Towards the end of Jesus’ ministry, His rejection by the spiritual leadership of the nation was evident. To illustrate what was happening, Jesus spoke a parable of the “Wicked Vinedressers” (Matt 21:33; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19). The parable was about an owner of a vineyard who leased it to some vine-dressers. Their job was to work and tend the vineyard and give a portion of the fruit to the owner. When the fruitful season arrived, the owner sent representatives to receive his portion. However, the vine-dressers beat and mistreated the messengers. Then when the owner sent his own son, they killed him.
It may be easy to look at this parable and see how true it was for the time when it was given. It is a little more difficult to apply it to ourselves, or the season we live in. We do not usually think of ourselves as responsible for a vineyard or the need to be producing fruit. However, God also requires us to tend to our own vineyard, one that He has placed in our care, and that we are just as responsible for being fruitful as they were back then.
This is true on a personal level, but also true on a broader level. What is the season we are living in? What is God expecting us to understand about what He is doing in our day?
For almost 2,000 years, the Jewish people were living as a minority among the nations of the earth. However, it is no small event to have just celebrated seventy years of independence as a Jewish state in the land of Israel. During the long years of exile, it was difficult to see or believe how God could restore this small and often persecuted minority back to their land. Theologians felt a need to explain that God did not really mean all those promises He had made to the Jews. But God is indeed faithful, and what seemed impossible has become a reality in our days.
The fulfillment of the promises of restoration are part of a season of fruitfulness that God is showing us that we are to be a part of. We want to be faithful to the call to work in His vineyard and be able to bring him the fruits of His vineyard. We do not want to be like the wicked vine-dressers, but ones who are faithful to understand our responsibilities.
We thank you for standing with us during this season of restoration and being a part of what God is doing. May God continue to show us all how to join Him in what is on His heart.