Segoe UI – I could talk about how God is the ultimate authority who grants leaders their authority to lead and soldiers their authority to fight and all the way on down or I could talk about Jesus’ authority when he calmed the storm or drove out demons, but I want to talk about the teachings Jesus taught on authority. Specifically, what he taught through this parable.
Matthew 21:33-46, “33”Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. 34When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
35″The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.
38″But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40″Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
41″He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”
42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
” ‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43″Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”
45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.”
Now we know what Jesus was really saying, “There was a people that my Father had set up in the land and every now and then he would send his servants to them (prophets) but every time they would beat and/or kill them. He was running out of options, so he sent his son (Me) but they up and killed him. The servants had one kind of authority, the son, another. But the tennants thought themselves as their own authority and rejected the landowner’s. The Phaisees had stoned most every prophet God had sent to them, and they had designs to take God’s Son out of the picture. So they’d be brought to a wretched end and the land would fall to other tennants.
Church, we are these other tennants. We’re supposed to give a share of the crop at harvest time, that is, produce fruit. Now if our predececcors didn’t get away with murder, we’re not going to get away with not growing fruit. What happens to renters who refuse to pay their rent? They get cut off and thrown out! Don’t forget that you’re living under Jesus’ authority after all, it’s much better to trip over the capstone than be crushed by it.