Summary: It's amazing to me that so many times the very people who were supposed to know the most about God didn't even recognize Him when He was standing right in front of them.
Murder In The Vineyard
Series: The Book of Mark Mark 12:1-12
Once again, I would like to bring your attention to the Gospel of Mark. We've been studying the life of Jesus during His time on the earth and how He came into direct confrontation with the religious establishment of His day which eventually led to His crucifixion. It's amazing to me that so many times the very people who were supposed to know the most about God didn't even recognize Him when He was standing right in front of them.
Tonight I want to speak on the subject, "Murder In The Vineyard". Notice here in verse 1, Jesus is speaking to the religious establishment in response to the challenge of His authority:
Now as you look at this story, it’s the story of a murder in the vineyard and basically what Jesus is saying is that if you receive God's blessings but reject God's Son you will receive God's judgment. So let’s begin by looking at…
I.THE GOODNESS OF GOD
This parable that Jesus told is built around three truths. The first truth is what I like to call “THE GOODNESS OF GOD". Notice how the Bible describes this particular occasion.
God is represented by this vineyard owner who builds a hedge around His vineyard and He puts a wine press in that vineyard, making the vineyard a fruitful one.
Not only does He allow these farmers to come in and reap the benefits of His vineyard, but He also provides everything they need in order to bear fruit and to have a good crop. This is a picture of the goodness of God.
In Romans 11:22 the Bibles tells us to, “consider the goodness and severity of God”. Church, you don’t have to look very far to see the goodness of God. All throughout Scripture we see God blessing His people, blessing His children. God desires to bless the world. God desires to give to the world. We serve a good God.
Now in this particular story, Jesus was relating the goodness of God to Israel. Israel is represented by the vineyard; they were to bear fruit unto God. They were to be a witness for God.
We know from reading Scripture that God has been good to the nation of Israel; He has blessed the nation of Israel. In Psalm 73 we read, “Truly God is good to Israel.” When God called Abraham He spoke of Israel when He said, “I will make you a great nation".
When Israel got themselves into bondage and idolatry, God delivered them from Egypt. He brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey. God made them the strongest nation on the face of the earth. So God has indeed been good to Israel. But you know, not only has God been good to the nation of Israel…He’s been good to you and me as well.
The Bible says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”. In today’s world it may seem like at times we are living in a nation that doesn’t belong to God, but God has indeed blessed America.
God has made us a nation of plenty among a world of need. America makes up only seven percent of the world's population, yet we have seventy percent of the world's wealth. So yes, God has blessed America and God has blessed each one of us individually and personally.
As you reflect on your life, can you honestly think of a time when you went hungry? Is there really a time when you went without clothes on your back? God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams.
If you think back twenty years ago, in the majority of cases in this room tonight, you can look at what you have today as opposed to what you had then and I guarantee you that you’ve been blessed. You have things today that you only dreamed about having then. The house that you live in, the possessions you have…God has been good to us, both financially and materially.
Just like God gave Israel this vineyard, God has given us a vineyard and He has met every single need in our life. Think about the children/grandchildren God's given you. Think about the spouse God's given you. Think about the job God's given you.
When it comes to the songs we sing in church, I’ve always heard it said that you can sing a lie just as easy as you can tell a lie. But there’s one song we can truly sing with a clear conscious…sing it with me, "God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He's so good to me." No matter what kind of problems you may be facing in your life, it really doesn’t hold a candle next to the good things that God has blessed you with.