Matthew 21: 33-41, 43 (The Parable of the Tenants)
“Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”....“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
So many times we think that what we have on earth is ours. This is a wretched thought!
The passage of Matthew 21 describes the owner of a vineyard sending his son to collect the fruits, but the tenants killed him out of greed, delusion, and selfishness that made them believe they could forever keep what was temporarily entrusted to them. As a result, God, the owner, killed them all.
This is the same with us. Likewise, we sin every day, envying and lusting over things that are all God’s. However, we have to understand that all creation is God’s. My life included. The luxuries, the relationships, my family, my home, my wage, my spouse, everything is God’s. The moment we put ourselves as the center of ownership, we are deluding ourselves and putting risk to our own lives.
God wants us to see the truth and be sane. He wants us to be free from the bondage of sin that has tricked us into thinking we are above God. This was a stumbling block for numerous biblical figures such as Adam+Eve, Saul, and Pharaoh. To be able to discern this truth we need to put God center of our daily lives. In our relationships, in our work, possessions, and everything, God needs to be the center of attention. Once God becomes less important in our lives, that’s when we will again fool ourselves to believe that this vineyard is ours from the beginning.
Lord, I pray that you give us discerning eyes and humbleness so that we can declare that all we have and see is yours. And may that move us to treat the things in our lives with more love and care. Amen.