Mark 12:1-12: He began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a pit for the winepress, and built a tower, and rented it to vinedressers, and went to a far country. At harvest time he sent a servant to the vinedressers to receive from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them. They threw stones at him, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. Still he sent another, and they killed him. And there were many others. Some they beat, and some they killed. Having yet his one well-beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, 'They will revere my son.' But those vinedressers said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill the vinedressers and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture: 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?'" Then they tried to seize Him, but feared the people, for they knew that He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went their way.
History has a way of being cyclical; it repeats itself, therefore, it is imperative that we learn from history in order to not repeat the things in the past that were not effective as it pertained to the advancing of the kingdom of God. As we read the gospels, it is easy to just see them as stories, but they were actually a re-configuring of ideas, thought patterns and ways of doing life as a spiritual being. If you aren't careful, you can read the gospels and miss the messages that Jesus was telling them and that He is telling us.
In this parable, Jesus was letting us know that we were given a vineyard (a group of people, family, community), that we were invited to be a steward over a vineyard, but when it came to harvest time, He (the Father/owner) could take from His vineyard whatever He wanted. The challenge was then and is now that many who have been called to be vineyard stewards have actually become vineyard owners. In the process of stewardship, the subtle shift to ownership took place. This is understandable, for those who really want to give their best to anything need to have a sense of ownership in that thing. The challenge is, once you cross over into ownership, you now believe the vineyard is yours and the fruit of that vineyard belongs to you.
I believe we are in harvest season right now in the kingdom of God. I believe God is harvesting grapes (people) from His vineyard right now as we speak. I believe, what many see as a harvest of unbelievers coming is correct, but I think there is a harvest happening right now of believers. God, the owner of the vineyard (Psalm 24:1), is coming for His fruit, those who are mature, those who are ripe, those who are prepared to be gathered. Many leaders are wondering why so many people are leaving their churches; I believe this is why. It is harvest time. People are hearing the voice of God calling them out of the religious systems they have been in. Calling them to follow Jesus, not a church leader, calling them to discipleship with Jesus Himself. They are hearing the words of Jesus, "Follow Me!"
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