Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you-Matthew 21:43
and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
These verses from Matthew’s Gospel are a parable, an allegory of Salvation history. God is the Vineyard Owner, the prophets are servants, and the Son is Jesus Christ. He would come in the name of the King and be rejected and killed. It was the practice in Jesus’ day that the land tenants would give a portion of their proceeds to the vineyard owner. This Parable shows the wickedness of the tenants who want all the good for themselves and refuse to acknowledge the generosity of the one who has given them the vineyard to tend in the first place. What are the consequences of their rejecting the Son and the Father — the utter destruction of their moral fiber, spiritual well-being, and any hope for true happiness?
It All Matters
How we behave matters in all areas of our life. We can’t compartmental compartmentalize our holiness. We can not hold the first and finest fruits for ourselves, forgetting the source of every good and perfect gift or blessing in our lives.
We can look to these tenants and wag our fingers at their horrid behavior, but if we are honest, there are still three fingers pointing back out at us and the many ways we, too, reject Jesus. Or how horribly we have treated people, God sent us to be a compass leading us closer to him. Our agendas can blind us. Our pride can overwhelm the gifts of the Spirit, and we can lose our way. We can reject the very Cornerstone who came to lay a foundation of faith in our life, to give us a harvest nothing in this world can match. We can reject the gifts bestowed by God that provide us with direction and the proper judgment, maybe caught up in the who or what is going on around us, losing sight of the One voice we need to heed and obey.
Our Return to the Lord
We are all familiar with the Church’s request to tithe in the form of our time, talent, or treasure. In a real sense, we are giving back to the Landowner a portion of all He has given us. Our time is a gift as part of the life God bestows; our talents are woven into the fabric of our beings from our conception. Our treasure is also of His providence and grace, yet we hold all to all these with a tighter grip than we cling to our faith.
We can never outdo God’s generosity; all we give comes back to us ten-fold in ways we may never discern this side of heaven. Do not hoard your life, time, dreams, or plans; open your heart to receive the King, His Son, and all He sends into your life. Learn from the wicked tenants; be the ones to whom the vineyard is entrusted.
Lord, show me how to make a return to you for all the blessings you lavish upon me. If I struggle to see your goodness, place a spirit of gratefulness and renewed hope within me.
Call to Action
List some ways you can give back to the Lord for all the good gifts He has given you.
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