Matthew 21:33-46 (Part 2) – Wait Til Your Daddy Gets Home!

Posted: March 3, 2016 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 21:33-46
Jesus Tells the Parable of the Tenants

Back when I was a little kid, there were some words that I used to hate to hear. These words when strung together were dreaded. Six words that strike fear in any kid. I was lucky to be a child in the age before the age of divorce, but that is the source thought for a whole ‘nother blog. In my growing up years both my parents worked but being a son of a preacher, my dad was gone a good bit in the evenings because that’s when church meetings are held. Inevitably, being a boy, I got in trouble on occasion. Just a few times, mind you! Well, a few is a relative term depending on whether you are talking a years or eternity. But mom would send me to my room when I got in trouble when daddy was not at home and then she would utter those dreaded words, “Wait til your daddy gets home!” Those words struck fear immediately upon the ear receiving the audio signals of my mother’s voice. The waiting for dad to get home was the worst thing ever. I knew my judgment was coming. My father was not a mean or abusive man by any stretch of the imagination. He was a good, good father. It’s who he was. He would roughhouse with us. He would play ball with us. He would listen to us and treat us with respect. Most of all, he was involved in our lives. However, at the same time, he was tough. He had high expectations of us. He expected obedience since we were his sons and he was our parent. He had firmly established boundaries of behavior for us. We knew where the boundaries were. We knew if we crossed them that there would be real consequences. He was, if anything, consistent is his discipline of us. When we misbehaved in his absence, the dreaded words, “Wait til your daddy gets home” carried real weight. The weight of the wait was often excruciating. It was often worse than the whippings that we got from dad’s belt that he called “the black spirit of power.” He did not whip us a lot growing up. It was reserved for the most egregious of crimes. While I would wait and wait, I knew my judgment was coming. Like I said before, my dad was consistent in his discipline. There was a distinct link between crime and punishment. Misbehavior equaled judgment. Oh that wait for him to get home. I can still feel the anxiety welling up in me now so many years later as I think of sitting in my bedroom in whatever parsonage we happened to be living in at the time. I knew judgment and punishment was coming. Today as we finish our look at Matthew 21:33-46, the idea of boundaries and judgement come to mind. Let’s read the parable together and see what we can learn:

 

33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.

35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’[a]?

43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”[b]

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

 

Jesus is very clear here that there is a judgment that awaits those who disregard God and those who reject His Son. It reminds me of the fact that when I was young and living at home, I knew that there was going to be a real and tangible judgment laid upon me either in restricted activities or in a whipping when I crossed the established boundaries of good behavior. Today, we often live in a world where there are fatherless homes as often as there are fathers in homes. Today, we have children who grow up without the authority figure of a father in a home and it statistically proven that children who live without their fathers heavily involved in their lives that they are more likely to get in trouble in school, have poorer grades, misbehave more often and so on. Mothers are designed by God to nurture us and love us unconditionally. God designed fathers to be the disciplinarians and the teachers about real life and consequences to their children. That’s what we do. It is that idea of fatherless homes that brings us to the thought of coming judgment. Jesus is clear here that there will be one. Even the chief priests after hearing of the behavior of the tenant farmers in the parable said that the farmers deserved punishment and death.

Jesus says that the kingdom will be taken away from those who do not produce the fruits of the Spirit. For the production of spiritual fruit, there must be an indwelling of the Holy Spirit. For there to be an indwelling of the Holy Spirit, there must be the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We must be changed from the inside out by Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Jesus says there will be judgment. Plain and simple. Those who reject Jesus will be judged. We do not like to hear that in our day and age. We live in a world where Jesus is full of love and forgiveness. We live in a world where God would never send us to hell. We live in a world like the parable of the tenants. We think that there is no judgment coming. We have stylized the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus into this all roads lead to heaven Supreme Being. We have made all religions the road to heaven. We have made all religions equal and of equal weight. We think that the Bible is antiquated because it does not understand how cool our new tolerance of anything is. We discard the Bible as something of a bygone era. We take the parts about love and peace and forgiveness and reject any part of it that condemns the behaviors that we enjoy. We do that because we want to enjoy our world without boundaries and without consequences. We like our Jesus to be timid, and peace loving. We like our Jesus non-judgmental. We are like kids with no daddy in the house. We define our own behavior now and call ourselves enlightened. But throwing away any judgment in God and thinking of him as a kinder, softer God than the God of yore, does not make his coming judgment go away. Just because we call ourselves enlightened and think that now all roads lead to heaven does not make the fact that there is only one way to heaven go away. Ignoring the gorilla in the room does not make it go away. The Bible has survived for thousands of years because it is true in every respect. It can be trusted that what it says is true. The Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, warns of judgment of the Lord for those who turn their back on Him. Ignoring it and rationalizing the Bible away does not make it any less timeless and any less valid. Judgment is coming to us all either in our own deaths or when Jesus returns to clean house – whichever comes first and both. We will be judged for whether we have accepted Jesus as our Savior or not. Plain and simple. If we have truly accepted Christ as our Savior, our lives will bear fruit and be a Testament to the love of Jesus Christ. If we reject Jesus and seek our own way, our judgment will be real and will be final. No takebacks. No exceptions. Judgment is coming. You can bank on it like a young boy waiting in his bedroom for his daddy to get home and taking the discipline that is dished out.

If the judgment is real and all roads and all behaviors do not lead to heaven, then there is no time for us to feel smug about having accepted Jesus as our Savior and that we have made and they have not. There is an urgency that should be added to our lives as Christ followers knowing that coming judgment is real. We know, as Christ followers, that we have been saved from an eternity in eternal pain and anguish by accepting Christ as our Savior. We know that we are sinners in the hands of a God who will indeed judge us. We, as Christians, know what we deserve. We know that we have been set free from our much deserved discipline. We have been set free by the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We live lives of thanksgiving because we know what we deserve. But in our freedom that we have been given comes the responsibility to share the good news. We must have urgency in sharing the gospel. We must have urgency in our evangelism. We must care about those who ignore God. We must care about those who have rationalized away God. We must care about those who live lives as if there is no judgment. We must care about those who think of Jesus and God as antiquated opiates of the past. We must care about those who ignore the gorilla in the room. We must tell them of the judgment that is coming not with protest signs or smugness. We must tell our stories of being just like them but our eyes being opened by the Holy Spirit to to the truth of real judgment. We must tell them that this whole thing of just being good enough is not good enough. We must tell them the truth of the fact that one sin much less a lifetime stains us and permanently separates us from God in the absence of Jesus. We must tell them the truth of judgment in the absence of Jesus. We live in a world that has rationalized away judgment so therefore Jesus is no longer necessary but just a nice option of how to live your life. We must tell them. Jesus tells them. Judgment is coming. It is as certain as me as a child waiting in my room for my coming judgment as a result of those words, “Wait til your daddy gets home!”

Amen and Amen.

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