The Vineyard is left to others.

In this Article we shall explore something that has been developing for quite a long while, so here it is.  We have this interesting Parable found in Matthew 21:33-45 “Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:  And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.  And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.  Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.  But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.  But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.  And they caught him, and cast [him] out of the vineyard, and slew [him].  When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?  They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out [his] vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.  And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.”

Let us quote FW Farrar from his “Life and Works of St Paul,” page 32; “It is yet another instance of the same method when he points to the two wives of Abraham as types of the Jewish and the Christian Covenant, and in the struggles and jealousies of the two, ending in the rejection of Agar, sees allegorically foreshadowed the triumph of the new covenant over the old.  In this allegory, by marvellous interchange, the physical descendants of Sarah become, in a spiritual point of view, the descendants of Agar, and those who were Agar’s children become Sarah’s true spiritual offspring.  The inhabitants of the Jerusalem that now is, though descended from Sarah and Abraham, are foreshadowed for rejection under the type of the offspring of Ishmael; and the true children of Abraham and Sarah are those alone who are so spiritually, but of whom the vast majority were not of the chosen seed.  And this proof of this – if proof be in any case the right word for what perhaps St Paul himself may only regard as allegoric confirmation- is found in Isaiah liv.1 (54:1), where the prophet addressing the New Jerusalem which is to rise out of the ashes of her Babylonian ruin, calls to her as to a barren woman and bids her to rejoice as having many more children than she that had a husband.  The Jews become metamorphosed into the descendants of Agar, the Gentiles into the seed of Abraham and heirs of the promise.”  (See Rom 9:33, Isa 8:14, Isa 28:16, Luke 2:34)

If we add to this mix Hosea 1:9-10 “Then said [God], Call his name Loammi: for ye [are] not my people, and I will not be your [God]. Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.”  Hosea 2:23 “And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to [them which were] not my people, Thou [art] my people; and they shall say, [Thou art] my God.”

Add this concept in Romans 11:13-25 where St Paul uses the concept of an Olive Tree, this tree has some useless non fruit bearing branches so these are then removed.  Now the husbandman wants a bushy fruitful tree and not a sparse straggly thing with a couple of branches, so he goes off to a wild olive tree, and prunes off some wonderful vibrant fruitful branches, he brings these back and grafts them into the original olive tree, thus depicting the removal of those called and chosen ones who prove to be unworthy, and the grafting in of un-chosen but and are, fruitful, hence are worthy Gentiles chosen by their fruitfulness. Matthew 7:20 “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Or consider Matt 21:28-31; where it is the doing that is way more critical than the speaking, “Actions speak louder than words.”  James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

Israel rejected God; so God ended up divorcing Israel and then later Judah, see Hosea 4:6, Jer 3:8, etc.  In the Vineyard Parable, Judah was about to take their Messiah, and our Messiah, God’s only Son, drag him out of the Vineyard (Jerusalem) and slay him without the gates at Calvary.  If that is not adding insult to injury, total rejection of God, then it cannot get much worse than this evil deed.

Dear reader; are you, or am I by our lifestyle, sinful habits, rejection of God by intent or plain inaction, becoming unfruitful branches (See John 15:1-14).  Only fruitful branches are saved; just ask the foolish Bridesmaids, they were locked out of the Kingdom. Choose Life, Choose Jesus.  Remember “Going to Church no more makes you a Christian than going to McDonalds makes you a Hamburger.”