Debra Isenbletter – Pastor
Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri
“Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country” Mt. 21:34.
We are studying the Parables on Sunday morning and this is the Parable of the Householder and the Vineyard. The “certain householder” is God, the “vineyard” is Israel. The “hedge” speaks of separation, both God’s Love and God’s Law separated them. Within that vineyard was placed a “winepress” and a “tower.” The “winepress” pictures suffering and especially the suffering of Calvary. The “tower” was a structure, a “watch tower.” From it the watchmen would stand guard and warn of danger. The watchmen were those who taught the Word. The “tower” can picture the Temple from where the Word of God went forth.
What struck me while I was teaching is that both the “winepress” and “tower” were a permanent part of the vineyard. Both were necessary for fruitfulness. The “tower” can picture the Word of God that goes forth, that is heard in a place of worship (temple). The “winepress” speaks of pressure, it can picture suffering, but especially suffering in connection to the Word of God. Those two things over the years were always a part of the vineyard (Israel). Down through the years they heard the Word and there was a cost. Obedience was costly, it separated them, it was painful. Disobedience was painful in a different way, a different pressure was applied by God through the nations around them. The Lord used a “winepress” to temper and test them. What has happened through the years was that their was a failure in teaching the Word, and believing the Word. There should have been those in the “watchtower” to watch over God’s people. Natural leaders (kings, elders); spiritual leaders (priests, Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes. All were responsible for the safety of the vineyard.
The “husbandmen” were those that the householder “lent” or “rented” the vineyard to. They were the caretakers, vine dressers. They forgot they were only servants, that the vineyard was not theirs. They forgot the “watch tower,” they avoided the “winepress.” There was a failure on their part, a failure in their responsibility to the vineyard. If they did not heed the warnings from the “watch tower,” how could they give warnings to others. If they would not accept the suffering of separation that came from obedience and they rejected suffering from disobedience, how could the vines bring forth fruit.
The whole purpose of the “watch tower,” the “winepress” and the “husbandmen” was to make sure the vineyard produced the right kind of grapes. They all had to work together in harmony. This is about fruitfulness and the quality of fruit. There needs to be a fellowship and worship, to see the spiritual dangers. There needs to be those to warn, correct, prune, weed, do whatever is necessary to bring forth the full potential of the grapes. There needs to be an acceptance by the grapes. Whether Israel or the Church the principal still holds true.
I hope you find this a blessing.