May 6 Devotion

Today we will look at Luke 20:8-26

20:8 Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by whose authority I do these things.” 

9Then he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey for a long time.  10When harvest time came, he sent a slave to the tenants so that they would give him his portion of the crop. However, the tenants beat his slave and sent him away empty-handed.  11So he sent another slave. They beat this one too, treated him outrageously, and sent him away empty-handed.  12So he sent still a third. They even wounded this one, and threw him out.  13Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I will send my one dear son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14But when the tenants saw him, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir; let’s kill him so the inheritance will be ours!’  15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?  16He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “May this never happen!”  17But Jesus looked straight at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? 18Everyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls will be crushed.”  19Then the experts in the law and the chief priests wanted to arrest him that very hour, because they realized he had told this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people. 

20Then they watched him carefully and sent spies who pretended to be sincere. They wanted to take advantage of what he might say so that they could deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.  21Thus they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach correctly, and show no partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  22Is it right for us to pay the tribute tax to Caesar or not?”  23But Jesus perceived their deceit and said to them,  24“Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25So he said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26Thus they were unable in the presence of the people to trap him with his own words. And stunned by his answer, they fell silent. 

The owner of the vineyard did not plant it for fun.  He planted it in order to receive some of the fruit it should bear. It was reasonable that after all he had done, to expect a dividend.  But he didn’t get it.  Of course this parable was told to illustrate to the experts of the law and the chief priests that they were not giving to God what he asked for.  After all that God has done for us, will we anti up? Or will we reject the Son?

What is it that God is looking for from us?  He wants us to put our faith in him. What we get confused about sometimes is what faith looks like.  Faith changes us.  If we truly believe in what someone is saying to us, we will change how we live in accordance with that truth.  Today we self-isolate, wash our hands excessively and physically distance ourselves because we believe that in so doing, we save lives.  We are changed in the way we think and behave because of what we believe to be true.  Faith in Christ is no different.  Jesus calls us to have faith in him.  That faith changes us and we live differently because we have become acquainted with and put our trust in Jesus.  What does that look like?  It looks like a life being transformed into the likeness of Jesus.  To become like him in character. 

Remember the tenants did not make the vineyard, they did not prepare the soil or even plant the seeds, they tended the vines and harvested the grapes.  We don’t plant our faith, we don’t prepare our lives to receive him, no God does all the hard work.  We work alongside of the Spirit as he changes us.  We learn to submit to the truth that he reveals and let him change us.  He gives us the power to effect that change, he plants the seed of change and provides the best environment for us to let it happen.  Then we enjoy the fruit!

Spend time with God, meditate on his word.  That is like the tenants who kept the vineyard.  Obey him when he asks for you to change and you will bear fruit.  He will also give you everything you need to make that change.

Pastor Mac