Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.
“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.”
And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”
Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone’?
Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people—for they knew He had spoken this parable against them. (Luke 20:9-19, Matt. 21:33–46; Mark 12:1–12)
This ‘parable’ is the cleansing word of truth from the throne room of God…for the church today. Often quoted as if just a story describing what Christ thought of the Pharisees almost two thousand years ago, it it is much more a prophetic word to God’s people and the church today.
For God blessed the earth with a new vineyard and gave it to the vinedressers to care for, knowing the harvest is His. But, now all that occurs largely is that we think the church is ours, and it is for our profit and control. Giving up on caring for the garden, leaders, ministries, and many Christians see the church as a place to get a career, to make money (eg stipend), to sell products and services, to control for their benefits, and to fulfil self ambitions. Along the way controlling to their gain, not allowing the vineyard to flourish as the Lord desires.
This is a test of our hearts’ real intent. For it is true that while worker is worthy of his keep, it is the Lord’s decision as to what that looks like, and cannot he the reason for working in His vineyard. The trap comes as we gather great ideas that could also receive profit, and the motivations are as much about provision as it is the calling. We are to trust the Lord for our provision. Too many times so we see the church network used to sell books, sponsor preaching, or even worse, seek payment to hear ‘words of God’ given to you. Freely we have received, freely we are to give.
Tests come to reveal our hearts’ motivations, such as when we are called to make decisions, and steps of faith, which place at risk our financial support. For instance, are we willing to step away from the ‘certain’ stipend, and even buildings, in a response to come out of ungodly places. Or, will we give up regular income that often comes from books, and love offerings as you work the network, when led by God in to a new direction.
Our real motivations will be tested as to why we are vinedressers, and whether we think the vineyard is for Jesus Christ, or for us, and to support our call. Now is the time to come to the Cornerstone on bended knee in humility and confess our sins, repenting, and move forward in the grace of His mercy.
The Lord has been sending His sons and daughters to remind them of His true plan for the vineyard, and that only He owns the harvest, but religious and elite spirits seek to kill them in their ambitions for control and profit!
Christ’s warning still stand for those in the church, particularly those in leadership and equipping ministries. Even ‘everyday’ church member need to heed this call. As part of the priesthood of royal believer, we need to understand our accountabilities, and also question and challenge profiteering vinedressers.
He is coming soon, and to prepare His way He sends His word of truth as a winnowing fire. Christ is the Cornerstone, and now is the time to fall before Him in repentance for our wrongs, otherwise He falls on those who by their treatment of His vineyard reveal they see themselves as its owner not Christ, and in so doing not recognising who He is ..Lord of all, King of kings, God and saviour.
Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
The disturbing truth. This same judgement is the one that occurs to the kings of the world, for all kingdoms will fall, and only that of the one King, the Lord Jesus Christ’s, remains. Now is the time to watch and pray, search our hearts, and turn from our wicked ways, so that God can heal us, and to spare us from the coming judgement of the Cornerstone.
Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, (Revelation 11:15-16)