[0:00] We are working our way through the Gospel of Mark and we're here at a parable, as to read for us a parable.
[0:11] A parable is an allegory. So it's an allegory where there's an extended series of symbols. So each of the characters and the places that are mentioned stand for something else.
[0:24] That's an allegory, that's a parable. And so Jesus is trying to teach, he regularly teaches people based on sets of symbols. And he pulls them all together to try to say something, say something very powerful.
[0:36] Here you can look at the sets of symbols and realize that the clear images are in each of the relationships. So the tenants, these tenant farmers have a relationship to the owner of the vineyard.
[0:50] And they have a relationship to the servants that the vineyard sends that they beat up. And they have a relationship finally to the sun that comes that they kill. And so when you look at the tenants relationship to each of the three different sets of people, there's a symbol there, it teaches you something.
[1:10] And really the symbol is in one way the story of all of world history. But let me say three things from these three relationships that we learn. So in the tenants relationship to the owner, Jesus is trying to teach you something about defiance and suppression.
[1:27] About psychology really, about human psychology. And then when you look at the tenants relationship to the servants, you learn something about patience in the midst of illusion.
[1:40] And then when you look at the tenants relationship to the sun, the sun that they kill and throw out, you learn something about an unexpected redemption. So those three things, those three movements, it's a drama, an allegorical drama.
[1:54] And in each of the three movements, we learn something really important, really something that is so foundational to all that's ever happened in all world history with a surprise ending.
[2:05] So first, the tenants relationship to the owner in the story, we learn about defiance and suppression. In verse one, Jesus, it says, he continues to speak in parables.
[2:16] He likes to teach this way. And he tells this parable of a man that plants a vineyard, and he builds a wine press, and all you need to make wine, and then he leaves and he goes off into a new country and lives there.
[2:30] Now, this is completely ordinary in the first century. This sort of thing happened all the time. So everybody that's sitting there listening to this parable could have said, that's me.
[2:42] You know, I'm one of these guys, one of these tenant farmers. So it was incredibly usual in this area, because Israel was so fertile for winemaking, that people from all over the world would come buy a piece of land, build a vineyard, plan to make wine, plan to make a lot of money, and then leave and leave it for somebody else to farm.
[3:02] Now, this is the same as today. The same situation as we have today. People still lease their farmland today to other people to actually work it. They'll own land, other people will work it.
[3:14] And in a pre-capitalism culture, pre-modern culture, you see the same principles at play that you see in a capitalist or post-capitalist society like we live in. And that's that when the master, the owner of this piece of property, sends somebody to collect the profit from the wine, they beat the messenger up.
[3:33] And the people in the first century are going to be just as shocked by this as you should be, as you would be, in any story that's like this in the 21st century, right? I tried to think about how to bring this into the context of the city.
[3:45] What's this like for us today? Well, imagine that you work at a restaurant. A few of you here do work at restaurants. And you serve tables, let's say. And you serve tables all day long, all week long, all year long.
[3:58] And the end of the day comes, the end of the week comes, the end of the month comes, and the owner comes and says, I'm here to collect the money and take it to the bank.
[4:09] And you say, well, you know what? I serve the tables, I brought the food out, the chef, he made all the, he and she, they made all the food.
[4:19] So we decided to take all the money and we split it amongst ourselves. And there's none left for you. And so you refuse to give any of the cash, any of the money, any of the digital money or real money to the owner to take it to the bank, right?
[4:31] Now you look at that and you say, that's absurd, that a business can't work like that. The profit is for the owner. And then the owner shares the profit by paying fair wages to an employee.
[4:44] That's how it's supposed to work. You see, that's how it worked in a pre-capitalist society and as well in our society. Now imagine that. You would say that's absurd, it's not fair, it's unjust. And then all of a sudden you turn and you punch the owner in the face.
