Before reading this brief study, please read,
- The Meaning of Eschatology
- Flashback to the Prophecy of Jesus Christ
- The Parable of the Vineyard – Part 1
HEROD – AN EDOMITE
The king of the Jews was Herod, an Edomite. He was a descendant of Moab, and not a descendant of David. He sat on the throne and ruled the Jews under the government of the Roman Empire. The house of David had fallen into great disorder, disrepair and ruins; and great darkness filled the land of Israel.
RENEW OUR MINDS
God was looking for a nation to bring forth fruit, He still is even today. How many of us have received the Spirit since we believed? God gives us His Spirit so that by the Spirit we can mortify the deeds of the body and can overcome the flesh.
We have the Word, the Holy Scriptures, and His Spirit so that by the Word we can renew our minds. We can mortify or discipline ourselves to live righteous and godly lives through the power of the Spirit indwelling us and become a light in our family, neighborhood, and the market place and become instruments of His righteous judgments in the earth.
BE THE JUDGE
Isaiah 5:3 — So now, residents of Jerusalem, people of Judah, you decide between me and my vineyard!
God is King and He deals with nations, and He has a standard. He cannot discipline, judge or govern the nations without His light, without His revelation and without His will being made known to men. We see Jesus do this very thing He asks the chief priests and rulers to judge themselves.
Isaiah 5:4 — What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?
God expected Israel to bring forth godliness and life; however, they produced wickedness, rebellion, and religion.
Isaiah 5:5 — And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
The spirit of Christ spoke through Isaiah prophesying judgment that was going to fall on apostate Israel. The Lord said that He would remove its hedge which was the restraining influences, and would withdraw His protection and allow its enemies to destroy them.
This happened through Babylon and also later as Jesus prophesied through the Romans in 70 A.D. The Roman armies laid siege to Jerusalem, sacked the city, burned it to the ground and destroyed the temple.
This was to fulfill the prophecy that not one stone will be left upon another and those that are not killed by the sword are carried away into captivity.
Psalm 80:12 — Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
Isaiah 5:5-6 — And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
Jesus makes a summed up reference to laying it waste, thorns and briers and trampled ground in Luke 21:20 as the “desolation,”
Luke 21:20 — “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.
Jesus prophesied of the Kingdom being taken from religious Israel and given to a nation made up of people who are sons and daughters—saints, made up of believing Jews and Gentiles who will bring forth fruit.
The language of prophecy was present in the Old Testament times, long before Jesus showed up and came into Jerusalem on a donkey; even before He cleansed the temple and warned the chief priests and rulers of Israel.
SPEAKING OF HIMSELF
Matthew 21:37 — Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
Matthew 21:37 — But last of all he sent to them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
Jesus spoke of Himself and what the rulers of Israel would do to Him. He knew their hearts. When He raised Lazarus from the dead they determined in their hearts that He must be killed because of the importance and significance of that miracle. That was the final straw—the final miracle—which pushed the rulers over the edge and they were all set to kill him. They not only wanted to kill Jesus but also Lazarus.
The Greek word for respect is “entrepo,” which is, to reverence a person / to turn about.
Luke 20:13 — Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I will send my one dear son; It may be they will reverence My Son.’
The Son appears here, not in his character of Redeemer, but in that of a preacher—a messenger demanding the fruits of the vineyard. The expression, “It may be they will reverence My Son,” is designed to teach the almost unimaginable guilt of not reverentially welcoming God’s Son.
Matthew 21:38-41 — But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and get his inheritance!’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will utterly destroy those evil men! Then he will lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his portion at the harvest.”
This is exactly what the chief priests and the rulers of Israel did to Jesus. They threw Him out of the vineyard—out of the city and gave Him a gruesome death on a cross. Jesus then asked them what the owner of the vineyard will do to the tenants. He makes them judge themselves.
The fruitful nation—the church—are the saints prophesied by Daniel the prophet,
Daniel 7:18 — But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’
Daniel 7:22 — until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.
Daniel 7:27 — And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.’
THE WRETCHED END
The New American Standard Bible:
Matthew 21:41 — They said to Him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.”
How did Jesus interpret their judgment on themselves as a wretched end? This is what Jesus spoke of the last days and the end of old covenant Israel. They understood the parable which Jesus spoke and they also understood God’s expectation and judgment. They are echoing the prophecy of Moses in Deuteronomy 32,
Deuteronomy 32:20 — And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very perverse generation, children in whom is no faith.
The dispensationalist—futurism—postponement preachers believe religious Israel are still the chosen people. They believe the church must be raptured out of the world before God’s prophetic purpose for the nations will be fulfilled.
They believe they must rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and Jesus has to come amid a great tribulation and destroy the anti-Christ. Then, Jesus will establish the throne of David in the city of Jerusalem and restore an earthly Jewish kingdom to fulfill the prophets. They believe this in spite of the things Jesus said,
John 18:36 — Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”
In the third part of the Parable of the Vineyard, we will look at how the kingdom of God relates to the prophecy of Christ and it’s fulfillment.