Stubborn Love and Grace for Stubborn People
The Parable of the Tenants
The song The Greatest Love of All was a hit in the 70’s. And it even became popular after eight years. This song is about loving the self. But come to think of it, if the greatest love of all is learning to love oneself, then how come we are still messing up our lives? How come that the people we know, who loves themselves so much, ended up hurting themselves and others around him? Love for the self, isn’t the greatest after all?
The Bible tells us, that the greatest love of all isn’t found on the self, but in God alone. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1. It is only by responding to God’s love that we experience its greatness.
1. Love and grace in the parable.
““9 He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time.” Luke 20:9
“I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.” Isaiah 5:1.
The vineyard owner represents God, the son represents Jesus and the servants represent God’s prophets. The vineyard is a metaphor for Israel’s land.
The vines are the people of Judah.
2. Stubborn love rejected by His people.
“10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed.12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. 13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’” Luke 20:10-13
At harvest time, 3 servants were sent to the farmers.
All of the servants were sent back empty-handed.
He sent his son in the hope that they will respect him.
But the farmers murdered the son and threw him out.
Depravity - mind corrupted by sin.
All of life has been tainted by sin.
Sin prompts the rejection of God.
And yet, God loves the sinner. (See Jn 3:16)
3. Stubborn grace for stubborn people.
“This is the heir,’ ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” Luke 20:14b-16.
Grace came to them through the Son.
Grace in the form of warning.
How should we respond to God’s stubborn love and grace?
Accept God’s love, thank Him and share His story.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” Psalm 107:1
Connect with God daily.
“5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1John 2:5.
You can’t connect with God outside of His Word. Prayer is talking with God, but through the Bible, God talks with us.
Use the Word of God in making daily decisions.
“16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Tim. 3:16-17
The Word of God equips us for living a life of faith and service.
Don’t rely so much on how you feel.
“9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9.
You may feel bad about a certain situation or a person, but God can change that feeling by helping you change your mind.
Don’t love yourself too much, you’ll hurt yourself.
“26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:24-26.