[4:58] Now that's more like what the story reads like. It's not just that you refuse to give him his profit, but you turn around and you punch him in the face and you kick him out of the restaurant and say, how dare you come into this restaurant even though you own it.
[5:10] It's ours now, it's a coup, it's an assault, it's a takeover. And you look at that and you say, at every level I see how unjust that is. The main audience at the time in the first century saw how ridiculous and how unjust that was.
[5:24] Now one commentator says, the tenant farmers pay their rent with blows, with fists. And with that, all the commentators say that this parable is about one thing.
[5:38] And Jesus is coming and trying to say that the human heart is a heart of defiance. A heart of defiance against the owner. It's a parable. What does it mean?
[5:52] We'll say what it means and then we'll pause for prayer and silence. What it means, the main audience of this parable is the religious leaders of the Jewish people, the Sanhedrin.
[6:04] And they know what it means because 90 times in the Old Testament the word vineyard appears. So Jesus says a man bought a piece of land and planted a vineyard and they're all thinking we know what a vineyard is from the Old Testament.
[6:17] And the Old Testament and Isaiah 5 of vineyard is the people of God. The vineyard of God is God's people. And Jesus, we're told here in verse 12 is talking directly to the religious leaders.
[6:29] And he's speaking this parable at them. They realize that in verse 12. It says they were so angry about this because they knew he was talking directly to them. The Greek word for owner, master, is the word kyrios here.
[6:44] And the other way we translate that word is as Lord. So the big idea here is that the religious leaders have been given by God the vineyard, the people to care for.
[6:55] And they want the goods of the vineyard and not the owner of the vineyard. They've taken the vineyard to people and they've used them for their own gain. They've been selfish. They've tried to make money off the people.
[7:06] And that's the real heart of the parable. That's who he's speaking to. Now the religious elite have been given by God the vineyard to tend. And when you're given a vineyard, you owe the owner.
[7:18] You owe the profits to the owner. And the religious elite, Jesus is saying, have taken the people of God and used them for their own benefits, their own goods. And Jesus is calling them out. And in verse 12, they realize that and they're so angry about it.
[7:31] They want the goods of the vineyard. They want to become wealthy and comfortable without the Lord of the vineyard. Jesus is trying to say to them and to every single person that when it comes to the owner of the vineyard, the human being has a heart of defiance.
[7:48] We say, I want to be the owner. I don't want to be a mere tenant. And the reason we can say this, that it's not just about the religious elite, is because when you look at the word vineyard in the Old Testament, it doesn't just apply to the people of God, actually sometimes the word vineyard in the Old Testament is used to refer to a human being's personal life.
[8:09] So God in the Old Testament talks about the vineyard being your own life. And so the image is that God has given to every single one of us a vineyard, a life to tend.
[8:20] In some sense, the vineyard is all of creation and God is the owner. Now, that means that the message of the parable is really simple. Jesus is saying that you have nothing in your life that you did not receive from the owner, from the master.
[8:39] That the vineyard of your life and all that you have has been given to you. You don't take it. Life is basically receiving. It's basically gift, not taking, not for the taking.
[8:52] We all, he's saying, we all in response to that, we say the owner of the vineyard has given us everything, but we want to take it. He's saying that we have a heart of defiance against the owner, that that is the natural human disposition.
[9:06] Now, Paul comes and says it like this. He says every single one of us stand today at enmity against God. It's our natural disposition. A Christian is not a person who's not at enmity against God, a Christian is a person who's realized they're at enmity against God and come to receive the forgiveness that we need in the midst of that defiance, in the midst of that enmity.
[9:28] And that's what Jesus is talking about. Just think about it for a second. Can you, can you, is there anything in this life that you have not received? Can you account for your origins, where you came from?
[9:41] Are you responsible for your own existence? Of course not. And you think about you have a mind, you have an intellect, you have this intellectual capacity to think, to reason, to make beautiful things, to create culture.
