At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard.
It was common in Jesus’ day for one person to own land farmed by another. This is still true today. Understandably, at harvest time, a payment for the use of the land is expected. But in Jesus’ story, the tenants refused to pay, and they violently attacked the landlord’s representatives—even killing his own son.
Jesus told this story as a warning for his opponents among the religious leaders. Just as past generations had ignored and mistreated God’s Word through the prophets, the religious leaders of his day were rejecting God’s own Son.
Jesus’ words are intended to draw our attention to the harvest day too. The Bible makes clear that what we have does not belong to us; we are stewards of all that God has made us to be and given us to use. Though we may not literally beat and kill prophetic figures, we too may tend to live as if God were not present with us each day. Jesus warns that eventually our harvest time will come, either through death or at Christ’s return. Then we will have to give an account of our relationship with him as stewards of his gifts.
Our lives are not our own; we belong to God, and we are called to live for God. What are you doing to deepen your relationship with the Son so that you are prepared at harvest time?
Lord, we often like to live in the here and now, without thinking about the harvest. But someday we will have to account for our lives. Prepare us now through Jesus, your Son. Amen.
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