Free to serve

Philippians 3:4b-14; Matthew 21:33-46

This parable in Matthew is a sister to the song of the vineyard in Isaiah 5. In both cases, God is the farmer who has provided generously so that the vineyard will be very fruitful. In Isaiah, the distress is over a lack of good fruit despite fine care of the vineyards. In Jesus’ story, the fruit is good, but the trusted stewards are corrupt and self-serving. They are terrible tenants who have come between the owner and the good produce he desires to harvest. When the owner sends his slaves to collect the produce, the tenants beat them and even kill one of them; when he sends his son, they kill him as well. Unlike the vineyard in Isaiah, however, this vineyard is not destroyed as a consequence; the healthy vineyard in Matthew is given over to new management.

 

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