[9:53] But where, how does the mind work? Where does it come from? Did you make it? Do you have anything in your life that you did not receive? You think about your body. And in the modern world, people say, my body, I do with my body what I want to do with it.
[10:06] But your body, is it really yours? Is it not something that's been gifted to you? And Jesus is coming to say, don't you see that you can't say that? You can't say, my mind, my body, my life, my rights, that everything you have is something that came to you.
[10:22] It's not something you made. It's not something you created. Are you talented? Some of you are incredibly talented. Some of you are gifted. Some of you have immense success in your life. And you've got to be able to say, at least I know that my talents and my successes and all that I've been able to do in this life are not a product merely of my independence and my giftedness.
[10:43] It's a product of the family I was born to, and the place I was born, and all the people that came around me, and the education that somebody else paid for, and all sorts of things.
[10:54] There's nothing in your life that you're independent about. Nothing in your life that we are completely dependent from top to bottom in every single way. And Jesus is saying, but the human heart is defiant that we know that and we say, sure, but I want the goods of the vineyard.
[11:11] I want the wine of the vineyard without the Lord of the vineyard. I don't want to have to recognize that there's a giver, an ultimate giver. I want to simply take and he's saying that's at the base. We are enmity against the vineyard owner, against the one who's actually made us.
[11:27] Another way to say it is we all have, Jesus is saying something very difficult for us to hear, especially as modern people. He's saying that every single one of us has an inner golem. You know, golem? You know, he took the ring and he said, this is my precious.
[11:42] And everybody that came for it, including the master who made it, and this is the Lord of the Rings, by the way. He said, you know, this is mine, it's my precious. And at the very few moments in life where golem was tempted to give the ring back, all of a sudden the inner golem came out.
[11:58] I should say, when Smeagol was tempted to give the ring back, the inner golem came out and he said, no, it's mine. Don't you know that? It's mine. He became so attached to it. That's exactly the point of this parable.
[12:10] We have a heart of defiance. Everything we have has been given to us and we want to pretend and exist and enmity against the owner as if we created our own successes.
[12:21] Now, the Bible teaches not only that we're in defiance, but also that we suppress. So this is very nuanced. This is ultimately a parable about psychology.
[12:33] Jesus is coming to say something one step further. Not only do you struggle with a heart of defiance against the owner. You want to be an enemy of the living God, even though he's given you everything you have.
[12:45] We take it further. We know that this is true and we try to suppress that truth. We try to pretend that it's not real, that it doesn't exist, that he doesn't exist. And we could talk about this for a long time, but we don't have time today.
[13:00] But what Jesus is trying to get us to say at least here is something like this. I know, I know, can you at least say today, I know I'm contingent, not necessary.
[13:13] I know that I'm dependent, not independent. And if all of us in the world are basically dependent and contingent and not necessary, there must be one from whom all come from.
[13:29] If we're all contingent, if we're all dependent, what if there really is one that is independent and necessary, one being? And that's who he's trying to point us to, the real God. You know, Jesus is saying, do you see that you naturally defy and suppress that truth of your dependence and your contingency?
[13:46] You push it down. Look, let me challenge you. The great philosophers of the 19th and 20th century all said it. Nietzsche, Camus, they all recognized it. They realized that if there really is no owner of the vineyard, if there really is no owner, no master, then I have to be willing to say that there is no meaning in this world.
[14:08] If you really want to live life that way and you really want to say that you've got to be willing to come to the facts, that all there is is individuals, everybody making up their own meaning. That's what Jesus is trying to get us to see.
[14:20] Now secondly, when you look at the tenant's relationship to the owner, it's one of defiance and suppression. When you look at the tenant's relationship to the servants, then you see patience in the midst of illusion.
[14:33] Secondly, in Deuteronomy 28, verse 30, God had said to the people of God, if you defy the covenant, the promises I've made to you, if you stop seeking after me and following me, then he says, I will take the vineyard from you.
