Husbandmen in The Vineyard, Matt 21:33-43

This sermon from the parable of the husbandmen in the vineyard is a great encouragement for us to bring forth fruit to the Lord from his vineyard.  We’ll start this sermon with an explanation of the details in the parable.

The householder is God.  The vineyard is the Kingdom of God.  Vineyards are hedged to protect them from beasts.  The winepress is for pressing the juice out of the grapes.  The husbandmen are the Jewish Pharisees, elders, and priests.

To “let out” the vineyard is to grant use of the vineyard for compensation.  In this case, the husbandmen partake of the fruit they produce, but they owe a share of the fruit to the householder.

The vineyard is “his” vineyard.  Thus, we must remember that God is the owner, not we.  The husbandmen are farmers who have a stewardship over the vineyard for it’s conservation, protection, and production.

To “render” is to deliver the fruit to the householder or his representatives.  The fruits are the harvest and to reap a harvest is the whole purpose of having a vineyard.  “In their seasons” indicates that there are different seasons of fruit production beginning with barley in early Spring and ending with olives in late Fall or early Winter.

These husbandmen perverted the arrangement between them and the householder.  They beat, stoned, or killed his servants when they came for the fruits.  And they killed the householder’s son who is the heir.  The son is obviously Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to his audience, that they had turned God’s house of prayer into a den of thieves.  They wanted all the fruit for themselves.

According to 1 Cor 9:14, 1 Tim 5:18, and 2 Tim 2:6, laborers in the Lord’s vineyard are entitled to some of the fruit.  But no one is entitled to it all.

When Jesus asked the Pharisees what should be done to the husbandmen in this parable, they replied that they should be destroyed and the vineyard should be let out to other husbandmen who would render the fruit to the householder.

In fact, that’s exactly what happened.  Jerusalem was destroyed and Israel was scattered.  And the kingdom of God was let out to another nation.  This nation is the church, 1 Pet 2:9.  This work in the kingdom of God has been given to us and throughout the church age there have been seasons of production.

So here’s the application of the husbandmen in the vineyard.

The vineyard has been given to us.  We are to be working in this vineyard under the same terms as Israel before us.  Thus, we are entitled to some of the fruit.  In fact, we have already begun to enjoy much fruit from the kingdom of God. We have eternal life, the fruit of the Spirit, and the fruit of righteousness already.

We must be good stewards of the vineyard.  As husbandmen in the vineyard, we must remember that the vineyard is not ours.  The vineyard is not here for us; we are here for the vineyard.  We are husbandmen not owners.  Don’t trample the harvest.  No one should turn against the Lord because of our conduct, like Israel did because of the Pharisees, elders, and chief priests.

We must be good husbandmen in the vineyard.  We should be doing plenty of effective sowing and watering with the idea of reaping some fruit someday, even if someone else reaps.  We all have neighbors, coworkers, family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers among whom we can sow and water.  These are precious souls for whom Jesus died.  And the Lord is entitled to the reward of his suffering.

We must render his fruit in our season.  We are to render fruit to God.  That’s the arrangement.  As a church we should be working together for the householder in this vineyard.  Passing out tracts together on the seawall and at the parade are good examples.  As individuals we should be laboring in his harvest.  And we should be looking for God to bring forth fruit for himself.

Conclusion: What fruit do you have to render from your work in the kingdom of God?  Or are you like these Pharisees who kept all the fruit they received for themselves?  Determine to commit that we are going to be good husbandmen in the vineyard, rendering fruits to God in our season.