“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2 NKJV)
One of Jesus’ parables that infuriated the religious leaders of His days was undoubtedly the parable of the wicked vinedressers in Matthew 21 vs. 33-46.
After the Lord Jesus had narrated this parable, the religious leaders who heard it perceived that He was speaking about them and, therefore, sought to lay hands on Jesus to kill Him (Matt. 21:45-46).
What in this parable angered the Jewish leaders to the extent of seeking to kill Jesus?
It is certainly worth finding out!
The parable of the wicked vinedressers is about a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a tower. He then leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.
When the season of the fruits drew near, the landowner sent his servants to the vinedressers so that they might receive the fruit for him. But instead of giving these servants the vineyard fruit, they maltreated them – seized, stoned, and killed some of them. (Matt. 21:33-36).
Eventually, the vineyard owner sent his son to the vinedressers, thinking they would respect him and give him the fruit of his vineyard. Unfortunately, he was wrong. They took his son, cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him (Matt. 21:38-39).
Jesus ended this parable by asking, “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?”
The people answered rightly. They told Jesus, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” (Matt. 21:41 NKJV).
The Lord Jesus primarily employed this parable to show or express to the Jews their rebellious attitudes towards God. In this parable, the children of Israel are the vinedressers chosen and appointed by God to be caretakers of His vineyard.
God expected the children of Israel to show forth and manifest His love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to other nations so that the Gentile nations may glorify God and be drawn to the God of Israel.
Unfortunately, the children of Israel continually rebelled against God. They forsook God and ran after the gods of the Gentile nations. God sent many messengers or prophets to call them to repentance, but they rejected, persecuted, and killed them (Matt. 23:34-35, Luke 11:47-51).
Finally, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the Jews, but they also rejected, maltreated, and killed Him as they had done to all the prophets God had earlier sent them (1 Thess. 2:14-15).
John 1:11-12 – NKJV
11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.
The born-again believers today, like the children of Israel, are the vinedressers of God’s vineyard.
As a believer, you are a steward, manager, or caretaker of God’s vineyard, resources, or estate. Your talents, gifting, anointing, skills, riches, or wealth are part of God’s vineyard committed to your care.
God’s vineyard includes your life, marriage, home, relationship, career, business, or ministry. All that you have is graciously given to you by God for His purpose – for you to bring forth fruit to God’s praise and glory.
God’s earnest desire and expectation is that you will diligently cultivate the vineyard He has entrusted to your care and not hold back its good fruits from Him and the people He sent to you.
What kind of fruit does God expect from you?
The fruit of the Spirit!
God expects from His vineyard under your care the fruit of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23 NKJV).
According to the parable of the wicked vinedressers, the children of Israel held back from God the fruit of God’s vineyard entrusted to their care. Consequently, they lost the vineyard.
Jesus told them, “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.” (Matt. 21:43 NKJV).
Sadly, many believers today, like the rebellious children of Israel who chose not to bear fruit unto God from the vineyard He gave to them, are holding back the fruit of God’s vineyard from God Himself and the people God is sending to them to partake of the fruit of His blessings in their lives.
Beloved, when you are self-centered, thinking only about yourself and living only to please yourself, you are a wicked vinedresser.
You are a wicked vinedresser when your character or lifestyle brings no praise, honor, or glory to God. You are just a wicked vinedresser when you are not actively promoting and advancing God’s kingdom on earth with your God-given resources.
Unfortunately, many servants of God today are also wicked vinedressers, holding back from God the glory, honor, and praise that rightly belong to God by enthroning and establishing themselves as “gods” in God’s vineyard (the Church) and subtly demanding to be feared, worshipped and praised by God’s children.
As the wicked vinedressers cast out of the vineyard the owner’s son in the parable, sadly, the Lord Jesus Christ has been “cast out” of many churches today. His rightful place has been taken over by men, human doctrines, traditions, religious rules, and rites (Matt. 21:38-39).
Friend, God is calling you today to repent of your rebellious and selfish ways or lifestyle and begin to bear fruits worthy of repentance (Matt. 3:8-10).
The Lord Jesus warns, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2 NKJV).
How do you bear fruit from God’s vineyard?
Abide in the Vine, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Abide in the word, teaching, or doctrine of Jesus Christ!
Walk in the Spirit!
Let the Holy Spirit direct, guide, and control your steps and actions!
John 15:1-5 – NKJV
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for making me a caretaker of Your vineyard. Help me, Lord, to continually bring forth good fruit from Your vineyard entrusted to my care, in Jesus’ name. Amen.