ESOCS Devotional 3 June 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “And at the season, he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.” Mark 12:2
TEXT: ST. MARK 12:1-12
And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.
3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.
4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.
5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.
6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.’
8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
11 This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
In the passage under consideration, it is important to note that the owner of the vineyard is God, the vineyard is Israel (now the Church), the tenants are the religious leaders (Bishops, Apostles, Pastors, etc), the hedge roundabout is the holy writ which contains God’s law and commandments for the guide and guard of the Church, the servants are the Prophets sent from time to time to warn Israel and bring her back to the path of spirituality, His only Son of course is Jesus Christ.
This parable alludes to the Parable of Isa. 5: 1-7 where at verse 2 instead of bringing forth grapes, the vineyard brought forth wild grapes (corrupt grapes). In both passages, we find that God desires, yea, calls for fruits from His vineyard the Church to gladden His heart. We also find from both passages the judgment of doom against the unfruitful vineyard (Isa. 5:5-6) and against unfruitful religious leaders (Mark 12: 9). This was the same kind of judgment that dried up the unfruitful fig tree of Matt. 21:19.
God indeed looks for judgment and righteousness in His Church (Isa. 5:7). He looks for love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance in the Church that He purchased with His own blood (Gal. 5: 22-23). God is desirous of new converts as the fruits of evangelism.
John the Baptist in Matthew 3:8 said to the Pharisees and Sadducees “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance”. There is only one judgment for Churches, Pastors and Christians which do not bear fruits and the Lord put it bluntly: “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away” (Jn. 15:2a). On the other hand, fruit bearing branches are further equipped to bear more fruits (Jn. 15:21). As Christians, God has taken time to invest much in us and He expects us to be serious with His business.
Jesus Christ in John 15: 4-5 gives us the key to fruit bearing: It consists mainly in abiding in Christ without which we can do nothing. No moral efforts, no school of psychology, no human orientation without the living Christ can help us to bear fruits. Only his indwelling spirit makes it possible as we fellowship with him in the light of his word and He with us. Jesus Christ again expressed his desire for fruits from his chosen ones: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit and that your fruit remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask the father in my name, he may give it you” (Jn. 15:16).
- As you pray this morning, resolve to be the fruitful branch of the True Vine.
- Lord, I know that without you I can do nothing. Therefore, I pray thee, draw me nearer.
FURTHER READING: Isaiah 5:1-7; John 15: 1-8
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ESOCS Devotional 3 June 2023