[Jesus] went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.”
A History of Rejection
In this short story, Jesus is summarizing over a thousand years of Israel’s history. God gave Israel his word and his promises. But instead of learning and sharing God’s message with the world, Israel rejected God and his representatives.
You see, hostility toward God and the rejection of his word is not a new problem. It has been going on since the first people God created disobeyed him in the Garden of Eden. What is surprising is that God has not given up on his people. Not only did God continue to send prophets and teachers to his people, but he also sent his very own son, Jesus Christ. And although Jesus was rejected to the point of death, God used their failure to provide forgiveness to the world through the cross.
Don’t be startled when you see the world walk away from the truth. That’s to be expected. But let your heart continue to be renewed by God’s long-suffering and never-ending faithfulness and love.
Lord Jesus, I can get so depressed when I see so many leave the faith. Help me to see and believe in your faithfulness. Amen.