Disturbing New Thoughts
Father, I do not want traditional religion, I want You. Help me be true to You.
Read Matthew 21:33-46
 “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 moved to another place.  When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.  “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.  Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way.  Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.  “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.’  So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.  “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”  “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.”  Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?  “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.  Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”  When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.  They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the foundational reality of your life?
“Listen to another parable.” Jesus makes it clear that this is not a random story. To Jews, reference to a “vineyard” was like a code for Israel (Isa. 5). In this parable, Jesus vividly summarizes Israel’s treatment and rejection of multiple messengers whom God has sent, ultimately killing his Son, the Messiah. This despised “stone” (42) will come to occupy the chief, honorable position as head of a new kingdom, a new Israel who will be obedient and fruitful. This contradicted everything the religious leaders believed. They couldn’t swallow it, and their outrage and hatred grew (46).Later Peter, writing to first-century Christians, quotes this verse about the capstone: “To you who believe, this stone is precious” (1 Pet. 2:7). Now, he says, you are “living stones … being built into a spiritual house … a chosen people … a holy nation” (5,9). Those who once were outsiders have been welcomed in! They are the new nation, with Jesus as the head! This would have blown the minds of the Pharisees. It is hard to let go of cherished beliefs and traditions. Still, is it not better to acknowledge our continual need of fresh light rather than mistakenly trusting in erroneous interpretations?
Are there traditional ways of thinking which are preventing you from growing in understanding God and his ways?
Jesus, You are the cornerstone, the foundation of my life and of the church. You are precious.
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