Lent 5
April 1, 2001
Luke 20:9-19
The wicked tenants


Introduction:  In our Sunday morning Bible class we have been studying the parables of Christ. What is a parable? In a nutshell it's an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.  In the parable in which Jesus compares the kingdom to a gang of wicked tenants He has packed this parable with divine truths that you and I need.  Consider the truth of this parable. Here Jesus gives us the truth.

1.      The truth concerning God.

  1. God is the owner of our world and is entitled to the rent.  
  2. God is patient with us; three times he sent a servant, then a son.  
  3. God 's patience has an end- judgment will be enacted.  
  4. God has no other plan to reconcile us - Christ was His only Son. He can do no more. If the world does not accept Christ, nothing but destruction lies ahead.

2.      Then there is the truth about humankind.

  1. Man is only a steward, not the owner. 

    As such he owes God a return.  
  2. Man is a rebel - in constant rebellion against God. 

    He refuses to
    render to God what is God's. The history of man is his continued refusal of the servants and then the son.
  1. Man wants to be the owner - God. 

      He refuses to give God his portion and hopes to take over the vineyard by killing the son.
  1. Man is prone to violence - beating and killing servants and son.

Elijah was driven into the wilderness.
Isaiah was sawn asunder
Zechariah was stoned to death before the altar
John the Baptist was beheaded
Jesus was crucified.

3.      Then there is the truth concerning Christ.

  1. He is God's Son. Other before Him were only "servants" He holds a unique position with God the Father, an intimacy and a oneness.
  1. He was sent by God - to receive our obligation to God. Jesus has a mission He was obedient to God's will to save and reconcile a lost and sinful world and bring it back to the Father justified.
  2. He knew that His end was death at the hands of wicked men. His death was not an accident. It was not bad luck. It was not forced. In obedience to the Father He faced the cross courageously and voluntarily. The parable announced Jesus approaching end.

Conclusion:  How do we react to this story? There are two possible reactions. We can be like the hearers who rejected and plotted to kill Jesus for they knew that He was speaking of them. Or, we can turn to Him and in faith, hope and love serve Him with our whole being. We can be wicked tenants or grateful servants. You be the judge. In Jesus' Name. Amen