Now allow me to lay out for you various Old Testament passages which throw light on the Parable of the Vineyard. Our prime problem at anytime for us to understand Old Testament passages in the New Testament is knowing which parts to look for. Most times it is easy. Either there is a theme word being quoted or there is a particular passage in focus which there is this time. Did you see it? More to the point did you follow up on it?
I am sure you got the first reference. It’s found in the statement of Jesus:
Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture mean? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.”‘Luke 20:17-18
That is the easy one because Jesus spells out the verse in focus. Now all you have to do is go look up the verse He is referring to. To follow it up you would have to look at the cross reference in your Bible to see where it is found or use the search function in E-Sword. The other ones are harder to find. They are linked by way of theme and not referred to by Jesus directly, only indirectly but all Jewish people who had been memorizing their Torah and other sections would know where to find them. They are theme related connected to the stone theme and the vineyard.
I have laid out all the references and their wider context for you below.
Now I will sing for the One I love a song about His vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a rich and fertile hill. He plowed the land, cleared its stones, and planted it with the best vines. In the middle He built a watchtower and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks. Then He waited for a harvest of sweet grapes, but the grapes that grew were bitter. Now, you people of Jerusalem and Judah, you judge between Me and My vineyard. What more could I have done for My vineyard that I have not already done? When I expected sweet grapes, why did My vineyard give Me bitter grapes? Now let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will tear down its hedges and let it be destroyed. I will break down its walls and let the animals trample it. I will make it a wild place where the vines are not pruned and the ground is not hoed, a place overgrown with briers and thorns. I will command the clouds to drop no rain on it.
The nation of Israel is the vineyard of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The people of Judah are His pleasant garden. He expected a crop of justice, but instead He found oppression. He expected to find righteousness, but instead He heard cries of violence. What sorrow for you who buy up house after house and field after field, until everyone is evicted and you live alone in the land. But I have heard the LORD of Heaven’s Armies swear a solemn oath: “Many houses will stand deserted; even beautiful mansions will be empty. Ten acres of vineyard will not produce even six gallons of wine. Ten baskets of seed will yield only one basket of grain.” What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk. They furnish wine and lovely music at their grand parties—lyre and harp, tambourine and flute—but they never think about the LORD or notice what He is doing. So My people will go into exile far away because they do not know Me. Those who are great and honored will starve, and the common people will die of thirst.Isaiah 5:1-13
The LORD has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the One you should fear. He is the One who should make you tremble. He will keep you safe. But to Israel and Judah He will be a stone that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem He will be a trap and a snare. Many will stumble and fall, never to rise again. They will be snared and captured.” Preserve the teaching of God; entrust His instructions to those who follow me. I will wait for the LORD, who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my hope in Him. I and the children the LORD has given me serve as signs and warnings to Israel from the LORD of Heaven’s Armies who dwells in His Temple on Mount Zion.Isaiah 8:11-18
Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will go in and thank the LORD. These gates lead to the presence of the LORD, and the godly enter there. I thank You for answering my prayer and giving me victory! The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success. Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD. The LORD is God, shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. You are my God, and I will praise You! You are my God, and I will exalt You! Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.Psalm 118:19-29
I am not going to comment in this Gem because I know that many of you want the chance to check them out for yourself. So I will give you that opportunity. I will analyze them in the next Gem.
Let me return to the input I gave you in Gem 1153.
This parable has been called:
- A) The Parable of Wicked Vinedressers,
- B) The Parable of the Vineyard and the Tenants,
- C) The Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen,
- D) The Parable of the Wicked Wicked Tenants or the
- E) Parable of the Noble Vineyard Owner and His Son.
The Wicked Vinedressers, Husbandmen or Tenants are in focus in three of the titles above. But my question is, are they indeed in focus or is someone or something else the focus? Why did Jesus tell this story? That is what we have to work out. What would you call the Parable? Where should the emphasis be placed? When we name the passage we are giving it a title which sums up what the passage is about or where the emphasis is in the passage? So after you have read the Old Testament passages, try to come up with a title you feel sums it up the passage in Luke. Send your suggestions to me and I will chose the best one.
Tomorrow I will comment on the links we have to the Old Testament passages and then in the following Gems we will look at the links in Luke’s Gospel and draw the threads together with a few other comments.
Don’t just read an OT quote in the NT and say, “Oh yeah, Old Testament.” Go look it up in context. Take note of the whole passage.Ian Vail
Whatever holds your awe holds your faith!Judah Smith
The single most powerful tool for getting God’s guidance and defeating temptation is memorised Scripture. (and it helps for working out the meanings of Old Testament quotes too)Rick Warren
We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads. That’s my reason and I’m sticking to it.Ian Vail