Summary: This is a sermon of God's immeasurable patience with human's incalculable perversion; God's provision of redemption and believer's inheritance; and judgement for unbelievers.
"“Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let jus kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?’ They said to Him, He will destroy those wicked men miserable, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.’ Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.”
It is interesting to note that only three of Jesus’ parables are included in all three of the Synoptic Gospels – Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This one, the Parable of the Sower, and the Parable of the Mustard Seed. All three are agriculturally focused! It is this Parable of the Two Kinds of Farmers that had captured the five most fundamental and basic truths of the Gospel message! Here is the powerful content of the Gospel!
A. THE INCREDIBLE PATIENCE OF GOD. “…he sent his servants…again he sent other servants…then last of all he sent his son…”
Here is the patient love of God extended to the sinful people of this world. Here are sendings that communicate a patience that does not thunder judgment at every provocation, but takes its time. Here is the loving heart of a patient Almighty God, Owner of all, but having entrusted the care of His Kingdom work to human beings so very capable of manipulative selfishness and merciless hatred. Yet, His infinite patience is incredible…beyond our comprehension. But recall how it is stated elsewhere:
“God, who at various times, and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…” (Hebrews 1:1)
Never in the entire history of humanity has there been a time when the loving, patient heart of God has not been actively reaching out to win the hearts of people…sinful hearts, hearts bowed down in self-centeredness. Rejected? Yes! Despised? Yes! Debated? Decided against? Yes! Laughed at? Yes! Ridiculed? Yes! Militated against?
Yes! But incredibly…yes, incredibly, He has never stopped reaching out to the hearts of people, wicked they may be! Incredible!
B. THE INCALCULABLE PERVERSION OF HUMANITY. “…the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another…and (to the next ones sent) they did likewise…and (to the owner’s son) they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let just kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.”
Listen to the Scriptural description of those who came, who lived, who preached, who loved, who cared:
“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets; who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.” (Hebrews 11:32-38)