[14:53] And he says it will be as if one planted a vineyard but never got to eat of its fruit. Now the first century audience has that in the back of their mind. They know that if one defies God and pushes against God, that what justice says according to God is that the vineyard life should be taken away.
[15:12] If you reject the one who gave you life, then he says then the vineyard has to be taken away from you. Now this is what makes the Bible so surprising and what makes this parable so surprising.
[15:23] That simple fact because there's a twist here and it's this. You see from verse 2, the season comes and the master, the owner, the Lord sends a servant to the tenants and he comes to take part of the prophet.
[15:39] And when he comes, they take the servant and they beat him up. And then here's the great twist, the master, the owner, the Lord keeps doing it.
[15:50] And you say it from Deuteronomy 2830, you know, if you reject the owner of the vineyard, then you lose the vineyard. And yet in the parable Jesus is explaining all of world history. That's what he's doing and he's saying, don't you see what's been taking place?
[16:04] They came, here's the key, the word servant in the Old Testament is often used for the prophets. So in Isaiah 49, the prophets are called the servants.
[16:15] So he's clearly referencing here the prophets of old. And if you saw this, you know, if this happened in the 21st century or the first century, if you're the owner, you send your servant, the messenger, the prophet to go collect the payment and they just beat the guy up.
[16:33] What do you do? And you say, I'm not going to stand for this. No more. I'm calling the police. Justices has to be served. Right? You're saying there's no chance that these guys, you know, if you're, if you own the restaurant and you come and the waiter says, I'm not giving you any of the money.
[16:47] I'm keeping it all for myself. You say there's, I can't stand for that. We have to do something about this. The shock of the story to the first century mind should be the same to our 21st century mind.
[16:59] God keeps sending servant after servant after servant after servant after servant after servant. It literally says not only did he send three, but did you catch that he goes on in verse five and it says, And so with many others, many, many others, some they beat and some they killed.
[17:15] And so the violence keeps escalating. He sends the prophet, the messenger to say, don't you see that you didn't make yourself? Don't you see that you owe everything to the owner of the vineyard?
[17:26] Don't you see your dependence and they just keep getting more and more violent. And that's the great shock of the story. You see what he's trying to say. Jesus is trying to say that in all of world history, the whole of creation is God's vineyard.
[17:40] And in every single individual human life, the vineyard God's given you that you don't realize how overwhelmingly patient God is. He is so patient.
[17:52] He is. He so desires to show mercy. He wants to give forgiveness. And so the modern world looks at Christianity and says Christianity is very traditionalist.
[18:04] It holds to this great image of this vindictive, angry God. And Jesus comes in this parable of judgment and says, are you awake to how patient God is with you? To how much mercy God wants to show?
[18:16] How much forgiveness God wants to give? And it's so important to hear because it's important to say today that God is so much more patient with every single one of us than anybody else in our lives is with us.
[18:32] Get on social media for a moment and realize that human beings are not patient with one another. And this is coming to say God is so patient with us. God is more patient with you than you've ever been with yourself.
[18:45] And you tend to struggle with shame and guilt and beat yourself up about the things maybe that you've done in your life. And this passage comes and says, don't you see how much God wants to show mercy and how much God wants to give forgiveness?
[19:00] You reject. We by our nature reject the Lord of the vineyard. We want the goods of the vineyard. We want the wine, but not the owner, not the master. And he just keeps sending messengers.
[19:11] He's so patient. Now let me give you, ask you two questions and we'll move to the final point. Do you have a story like this in your life?
[19:23] Can you today, if you're a follower of Jesus this morning, I just want you to ask yourself, is this your story? Can you say today, I doubted God and he was patient with me.
[19:35] I denied God and his existence over and over and over again for so long and he was so patient with me. Can you say I rejected him, but he overwhelmed my rejection.
