photo 38Luke 20 verse 13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’

Jesus is now in full confrontation with the religious authorities. He tells them a story designed to show what his authority was, what his status was and how he would one day be vindicated. He also builds into this story a serious warning to them about the consequences of their opposition to him.

This encounter takes place in the city of Jerusalem where the metaphor of Israel being God’s Vineyard would be well known. (See Isaiah 5 verses 1 – 13)

In this parable the people are represented as the Vineyard. God is the Owner of the vineyard and the religious leaders are the workers responsible to cultivate the vineyard for the Owner. There could hardly be a clearer depiction of what is unfolding in this story in regard to Jesus and his destiny.

In the first place the workers had rebelled against the Owner by rejecting or abusing the messengers he had sent to them. But now the Owner was about to send his son. Note the words “…I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.” Can there by anything more pointed than that? Where does Jesus get his authority from? Why, he is the son of the Owner. This is his status – the Owner’s son. What a shock this must have been to the Pharisees listening to Jesus. They were opposing the Owner’s son, referring to Himself. And in so doing they were about to do something even worse than their forbearers did to the prophets. They were about to kill Jesus. This is the clear implication of his words.

The Owner’s son stands in a different relationship to the prophets. The prophets were simply servants but he was the Son. They were rejecting the Lord in the same way Adam and Eve rejected God in the garden. They were usurping God’s right to rule.

It is worthwhile noting that in every church or religious organization where the Bible is marginalized and religious traditions supercede the Word of God, the same thing is happening. Certain teachers are usurping God’s right to rule His people through His word. In today’s world where persecution of Christians is rife this same hostility is being displayed.

So do not be surprised when you encounter resistance either to yourself as a Christian or to the message you carry. Keep in mind the words of our Lord in John 15 v 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

Stay strong in the Lord.