I want to share with you a story of a farmer. This farmer had a great piece of land, perfect for a vineyard. So, he planted the vineyard and put hedges around it for protection. Throughout the farm he put things that would help in the process of collecting the grapes, the juice and even being able to watch out for predators or intruders. It was all set.
He rented out the land to some farmers and went away for a time. But at harvest time, he sent in men to collect what was rightfully his. But the tenants of the land seized the man and beat him, then sent him away with nothing.
The farmer sent yet another but the renters of the land threw stones at him, injuring him in the head, and he too went away with nothing.
The farmer sent yet another to collect and the renters killed him. This continued, more and more men were sent and those that were hired to work the land would either beat the men that were sent or kill them.
So, the farmer decided he would send his only son that he loved very much to collect what was rightfully his. As the news traveled that the son of the farmer was coming, the hired men got together and plotted.
“He’s the son so he will inherit all of this land and the vineyards. Let’s kill him and take it for ourselves.”
And they did just that. They took him, killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What should the farmer do? If you were the farmer, what would be the right course of action? Should justice not be sought? Shouldn’t the wrongs be made right? Shouldn’t these men be punished for their actions, murder and betrayal?
“What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.” (Mark 12:9-12)
In Mark 12, Jesus tells the parable of the wicked farmers. As we read this story, we can see the comparisons. God is the land owner, the farmer. The vineyard and fruitful land is the nation of Israel. The men that were hired to tend to the vineyard are the religious leaders of Israel. The men sent to collect what was due are the prophets and priests. The son of the farmer is none other than Jesus Christ. Do you see? Jesus was plainly telling them what was happening and what would happen in the future.
These men were to do the work of God and lead people to Him. But they wanted the glory for themselves. They even beat and killed prophets that God had sent, men like Stephen and John the Baptist. And then of course, there is Jesus. God sent His only Son into the world and what did the Jews do to Him? Just as the story foretold, they would beat him and kill him, casting Him out of their lives. And then, the wrath would come. Their actions, their sins against God could not go unpunished. They must pay for what they have done, how they misused the land and took for themselves. Justice will be served. The wrath of God is coming soon. His righteous judgements on the earth will be poured out on those that have rejected Him. Who will be the ones that will receive this punishment?
We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We have earned death because of our sins. Our sin is against God and must be paid for. Jesus gave His life to pay for our sins, but it must be accepted by believing Jesus is the Son of God and that He can forgive you of all of your sins and save you. Those that do not accept this payment for their sins will have to pay for them on their own. They will be the ones to receive the righteous judgment that will be poured out on the earth.
Today, I pray that you consider this story and examine your heart. Can you cast away the pride and accept what Jesus offers you? Or will you deny and discard Him as these men did? We have a choice. I pray you choose Jesus.