[19:48] He was so patient with me. Can you say I chased after sex, money and power and all the vineyards of this life, all the wine of this life. And he was so patient with me in the midst of that and he still came.
[20:01] Can you say today, I have been religious for so long. I've been chasing religion for so long. I've pretended and God has been patient with me all this way.
[20:12] And he's still being patient. He's still saying come home, come to the owner, the master, the Lord of the vineyard today. Now that's, if you're a follower of Jesus, do you have that testimony? Do you know that that's your story?
[20:23] But today, maybe you're coming and you're curious about Christianity. You're not a believer in it. You don't know what to think about the claims that God exists and all the other things that a religion like Christianity makes.
[20:35] Let me just ask, could it be the case that you are in the midst of having God's messengers coming into your life right now? The prophets, the messengers, the servants, they're actually coming into your life all the time right now.
[20:50] Do you see that? Is that happening to you? Maybe it's in the form of your parents for some of you younger folks. And maybe it's in the form of your friends that you have friends in your life that you know, believe in God and follow Christianity, follow Jesus, and they've said some things to you.
[21:08] And all of a sudden you realize you're at a place in your life where you've had these strange encounters with so many people who are Christians in the midst of a city where there aren't very many Christians and it keeps happening and it keeps happening.
[21:20] You know, there's messengers coming into your life, prophets, servants. Maybe is it unfulfilled longings?
[21:31] Sometimes God speaks to you through unfulfilled longings and you realize, I've chased after all these things and I've gotten them and they haven't fulfilled me, there's got to be a message there that maybe I'm made for something much greater than the things of this life can give me.
[21:48] Or maybe the greatest messenger, the greatest prophet, the greatest servant of God has come into your life to teach you that you are not the owner of the vineyard and that is the prophet of suffering.
[22:00] When suffering comes into your life, you have to come to a place where you say, I am not in control. I tried to control everything in my life, I tried to make it as comfortable as possible and I realized that I'm not in control.
[22:12] The owner is sent a prophet. You know, some people come and say, how can you say that God exists in the midst of suffering and pain? And I just want to ask, we can't work out the philosophy of that today, but I want to ask the opposite question.
[22:26] How can you say that there is no God in the midst of the reality of such evil, such injustice, such suffering, such pain that we all go through the fact of good and evil and that we're all walking between the two, experiencing the weight and the pain of the plight of this world?
[22:45] That's a messenger. That's God coming and saying, don't you know there's a hope? Don't you know there's good, true good? That's a messenger that's coming to your life. Do you see it? Are you willing to see it?
[22:56] Aldous Huxley wrote the book, many will have read Brave New World in the middle of the 20th century. Aldous Huxley spent most of his life as an agnostic person, an atheist somewhere in between, but he was really honest and at one point he said, he said, the truth is this, I don't want there to be a God.
[23:17] He said, that's the truth, because I want to be able to do with my life what I want to do with my life. And then more recently, Thomas Nagel, the great philosopher, probably one of the greatest philosophers alive today at NYU.
[23:30] This is what he says about it. He says, I speak from experience. He's an atheist. And he says this, I speak from experience, being strongly subject to the fear of religion. He says, what I mean by that, the fear of religion that I have.
[23:43] He said, I want atheism to be true, and I'm made so uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people that I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and naturally hope that I'm right.
[23:58] It's that I hope there is no God. I don't want there to be a God. You see, Nagel, he knows, he says, I know that that's my heart. I know that there's a posture of the heart at the base of my unbelief.
[24:12] He says, I know, I know I don't want there to be a God. You see, Nagel says, I look around at all my friends who are brilliant people. So many of them are Christians. And there's messengers, messengers in his life, and he's wrestling with that.
[24:24] Is that you today? Lastly, the tenants and the owners tell us that the human heart, the tenant and the owner tells us that the human heart is one of defiance.
