The wicked vine grower
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Not too long ago I did a Bible presentation on what Jesus taught us about obeying. I did not want to follow the author's text letter for-letter and ventured into some research of my own. In my opinion I was richly rewarded for my efforts. In my study I considered obeying in the garden and the first family, obeying under the Law of Moses. I finally considered implications to modern people.
In considering why men and women choose to disobey God's Word. I examined the parable of the "wicked vine grower". When we study this parable in context we find. In Matthew 21:33 the parable is told. One may ask why did Jesus speak the parable? The clue is in Matthew 21:23. Jesus walked into the Temple and the chief priest Questioned Jesus authority to teach and speak on religious matters. We will notice that the high priest wanted to know by what authority Jesus taught and who gave him the authority. We will immediately note in the following paragraph that Jesus responded with a question. Jesus promised to answer their question if they got his question right.
Mat 21:25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?
These were men learned in the Law. They should have known what the prophets had to say about the arrival of Jesus. Their determination to claim ignorance on the question of John the Baptist prompted Jesus to speak the parables that followed. The reader should immediately begin to feel that Jesus is comparing himself and his teachings to the teachings of the Temple priest. Matthew 21:31 confirms the reader's initial reasoning. Jesus just told them that the tax collectors and harlots would enter the kingdom of heaven before them. My next question was why is Jesus being so hard on these religious leaders. Mat 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
The answer is in Mathew 21:32 The simple people saw the truth of John the Baptist's coming in the spirit of Elijah and the men of the Law refused to acknowledge his coming. These men were well versed in scripture and likely knew the truth, but refused to accept such. They also knew that Jesus was the promised messiah. They had a sinister plan. Their plan was to prevent him from taking the kingdom that was rightfully his. At the very moment they spoke with Jesus they were seeking a way to put him to death. .
In Matthew 21:33 Jesus uses a parable to tell us and them what they are planning. Let us consider some scriptures that should confirm this. David Lamented Psa 80:9 Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
Psa 80:10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
Psa 80:11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.
Psa 80:12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? The words that Jesus spoke in parable had been before the eyes of the law keepers for years. If you still do not see the connection consider Isaiah 5:1.
Several TV preachers spend huge amounts of time showing how and why Israel will be a nation again. According to the parable, if Israel is to be saved It must come by salvation just as Jesus taught, hear the gospel, confess Jesus as savior, repent of sin, be baptized for remission of sin, and continue in his word. There is no other salvation. Some will exclaim, I was baptized into said church, or I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit! Those are all man made solutions to salvation and they are worthless according to the words of Jesus. My question is do you want to rely on what pastor whoever dreamed up to clean your pocket, or do you want to rely on the savior who proved his claim through death and resurrection? For those who seek to enter the kingdom by way of some imagined reestablished Nation of Israel, well according to the Bible they have been had, hoodwinked and bamboozled, and will suffer with all other non believers.