Our scripture this week is Matthew 21:33-46.
“Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 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. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
Jesus explains to those listening how important it is that they believe that God sent Him. Notice He doesn’t argue how important He is, the glory all goes to God. He tells them “the Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes” (v. 42).
Jesus wants everyone to know the love God has for them, even the church leaders who oppose Him. I think Jesus hurt for them because they were missing the truth of God He brought to all of us. Why would He try so hard to reach them if He didn’t think they too could be saved?
We face the same problems today. We oppose each other on issues of this world – important issues yes, but most often worldly issues – and fail to know and share God’s love while we contend with each other. We must remember that God is in control, not us, and include the Lord in all our dealings with each other.
Wise and wonderful God, we are often our own worst enemies, fanning the flames of discord and failing to hear the needs of our fellow creatures. Help us to be more patient with each other and not allow the words and actions of others to destroy the peace we know in You. Amen.