In place of those fruits, the harvest of humanity is often idolatry, immorality, impurity, indecency, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness – all those things God identifies as works of the flesh.
“Again, he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them.”
As Adam and Eve were once tempted by the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (GENESIS 2:17), so we are daily tempted by a whole cornucopia of false creators, providers, and saviors. The world’s own idea of success, the basest of human desires and secular cure-all philosophies all compete to treat The Word of God shamefully - perversely blocking the harvest God Himself has enabled us to be and sending the Seed of life in God’s Word away empty-handed.
In hostile lands, those who hate The Word of God are killing Christians for their beliefs and burning their Bibles, churches and homes. In our own land where we know freedom of speech and worship are God-given freedoms which were once guaranteed - there are places where it is politically correct to publish and teach even the most ungodly of beliefs - but where the posting of God’s Word is not legal - where God’s Own Word is even legally cast out.
“Then last of all he sent his son to them saying ‘They will respect my son.’ The owner of the vineyard – so loves the vineyard – the vineyard world that is New Testament Israel and that is you and me in the world in which we now live – that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world – as God clearly had every right and reason to do – but sent His beloved son in order that the world might be saved through Him.
And how is this beloved son received? “But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So, they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.”
Jesus ended His parable with a question for the crowd gathered around Him and for all people. “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?”
The people answered Jesus “He will destroy those wicked men miserably and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read the Scriptures. ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’?”“The stone which the builders rejected” and the vinedressers killed is Jesus Christ Whom they crucified. “The chief cornerstone”is The Church’s One Foundation - our Salvation.
Through that Perfect Sacrifice by God Himself as the vulnerable flesh and blood Christ God gave us our best and final chance for that bountiful harvest of life.
On Judgment Day, there is no place to stand other than in the Grace of God Who came to be murdered with the full force of all His enemies – and Who uses that Sacrifice as the only path to our forgiveness and reinstatement in the eternal relationship He created us in His Own Image to live now and eternally.
I remember visiting the Judean vineyard on the left. All that remained was a broken-down watchtower from which a vinedresser once guarded his abundant harvest and several scrubby little trees. The
ground itself has only the rotting remains of that once abundant vineyardcrop. I remember taking the picture on the right at the site of that
local vineyard with its abundant harvest. Two pictures to symbolize the harvest of God-given life – or not. The world has a vast supply of religions with new ones appearing
all the time, but Dr. James Kennedy was right when he said there always have been only two religions in the world. One he calls “I have tried” – a title which includes all those so-called religions
false prophets have created for themselves. The other he labels “The Cross” as he confesses “Without God’s Grace, I can only get myself about 3 feet from temporal life.” As the Last Judgment
approaches, the choices are only two: “I have tried” or “The Cross”.
THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS — OUR CRUCIFIED AND RISEN LORD AND
SAVIOUR — NOW AND ETERNALLY. AMEN.
Twentieth Sunday of The Trinity Season
October 7, 2018
Dr. Kurt Borows
Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Catawba Island, Port Clinton,