Renters From Hell

This Sunday we’ll be reading Luke 20:9-19 – the parable of the wicked tenants…Or as I like to call it, the story of the renters from hell.

The people and the religious leaders all understood what and who Jesus was talking about when he told this story.  It was very similar to a song that Isaiah the prophet sang, concerning Israel’s unfaithfulness.  It’s easy to read the allegory of this story: The vineyard would be Israel, the owner would be God, the farmer/tenants were the religious leadership, the servants sent by the owner would have been the prophets sent with warnings; the owners son – Messiah.  Jesus was forecasting the ruin of the people of promise because they failed to cooperate with God’s plan of salvation.

If we were to transliterate this story to our present context of New Testament life, how would we make the connections?  What would the vineyard, tenants, servants represent to us today?  The owner and the son, we can safely assume, would remain the same.

Is there anything in this parable that touches your daily life right now?  How do you view the issue of ownership in the context of the church, or in the context of your life?  How do you handle change in the church (what do you feel if someone sits in your favorite seat, or if a new approach is used in addressing church needs)?  How do you react when life doesn’t seem to go the way you want it to, or your plans get thwarted or changed?

Who is owner and who is tenant in your view of life?

Hope to see you Sunday.


3 thoughts on “Renters From Hell

  1. I have tried not to think of the obvious reactions to this story. Not that they are not justified, but I don’t think that is what your questions are asking. Any personal story seems to be just as obvious. But for some reason I think of a documentary I saw several years ago. It was about a young man who had a ministry for trouble teens and young adults. The minstry is called Hard As Nails. the reference is to the nails that held Jesus on the cross. At the end of the documentary the narrator asks the young man what his response is to those who critize his methods. His response was, “Then you do it, but if you don’t I have to.”

    I always felt that Jesus is some how been telling the jewish people and particulary the leaders to change their ways back to what God has asked through the prophets. But if they don’t do it, He has to. In asking the question, who is owner and who is tenant. Jesus answers the question 1st and not just with words

  2. I thought when I had my transplant that I had learned that God, of couse is the owner. But then, as usual I decided that I could do better and took back ownership; hahaha. After enduring all theses new tests and biopsy I found out the only thing that I can claim ownership to is His love and His merciful grace. I wait patiently for his direction.

  3. I guess there are two applications…one broad one where the vineyard is the church, the tenants are those who still like the religious leaders then, cling to religion and not relationship with Jesus and the servants are possibly God’s Word, the Holy Spirit and those in relationship with Jesus who He sends across the religious groups’ pathway?? personal application I think, the vineyard would still be the church, the tenants are us and the servants would still be the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and possibly our pastors/teachers.(not the religious ones) God is certainly the owner and it is up to us to listen and obey when He speaks to us through His word and His Spirt. It is easy to want to jump into that owner seat in life when we are thrown circumstances we don’t like or agree with but as Shirley pointed out we don’t always have control over those circumstances. It seems in life as we are following Jesus, God brings circumstances where we are unable to be in the drivers seat (sickness, loss of a job, no rain, etc.) to force us to trust Him, show us His love and grow our faith. It is our choice in those times to continue striving and seeking our own way or to wait for Him, follow His guidance and be astonished by His goodness. In His kindness, when we have gone our own way, He continues bringing us more opportunities to grow and choose His path.

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