Expectations. We all have them. Even the Father. What are His expectations for those of us who believe?
Reading the Parable of the Tenants (Matthew 21, Mark 12, Luke 20) on a day we remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross makes Jesus’ words to the Jewish leaders here even more vivid. In just a few days I’ll be in Israel and I can’t help but think of the ramifications of Jesus’ words for the people the Messiah was sent for.
In Jesus’ parable, the landowner (the Father) sends several servants to collect the fruit of his vineyards from his tenants. Each servant (the Prophets) is rejected, some being beaten and others killed. Then the landowner sends his own son. The tenants then killed the son as well.
The phrasing in Jesus’ parable is interesting… “I will send my son, whom I love…” This is exactly what the Father said at Jesus’ baptism. “This is my Son, whom I love…”
The Messiah, promised to the Jews, was rejected by His own. Jesus concludes His parable with the words, “He will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” Then he explains, “Therefore I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”
The Gospel was for the Jews first, and then for the Gentiles (Romans 1:16-17). It’s humbling to read Jesus’ words and realize that we Gentile believers are the “other tenants.” It’s also humbling to realize that the Kingdom is given to us with a condition. It’s given that we would “produce fruit.”
Fruit is a big deal to the Father. “Bear much fruit. By this you will show that you’re My disciples.” By the standards of the Father’s desire, fruitfulness, how does my life measure up? How does our ministry measure up?
If we are not faithful tenants, the harvest will be entrusted to others. Father, find me faithful!
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