Summary: “What more could have been done to my vineyard that I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?” Is. 5:4
Theme: Producing Fruits of the Kingdom
Text: Is. 5:1-7; Phil. 3:4-14; Matt. 21:33-46
Today is World Communion Sunday when believers all over the world celebrate the unity of the Church and their union with Christ. Jesus Christ commands believers to partake of the Holy Communion. It is a privilege as by its observance God’s grace enables believers partake of the fullness of Christ. It is a reminder that the blood of Christ was shed for the forgiveness of sin and that His body was broken for the healing of the body. A person who believes and experiences God’s forgiveness and healing honours and glorifies God by producing fruits of the Kingdom. God has placed at the disposal of every believer all that is needed to produce these desired fruits. God always makes provision to make sure His will is fulfilled. This truth is clearly revealed in Genesis when God created man on the sixth day. The first 5 days God spent in creating all that man would need to fulfil His will to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth”. (Gen. 1:28) If man had been created earlier he would have drowned or starved to death. God also made provision to enable believers produce the fruits of the Kingdom.
God is love and “is the same yesterday, today and forever”. (Heb. 13:8) In today’s parable a landowner plants a vineyard and does all that is necessary to ensure that the land bears fruit and yields a harvest. He even built a winepress to extract juice from the harvested grapes. The landowner built a watchtower and planted a hedge around the vineyard to guard against thieves and to protect his investment. The landowner, satisfied with his preparations, rents the vineyard to tenant farmers. All that they needed for an abundant harvest was to prepare the land and plant the vine.
The landowner in this parable is a reference to God, the vineyard to Israel, the tenants to the Jewish religious leaders, the landowner’s servants to the prophets, the son to Jesus Christ and the other tenants to the Gentiles. The Jewish religious leaders were unfaithful to God and refused to listen to the prophets who remained faithful to God and proclaimed the Word of God to Israel. They reminded the Israelites that the vineyard belonged to God who, as the owner, demanded a part of the yield. They withheld from God what was rightfully His and thereby denied themselves His blessings. Without the blessings of God the vineyard could only yield sour grapes. Unfortunately we seem to be repeating the same mistake today. We fail to see God as the owner of everything we have and refuse to give Him His just demands. Withholding from God what is rightfully His is to deny ourselves His blessings. God blesses obedience and empowers the obedient to bear the fruit of love, holiness, justice and righteousness in their lives. God cannot bless disobedience and the disobedient end up bearing the fruit of hate, injustice, oppression and idolatry.