We Are God’s Choicest Vines
October 8, 2023
20th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2023
Readings: Isaiah 5:1-7
Our setting today takes us to the temple where Christ is teaching and the chief priests, Pharisees and religious leaders were constantly questioning him because they were intimated by Him and how much He knew. Jesus again gives them a parable. He also wanted people to comprehend His message more easily. He talks about a landowner who plants a vineyard, puts up a wall for protection and a wine press to make wine. He hires vinedressers to work on his vineyard and then went on a journey. When the time came for harvest, he sends out some slaves to the vinedressers to get his portion, but they killed the slaves. He sends out another group a 2nd time and the same thing happened to them and they were killed too, by the vinedressers. Lastly, he sends his own son but the vinedressers killed him as well. The parable is meant to wake people up. The vineyard represents Israel. It is fully-equipped by God with many provisions. In Genesis 1, after God created everything, He saw all his creation and said, it was very good. Proverbs 3:19 “With wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place.” Wisdom causes things to produce because it was created with excellence. The Jews were the ones selected to be the leaders that would take care of the vineyard. What God had created was perfect. His wisdom shown in the creation was excellent. Everything was in its proper place and order. God is a Covenant-keeping God. A covenant that is firmly established and permanent. A covenant He will never violate. When Adam the first man violated the covenant, death came. Sin was man’s own doing.
The vineyard is planted with the choicest vines. There was a wall of protection and a tower built to see who was coming. We are the choice vines. For the Jews and even for us, due to unbelief, we close the doors to God’s blessings. Another powerful covenant promise of God was when He said, “I will build My Church and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.” His promise is that the Church will prosper and be blessed if we put Christ in the center. 1st Timothy 4:4 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” We must see God as good. Psalm 119:68 “Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.” If He created all things good, how can we allow evil to be in our lives? We must have the confidence that there will come a day when the Church will rise up and take over the world. We are struggling because the enemy is pulling us away from God’s promises. We must see the wisdom of creation. In the Garden, there was unity. Even all the animals were in harmony with each other. In God’s creation, there were no storms or earthquakes. God wants us to know that we are choice vines. Scripture tells us that we are seated with Him in heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers. But we have allowed fear to rule our lives because of unbelief. God’s plan has always been restoration, to bring back the beauty of creation. He also intends to receive a good harvest from us. What have we done with what He gave us? We have work to do. Changes to be made. Are we ready to present our harvest to God? We are not to worship other gods- the gods of money, position, earthly power. The challenge to us therefore is to manifest His glory in our lives at all times.