Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Cruel Vine Dressers

This is a book first posted on Grace Connection, the Magazine. There is no printed edition. All 30 chapters will appear on the Wheel in the following weeks.


Matthew 21:33-41 (Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-16)

This parable was told after Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, during the last week of his life on earth. He had wanted to bring the gospel of salvation to his beloved people during the years of his ministry, but they had not responded. Later the week, he lambasted the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy. While they were building tombs for the prophets and decorating them, they were bent on destroying him, the Messiah, the one greater than all the prophets. Finally in exasperation and frustration he lamented the fate of his beloved people and city in words recorded in Matthew 23:37-38. "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate."

The parable of the Cruel Vinedressers is reminiscent of the parable of the vineyard in Isaiah 5:1-7. "My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it." Jesus' parable likewise emphasizes the great care shown to the vineyard. The master placed a "fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower." The master had set aside a fertile hill for it, cleared it of stones, built a watchtower and a wine press, and planted choice vines.

Read more at Adventist Perspective.


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