Matthew 21:33 - 46
ESV - 33 Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit.
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The farmers represent the people who have rejected him. The land owner is God. The first three servants he sent were Christians. The next group was also Christians. The the son is jesus. After they kill jesus. The terrible death is those people being thrown into hell
Matthew 20 seems to be talking to different people and addressing a different question than the other 2 parables. The labourers in the vineyard, could be taken as saying that everyone will have the same reward in heaven, the same penny a day. However, there are a couple of problems with thinking that Matt 20 is talking about our reward in heaven. 1. Jesus was not talking about eternity when he was talking about the labourers in the vineyard. He was talking about the present and he was talking to his disciples who were entering the ministry and following His instructions in Matt 10. Originally, the books in the Bible were written more like letters are written, with thoughts kept together in paragraphs, etc. When all of the old letters and books were compiled into “the Bible” they were divided up into chapter and verses. This makes it easier for study, but the books weren’t originally written that way. For the most part, the translators did a good job of keeping like thoughts and stories together. Unfortunately, they didn’t start Matt 20 at the beginning of the subject of the labourers. That story actually begins with Peters question in Matt. 19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 2. The next problem with thinking that the labourers in the vineyard is about heaven is that there won’t be the heat of the sun in heaven. We may still be working in some form in heaven but it won’t be under the heat of this sun. Rev. 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. Rev. 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. Rev. 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 3. Another danger of thinking that the reward will be the same for everyone in heaven is that the Devil would tell us to enjoy the world while we’re young and serve God when we get old and can’t enjoy the world any more anyway. That’s taking quite a risk because we might not live to that age and we would be depriving ourselves of the joy of walking in God’s way all of our life. But, mainly, we would be limiting the reward we could be laying up in heaven to enjoy in addition to, above and beyond, the gift of salvation. So, it seems very likely that Jesus was continuing his answer to Peter when he told the labourers in the vineyard story. If that’s the case, then Matt 20 should have started at Matt 19:27.
Matthew 21:33-46 This parable is aimed at the nation of Israel. Matt. 21:33-39 The householder represents God the Father and the vineyard is Israel. The husbandmen were the priests and religious leaders and the far country is heaven. The anticipated fruit represents spiritual evidence of true conversion, which was to be the end results of the work of the husbandmen. The servants sent by the the owner represents the Old Testament prophets who came to correct religious abuses in the nation and were rejected.Last of all indicates that Jesus was God's final emissary to Israel. None has appeared since and none will until the Jews recognize Jesus as their Messiah.In verse 39 Jesus clearly foretells His coming rejection and death. Verses 40-43-- The other husbandmen are the Gentiles. He warned them that the kingdom will be taken from them but then within the warning of this judgement, Jesus offers mercy to those fall upon Him in repentance and faith.
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