In Mark 12: 1-11 Jesus tells us a story, a parable, about a vineyard. Why a vineyard? At the time, vineyards were common. Most of the people were familiar with grapes and the process of planting and harvesting the crop. The toil of the plantings, trimming back the deadwood, adjusting the weight of the fruit, picking the produce, pressing the fruit and so much more. They understood all the work and effort that goes into the process before you ever see a hint of the harvest.
In this passage, the owner plants the vineyard. He toiled in the field and set out each plant. He protected it by fencing it in and building a watchtower. He dug a wine press and he provided everything that was required for the harvest. He left the vineyard in the capable hands of his own people. When the appropriate amount of time had passed, he sent his servant to collect the profits. The servant was beaten and returned to him empty handed. The owner sent another messenger and he was tarred and feathered and he returned empty handed. He sent another and they killed him. He sent another and another and another. Each was either beaten or killed and if they returned, it was always empty handed. Finally he sent his only son. His beloved son. He knew that the people would recognize his loved and cherished son. Surely they would treat him with respect. Just as before, they killed the son too.
In this story, are we the grapes or the errant farmhands? All throughout the Old Testament God provided messengers. Prophets and special envoys that spoke on His behalf. Sometimes they were beaten, sometimes they were kicked around, and sometimes they were killed. They were sent and many returned empty handed. God finally sent Jesus. His one and only son. The Son He loved and cherished. Surely He will be heard, and yet He too was killed. BUT...the story doesn't end there.
Jesus came back. He is Risen and now He sits next to our Father. He returns, and not empty handed, but with access to the entire harvest. The stone that was discarded, has now become the Foundation Stone, the Strong Watch Tower and the New Wine.
This parable is our story too. The errant farmhands couldn't see it. Read it for yourself. It is written all throughout the Scriptures. Read the messages from the Prophets. Read the messages about Jesus that are there for us to see and find. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The Beloved Son. He is our Savior and our Hope. God's perfect plan. Jesus is the Harvester and we are all the grapes, the harvest. Be a grape.
Mark 12:11 MSG
"Read it for yourselves in Scripture: That stone the masons threw out is now the cornerstone! This is God’s work; we rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!”