, the tenants decide that they don't want to acknowledge the owner, and they selfishly want to keep the profits all for themselves. 

Sounds like they forgot that without the resources of the vineyard, they would have nothing.
The next part of the story shows the tremendous grace and patience that God has shown to his people. In this story, the landowner sends servant after servant to represent him to the tenants.  Each time they are beaten and rejected. If you read through the Bible, you see that God has also sent prophet after prophet to a rebellious people, trying to reason with them and give them opportunity to do the right thing. Finally, instead of swooping in with the law as he rightfully could have done at any time, he decides to send his own son thinking that seeing the son should make a difference.  What a picture of his grace and patience with us. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” —Romans 5:8.   

Did it make a difference that He sent his beloved Son?  Sadly, it did not.  The tenants recognized the Son but they viewed him as a barrier to what they wanted. When Jesus told this story, the religious leaders recognized that the story was about them.  Did it convict and humble them? No! Instead, they plotted to get Jesus out of the way. By killing Jesus, they thought they preserved the glory of their self righteous positions which did not acknowledge God. But, they forgot one important thing...."Who is over it all?"

The story concludes with the owner doing what he could have done from the beginning.  Jesus specifically asks. " What will the owner of the vineyard do to them?  He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others."  Don't you marvel at their response... "Surely not!"  How many want to use what God offers for self gain and will not allow conviction to prick their hearts no matter how patiently He waits for them to repent.  How many know they are wrong but they still don't acknowledge that God has the right to judge them and hold them accountable. How many will reject the beloved son sent to die for them? Eventually there will be a day of reckoning when God will say " Enough". 

For the religious leaders, their days were numbered. Jesus was very specific in letting them know their fate. “But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him." The religious leaders felt secure in their own self righteousness which is why they stumbled over, so to speak, the bigger plan of Jesus being the security they truly needed. They didn't acknowledge the authority of God and therefore they also didn't acknowledge his son. So sad, that they didn't see the love, the patience that God showed them. So sad that they didn't work in collaboration with God to produce spiritual fruit.  So sad that they didn't humble themselves before the authority of his Son. It could have been a Win- Win situation. God wanted it to be a beautiful cooperative relationship and it saddened Him when He was rejected. But, oh, how marvelous for the rest of the world and for you and I to be given that same wonderful opportunity. 

God has provided us a vineyard to work in, in beautiful collaboration with Him.  All we have to do is acknowledge " Who is over it all! ". He wants us to produce fruit.  He wants to provide us the resources to do so, and He wants to bless us.  In turn, we are to give Him his proper place as Lord over our lives and glorify Him. Sounds like a Win- Win to me! 


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