From Feb 9th, 2020
Isaiah 5 (NLT) A Song about the LORD’s Vineyard
5 Now I will sing for the one I love, a song about his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard
on a rich and fertile hill.
2 He plowed the land, cleared its stones, and planted it with the best vines. In the middle he built a watchtower and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks. Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes, but the grapes that grew were bitter.
3 Now, you people of Jerusalem and Judah, you judge between me and my vineyard.
4 What more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not already done? When I expected sweet grapes, why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?
5 Now let me tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will tear down its hedges and let it be destroyed. I will break down its walls and let the animals trample it.
6 I will make it a wild place where the vines are not pruned and the ground is not hoed, a place overgrown with briers and thorns. I will command the clouds to drop no rain on it.
7 The nation of Israel is the vineyard of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The people of Judah are his pleasant garden. He expected a crop of justice, but instead he found oppression. He expected to find righteousness, but instead he heard cries of violence
*** A very clear take away is simply that God has called Israel His Vineyard. He planted this vineyard expecting it to produce good fruit. He set a watchtower in the midst which speaks of the Prophets he raised up within the nation to see what was coming and to speak to warn the people. He set up a wine-press close by to show that He was committed to the harvest, He was invested in it and the wine press was evidence that He expected a return. Verse 7 clearly states that Israel is the vineyard and within that vineyard there is a garden. Judah is identified as being Gods garden. The whole nation was to bring forth fruit but the higher expectation was in the garden
Jesus continues this picture
Matt 21: Parable of the Evil Farmers
33 “Now listen to another story. A certain landowner planted a vineyard, built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country.
34 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent his servants to collect his share of the crop. 35 But the farmers grabbed his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36 So the landowner sent a larger group of his servants to collect for him, but the results were the same.
37 “Finally, the owner sent his son, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’
38 “But when the tenant farmers saw his son coming, they said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Come on, let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 39 So they grabbed him, dragged him out of the vineyard, and murdered him.
40 “When the owner of the vineyard returns,” Jesus asked, “what do you think he will do to those farmers?”
41 The religious leaders replied, “He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest.”
42 Then Jesus asked them, “Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.’
43 I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit. 44 Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.
45 When the leading priests and Pharisees heard this parable, they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. 46 They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet.
*** When Jesus told this parable, it was clearly recognizable to the religious leaders that He was referring to Isaiah 5 and as identified there the Vineyard is Israel and the Garden is Judah. Jesus ministered in Judea which is the land given to Judah. Verse 45 clearly states that they knew he was speaking about them. He pronounced judgement on the vineyard and garden and promised to give the vineyard to others who would produce the fruit he wanted (enter the Church).
Luke 13: Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
6 Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. 7 Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’
8 “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. 9 If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”
*** I want to establish the chain that identifies Israel with the Fig tree. The whole nation was His vineyard. Judah was the garden within the vineyard. Inside that garden he planted a Fig tree. Obviously, he wanted fruit from the tree the same as he expected from the vineyard but the Fig tree was singular and exclusive of his attention. It is also worth noting that the Owner of the garden came for 3 years looking for fruit and found none. Jesus ministered for 3 years and ½ of the fourth year. Jesus is the owner of the vineyard, the garden and the Fig tree and for over 3 years He is looking for his fruit and finding none he gives the Fig tree one last chance to bear fruit.