I’ve been studying Mark 12, and I just realized something awesome: When harvest time comes, God sends in the prophets.
I never noticed this application before, but it comes directly from Jesus, and it has HUGE implications for Christians today.
Check out this story, a parable that Jesus told in Mark 12:1-8:
- A man planted a vineyard and built all the necessary stuff in it to protect it and to make wine.
- He leased it to some vinedressers and went away to a far country.
- At “vintage time,” He sent a servant to the vinedressers to get some of the vineyard’s fruit.
- However, instead of turning over the fruit, those vinedressers took the servant, beat him, and sent him away with nothing.
- The man sent more servants, but all of the servants were treated shamefully. Some of the servants were killed. Some of were beaten. The tenants threw stones at others. All of them that lived were sent away empty-handed.
- Finally, the man sent his beloved, only son… but the tenants killed the son so they could try to claim the inheritance for their own.
- Jesus ended the story by saying that the man would come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
What does the story mean?
In this story, Jesus was basically re-wording and re-telling the history of God’s attempts to be in intimate relationship with His own Jewish people:
- The man represents God the Father.
- The vineyard represents the covenant promises: Kingdom power and intimacy with God.
- The wicked tenants represent the Jewish people of their day and of centuries prior to the time of Christ.
- The servants that the Father sent represented the prophets God had sent in centuries past.
- The Son represented Jesus.
- Ultimately, since the Jews rejected God, God offered His salvation to the Gentile (non-Jewish) people so that all who believe on Jesus could be saved.
In this story, however, Jesus is also reminding us how the Jewish people treated the prophets over the centuries, and predicting how they would ultimately treat Him (Jesus). Throughout history, God had sent prophet after prophet to His people the Jews. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, Hosea, and Ezekiel are just a few of the prophets God sent.
And you know what? The Jews treated those prophets shamefully and often killed them. But that’s not the point I want to make in this blog post.
The point that I want to make today is: Jesus said point-blank that God sent His servants the prophets in at harvest time (vintage time), in order to receive the harvest.
Why does that matter? Here are 3 reasons why it matters a lot: [Read more...]