“What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.’ Mark 12:9 (NIV)
Does Jesus paint an accurate picture of the scene of this world? In this parable of the vineyard is it easy to see who the characters are? Could we say without effort or much thought that the Owner is the Creator Himself? Can we refer to the servants as the prophets, preachers, and servants of the Lord? Does it take a lot of imagination to say that the Son of the Owner is the Son of God, His beloved Jesus Christ? But what about the tenants? Who are they?
How many people today are willing to fill those shoes? Would we like to incriminate ourselves and say that we are the ones renting the vineyard? Or is it much easier to say that those who are turning out God´s servants and His own Son are from a different religion or denomination? Should we say that they are those who do not believe in God? Could we remove ourselves even further from the picture by saying that all the characters in the story lived before Jesus even told it? Wouldn´t it be convenient to save it away safely in the past? Or could we pull an even fancier trick and say that Jesus merely spoke figuratively and that none of these people ever existed? Was Jesus only hinting towards things that could or might happen? Could we dissimilate the relevance and importance enough to take away any blame on our part? Could we find a way to sleep well at night and never have to consider where we stand?
The story describes well how the Owner prepared and is providing a nice suitable situation for the laborers. We can easily understand the debt that the tenants owe to the Owner for all that has been provided for them. We can see too how patient He is with them. He sends many servants in an attempt to show them what their obligations are. He gives plenty of opportunity to pay back what they owe. We can sense the importance that the Owner places upon this contract in that He sends His only Son. Jesus tells us that the Owner hopes that they will listen to His Son. But do they? Do those in the story give proper importance to the wishes of the Owner of the vineyard? Do they listen to the servants? Do they respect and listen to the Owner´s Son?
What about us? Are we giving what we should? Are we placing the proper amount of importance on what is happening? Are we listening to His servants? Do we even recognize that they are sent from the Owner of our vineyard? If we have paid, how much? Is it the full amount required? Are we being consistent in our payments? What is the price? If we are not listening close enough to the servants, are we listening to the Son? Have we given Him enough respect? Are we turning Him away empty-handed too?
The choice is ours. Each one may listen to the story and take what we want from it. We can remove ourselves from guilt and brush it off. Or we can jump right in. Would we like to know that we are paying up our end of the bargain? Would we like to consult those sent to remind us of what we owe? Should we take a moment to look at how we are treating the Son of the Owner of our Field?
Dear Jesus, we know You were talking of our situation here on earth. Thank You for bringing light to us. But please help us not to harbor our hearts of stone. Do not let us continue to refuse You what You deserve. Show us our debt. Open our ears to Your instruction. Let us repent as we realize that we form part of the story of this world. Make us into good tenants we pray. Let us give unto You and unto Your Father all that You deserve and more!