Since the moment you surrendered your life to Christ, how has He shaped your heart to become more like His? Is there any area of your life where you have resisted His fingerprints? After describing the landowner as generous in His Parable of the Wicked Tenants, Jesus transitioned to the second scene and its subsequent characteristic of the God of the universe.
The Landowner is patient: “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him” (see Matthew 21:35-39).
At harvest time, the tenants seized the landowner’s servants, including his son. Absentee landowners were often harsh on tenants, sometimes hiring assassins who would enforce the landowner’s rule. In Jesus’ parable, the roles were reversed. The tenants acted harshly to the generous landowner, presuming too much on their inheritance. This is how the Jewish leaders had responded to Jesus and, in essence, to God. They had taken the patience of the Landowner for granted.
The servants in the parable referred to the Old Testament prophets who were rejected and killed (see 1 Kings 18:4; Jeremiah 20:1-2). The son tossed outside the vineyard wall and killed by the tenants was an unmistakable reference to Jesus (cf. Matthew 11:27) whom the religious leaders later crucified outside the city gate (see Hebrews 13:12). The same religious leaders would have been amazed and infuriated with the patience of the landowner in Jesus’ story. However, the Apostle Peter taught that God is patient because He wants all to come to repentance: “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
How are you responding to the patience of the Landowner? Are you taking it for granted, finding that your heart remains untransformed while you white-knuckle control of your own life? Are you killing the advancement of the Son in you? Read a chapter a day in the New Testament in order to read it completely during the next year. Each day, ask God, “What do you want me to know, do, or change?” He will crystalize your focus on Christ.
Episode 256: Parable of the Wicked Tenants from mitchkrusetv on Vimeo.