READ : Matthew 21:33-46
The shadow of the cross deepens. Increasingly the Man of Sorrows feels the weight of His mission. His grievous burden is magnified by the way His own people rejected Him. He loved them. But they were deaf to Him. So typically Jesus tells us about it in a story. Evil tenants not only refused to share the crop with their landlord, but they chased him off of his own property! The story’s application is to Jesus’ own people. But He is also warning us. What a rich vineyard is this world over which humanity has been placed! And how freely we may exercise our stewardship! And, though well He might, He does not treat us like slaves. We can receive or reject Him and His messengers as we will.
Our Father’s patience is unparalleled. Unfailingly through the centuries He has reached out to us. For the most part He was not heeded. And then! “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
God is patient, but He is also righteous. Like the faithless tenants, we too will be judged. Have we been carrying out our responsibilities? We too may have our privileged positions as God’s caretakers taken from us. We condemn the husbandmen of the parable. But are we any more trustworthy?
Dear God, we confess our greed and self-centeredness. Forgive us. Fill us with Your love. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.