1He then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. 2At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
6"He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
We are stewards, God is the owner. We are renters, if you will, and we have ruined the house (and ourselves) in so many ways. We are renters who refuse to pay the rent, and acknowledge the landlord. We are in rebellion against the one who owns it all. It is an ironic thing how Chrisitans are persecuted with great bitterness, and held to different standards than the criticizers and skeptics hold themselves. You don't have to look far to see this same message. Try http://www.secularism.org.uk/ and listen to the scorn of "secularists" and those who are left in the church. You hear it in many "bloggers" who think that God doesn't see them or do anything. There is a lot of evil out there- just sheer destruction of morals. You hear it in the debate about the National Day of Prayer in America. People don't want to hear that their is One landlord- one Lord. They want to say that the landlord doesn't matter. They want to go their own way. They want to say it is all a bunch of old, ancient stories, and they persecute the messengers. This is a very sad, sad parable. It is a reminder that we do not welcome prophets, and we did not welcome Jesus. It is a call to turn away from rebellion and listen to the voice of God speaking through the ones He sends to us.
Prayer: Lord, today, as I go to worship, give me ears to hear your voice. Give me grace to turn from myself to you.