[24:36] But the tenants and the servants, the prophets tell us that God is so patient with us and he sends messengers, messenger after messenger after messenger to try to speak to us. And then lastly, we can explain that patience in more detail by looking finally at the tenants and the owner and the son.
[24:53] An unexpected redemption as we close. Verse seven, the tenants say to one another, here comes the son. The master, the Lord says, if I send my son, maybe they'll respect him.
[25:08] And you see that they don't respect him. They beat him up. They kill the son. They kick him out of the vineyard. Now, here's why they say it. They say, if we kill the son, the inheritance will be ours.
[25:21] In verse seven at the end there. And the reason for that is because in the first century, the law was that if the owner dies and there is no direct air, then the one who works the land can build a fence around it and claim it.
[25:36] So the first person to build a fence around a piece of land that's open, you know, this is like the great land rush. You can claim the land for yourself. So they have, you know, they're saying literally, if we kill the owner, if we kill the air and then the owner dies, this is going to be ours.
[25:54] If the Lord of the vineyard is gone and the heir of the vineyard is gone, then the vineyard is mine. That's the logic in them killing him. Now, Jesus is taking this to the next level. He's saying that the human heart is not just a heart that's defiant and suppresses the reality of the owner of all creation, the owner of the vineyard.
[26:13] He's saying something even harder for us to hear. He's saying it's not just that you're defiant against God. He's saying that the human heart actually wants to get rid of God.
[26:24] And there's no greater proof than that than the Christian claim that in the middle of human history, God came in human flesh and we human beings, we killed him. We want to get rid of him.
[26:35] You go all the way back to the Tower of Babel and the point of the Tower of Babel, they build this great religious tower to the sky in order to get beyond the clouds. That was the hope to find the place of God in order to slay God.
[26:48] And the idea was that if we can get to the heavens and kill God, we become gods. Now, the great philosophers know about this. Nietzsche, the greatest thinker, the greatest atheist thinker of the modern world, he said in one of his, a couple of his famous books, he said that the madman, the modern person, runs into the town square and says, God is dead, we've killed him.
[27:11] And then Nietzsche says, he recognized, he says, so that now we ourselves can become God. And what Jesus is saying here is that every single human being has religion.
[27:22] There's no escaping religion. That's been one of the great lessons of the new atheist movement, how it failed. And everybody's mind, academic and at a popular level too, it failed.
[27:33] And one of the reasons it failed is because it failed to recognize that new atheism is a religion. It is a religion. Everybody's got religion. And it's Jesus is saying here, it's either that you recognize that there really is an owner of the vineyard, a true God, or you try to become your own God.
[27:48] That that's the real reality of this parable. Now here's the uniqueness of Christianity as we close. Pay close attention with me just to the very end here and how he talks about God's patience and God's love.
[28:02] Verse nine, okay, they've killed the son. They killed the son of the master. And then Jesus says to all the first century people and to you, what will the owner do?
[28:15] And if you're the owner, you know they knew Jesus gives the answer that they all expect. The owner will come and destroy the tenants. He will bring justice. They beat all of his servants.
[28:27] They killed. They murdered his own son. Justice has to be had. But look, look at verse 10. Jesus then goes and connects the parable to something else, a new idea.
[28:38] He says, have you not read this scripture? The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. Now what in the world, how in the world does this metaphor connect to the parable?
[28:49] We've got this parable of the tenants and the farmers and the owner and the servant and the son. And all of a sudden Jesus switches metaphors and says they rejected the stone. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
[29:02] Now he's got a building metaphor. And the idea is that if you're building a building in the ancient world, you come across a stone and it's cracked. It's abnormally shaped.
[29:14] You throw it into the rubbish pile. And you say, we can't use that. We've got to place every stone's got to be perfectly square rectangle. We've got to put it in the right place. And he's saying, he's connecting the two.
[29:25] You see, he's saying the son that they beat and murdered and threw out of the vineyard is the same metaphorically one that was this misshapen cornerstone in the eyes of the people.
