The Human Choice - 23
THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD
Jesus - M'k. 12:1-9. A man planted a vineyard and put a wall around it, hewed out a winepress, and built a watchtower; then he let it out to vine-growers and went abroad. When the vintage season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce. But they took him, thrashed him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again, he sent them another servant, whom they beat about the head and treated outrageously. So he sent another and that one they killed; and many more besides, of whom they beat some, and killed others. He had now only one left to send, his own dear son. In the end he sent him. "They will respect my son", he said. But the tenants said to one another, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the property shall be ours." So they seized and killed him, and flung his body out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and put the tenants to death and give the vineyard to others. That is the story of this earth. This earth was given into the care of Satan who, with his team, decided to take it over. They have ill-treated the servants of the owner (God) and even the Son; all involved and supporting this attempted takeover will suffer the consequences. Supporting witness "The Book of Enoch". This Old Testment book was not entered into our European Bible.
Jesus - M'k. 12:26-27. Now about the resurrection of the dead; have you never read in the Book of Moses, in the story of the burning bush, how God spoke to him and said, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob"? God is not God of the dead but of the living.
Of the return of the "Son of Man" portents are given along with warnings of slackness but as to this time:
Jesus - M'k. 13:32: But about that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, not even the Son; only the Father.
The betrayal of Jesus is introduced immediately after a conflict of opinion where some followers object to the anointment of Jesus with a costly oil.
Jesus rebuked them, then Judas went to the priests to betray Him. There is a lesson here to show how pride and prejudice can fester in the mind so that a small matter can lead a person to reject things of real importance. Today we call this "throwing out the baby with the bath-water"; a feature of 'politically correct' dogmatism. The punishment for this stubbornness is that we lose everything of value because of childish petulance.
Another failure of character is demonstrated soon after:-
Jesus - M'k. 14:30. I tell you this: today, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you yourself will disown me three times. But Peter insisted: "Even if I must die with you, I will never disown you."
This is to forecast the falling away of the Church as mentioned in the prologue.
LUKE: The 3rd witness.
Jesus - Lu. 8:16-18. Nobody lights a lamp and then covers it with a basin or puts it under the bed. On the contrary, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that those who come in may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become public, nothing under cover that will not be made known and brought into the open.
Take care, then, how you listen; for the man who has will be given more, and the man who has not will forfeit even what he thinks he has.
Here is a reminder that the complete message of the Christian Revelation, though open to everyone, could not be made clear to everyone at that time. Mankind has been slow to accept this. That message is repeated in other examples.
Although full understanding of the Christian revelation was beyond the comprehension of the simple peasants of the time, He was telling them, and us, that what was hidden would be revealed when people were able to appreciate, and benefit, from it.
He follows this with a piece of very good advice. People should take care how they listen to an enlightening explanation because those who have understanding will gain more but those who are careless of their intelligence and have gathered little understanding will become more confused and may lose their belief, even in what they think they know.
Jesus - Lu. 8:21. My mother and my brothers - they are those who hear the word of God and act on it.
Another reminder that it is the spiritual nature of the person that makes a person a neighbour; or even a brother or mother.
Jesus - Lu. 11:29. This is a wicked generation. It demands a sign, and the only sign that will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah was to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
The sign that should be sufficient for this generation is the Resurrection and is equated with the sign of Jonah. As Abraham said 16:31, "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets they will pay no heed even if someone should rise from the dead." And so it was proved.
Jesus - Lu. 11:52. Alas for you lawyers! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not go in yourselves, and those who were on their way in, you stopped.
He meant the lawyers - interpreters - of religion. His warning is as current today as it was then. We can see this from all the different beliefs promoted by blind leaders who, in the guise of Christianity, give authority to mankind.
Jesus - Lu. 12:7. You are worth more than any number of sparrows. Those involved in the growing worship of nature in preference to the needs of people might think about that!
Jesus - Lu. 13:4. Or the eighteen people who were killed when the tower fell on them at Siloam - do you imagine they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? I tell you they were not; but unless you repent, you will all of you come to the same end.
Here again is a warning to those who believe that God punishes us for our sins while we live in this life. Our sins in this life create the social suffering endured in this life - that is why they are sins - but God makes the rain to fall on good and bad alike; individual justice awaits the judgment day.
Jesus - Lu. 13:15. What hypocrites you are! Is there a single one of you who does not loose his ox or his donkey from the manger and take it out to water on the Sabbath?
As reported: The Sabbath was made for the sake of man and not man for the Sabbath. Mark 2:27.
Jesus - Lu. 13:18. What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with? It is like a mustard-seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew to a tree and the birds came to roost among its branches.
Jesus sowed such a seed. The kingdom of God is a growing creation, not a finished creation.
Jesus - Lu. 16:13. No servant can be the slave of two masters... A man cannot serve faithfully both God and money nor can he serve totally both God and a family. A divided loyalty means that one must suffer sacrifice to the other. Those chosen to serve God should not marry but those who marry serve their family most truly by observing the Christian Revelation.
Jesus - Lu. 16: 17. It is easier for heaven and earth to come to an end than for one dot or stroke of the Law to lose its force. As in Matthew the lesson is that even God cannot change the order of the Creation except by destroying it. That is something He is not going to do.
Jesus - Lu. 17:4. If your brother wrongs you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times in a day and comes back to you seven times saying, "I am sorry", you are to forgive him.
Another reminder to be generous, but remember, your family are those of kindred spirit. You may know them by their fruit.
Jesus - Lu. 17:6. If you had faith no bigger than a mustard-seed, you could say to this sycamore-tree, "Be rooted up and replanted in the sea"; and it would at once obey you. Another reminder of the nature of creation. We may not understand it but I refer you to John 1:1-4 to follow.
Jesus - Lu. 17:21. .. for in fact the kingdom of God is among you.
Jesus - Lu. 22:36-37. It is different now, whoever has a purse had better take it with him, and his pack too; and if he has no sword, let him sell his cloak to buy one.
There is an important message in these statements. Although the kingdom of God is with us we are still involved in a process distilling the good from the evil; behaviour and responsibilities after the crucifixion are very much of this earth and we must take account that this is a different situation to that which applied during the period of the Revelation.
This is also a warning that part of the message given out by Jesus was related to that time and place and to His disciples; we should not take His every reported word as a universal social instruction. Common sense should be a sufficient guide. choice23.htm
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