Sunday 08 October 2017

Bible Book:

Matthew 21:33-46 Sunday 8 October 2017

Psalm: Psalm 80


The picture of a vineyard to describe God's people was wellknown and deep set in the minds of Jesus' listeners. Furthermore,they recognised that, within this image, all was not necessarilywell. Isaiah 5:1-7 sings of a vineyard which producedwild grapes, in other words, bloodshed and distress where thereshould have been justice and right relationships. Today's psalm isa cry for help from the people themselves as they recognise the badstate of the vineyard and call for God to come and restorethem.

Building on this theme Jesus tells a much more pointed parable.In the past, the failings within the vineyard nation were seen tohave been caused by neglect of God's ways. Jesus, however, speaksof a deliberate attempt on the part of those entrusted with thelife of the nation to take control of what was not theirs anddestroy those who, in God's name, called on them to render account.Within this parable, we get a clear hint that Jesus saw himself ina unique relationship with God and with a unique ministry. He alsohints that his ministry will involve laying down his own life(verse 39).

In the concluding words of this passage, we see how the cloudsare gathering around Jesus, but it is also clear that God's willand ways are going to prevail, even if those first entrusted withthe message of God's kingdom don't live up to their calling.

To Ponder

  • Verse 43 speaks of the kingdom of God being given to a peoplewho will produce its fruit. What do you understand by the phrase"fruits of the kingdom"? What is your role in fruitproduction?
  • Today is Prisons Sunday and the start of Prisons Week.Take time to pray for those who work in prisons, including prisongovernors, officers, welfare and educational staff and chaplains,and also the prisoners, old and young, committed to theircare.
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