[29:37] Cracked. They threw it out to the rubbish pile. And then here's where the parable makes no sense, where the whole story makes no sense. The son is dead.
[29:48] The stone is cracked. And then all of a sudden Jesus says, and now has become the cornerstone of the whole building. And they say, this is marvelous in our sight. You see, there's a step missing along the way there.
[30:01] How could a dead son become the Lord of the vineyard? That's the implication. How could a cracked stone become the cornerstone of an entire new temple, a pyramid? How?
[30:12] How could something broken become whole? How could something dead become the Lord of the vineyard? That's the implication he's given here. And here's how there's a black gospel hymn in the American church that I really like.
[30:27] And it says, it's talking about Jesus. And they say, it says, it's they sing, you know, I'm not going to try. They say, they hung him high, they stretched him wide, and then he bowed his head and he died.
[30:40] Now that's the end of our parable. They hung him high. Jesus is talking about himself. He's the son. They beat him. They kicked him out of the vineyard. They murdered him. They hung him high. They stretched him wide.
[30:51] He bowed his head and he died. And then the parable just ends. What's going to happen? What do you expect? You expect everybody to be destroyed that participated in this. But all of a sudden, there's something marvelous.
[31:04] And here's how the rest of the hymn goes. But that's not how the story ends. Three days later, he rose again. And that's what's missing in the parable. That's the implication. That's how they can all of a sudden say, this is marvelous in our sight.
[31:17] You see, the parable is saying this, Jesus Christ will die the death the tenants should have died. And then there will be glory.
[31:28] And the implication is that they hung him high. They stretched him wide. They killed the son. We in our defiance against God, he came into the world and we killed the son. We kicked him out of the vineyard. And then he became the Lord of the vineyard.
[31:40] How? Because of the resurrection. That in the midst of that, three days later, he rose again. That Jesus Christ, who is God become human, really did die and really did rise from the grave.
[31:51] That's the claim of Christianity. And that's how the people can say, this is marvelous in our sight. It's saying, you see what it's saying? It's saying the murder of the Son of God at the hands of the tenants is the very way God will slay our enmity against him.
[32:10] He saves us when we rejected him. He says yes to us when we said no. And he does all that by coming back to life and claiming victory over the vineyard.
[32:21] Now, let me say three sentences, three implications, and we're finished. The first is that Jesus Christ came. That means to die for anybody who realizes, I spent my life chasing the goods of the vineyard and rejecting the owner.
[32:38] He came for that. He came to show love to anybody, anybody that has rejected the owner. Now, here's the second thing. Maybe let's make it more specific.
[32:52] Realize that Jesus is talking to the very people in his passion week that are going to be the ones that very much participate in literally killing him. You see, remember the apostle Paul.
[33:05] Paul was holding the clothes of the people that he demanded be executed. He was dragging Christians out of homes and demanding they be executed.
[33:16] And he was holding their clothes. And then Jesus came into his life and changed his life forever and forgave him and saved him. Same with these guys. Here's the shock of the story. The Lord of the vineyard is saying to these people, you're welcome to come back.
[33:30] You're welcome to come home. You're welcome to come and drink the sweet wine. You're welcome to come and taste the wine of the vineyard maker. What he's saying here is that no human being, no person is beyond the hope of redemption.
[33:44] Now, lastly, what do you do today as we come to the Lord's table? What can you do about this today? All you need to do today is stop being the Lord of the vineyard.
[33:55] Give away your ownership of your life. Say today, I am not the center of the universe. God is the center of your universe. And Jesus Christ, let Jesus Christ today be the Lord that he really is.
[34:10] And we will come together and drink the wine of the vineyard maker. Let's pray. Father, we pray now that you would make the Lord's supper real to us, that we would really taste and see the goodness of the gospel in your blood shed and your body broken for us.
[34:30] And we give thanks for this gospel message in Christ's name. Amen.