I was asked recently to look at Isaiah 5:1-7 and Matthew 21:33-43. Both of these passages are similar and deal with a vineyard, winepress, watchtower and the destruction of people. Here are some thoughts to ponder.
It is interesting how these two passages are different and yet the same.
Isaiah 5 is a prophecy that tells the Israelites that they have not followed God and will be punished. This follows the theme of the majority of the book of Isaiah.
He gave them a land of their own and waited for them to worship Him and only Him and they did not.
"had a vineyard......and planted it with choice vines."He kept choosing the good vines. After all he had destroyed all except Noah and his family in the flood and then chose Abraham to be the father of his people because he was close to God.
"a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit."Once again His chosen people had turned their backs on the one true God.
Turning to Matthew it is interesting to note that Jesus gave this parable after returning to Jerusalem in the triumphal entry and less than one week before they killed him. Also, the chief priests and the Pharisees were in the audience when he said this.
Here Jesus is talking about being rejected and killed by the Israelites (Jews). They had rejected their Messiah.
"kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to people who will produce its fruit."I also think that he is foretelling that the Gentiles will now be given the opportunity to become God's children. The chosen people have rejected him.
Again, those who reject the servant (Jesus) will be "crushed".
Surely the priests and Pharisees knew of the wording in Isaiah but many were blind to the truth. Here was one whom they saw as the carpenter's son from Nazareth claiming that he was the Son of God.
It's interesting to go to Acts and read that later many priests and Jews were converted to Christianity. Did many just stand back and keep quiet when the others pushed through the crucifixion of Jesus. As it is today, a small band of rabble-rousers can lead a large group.
In the end it is no different than today: the ancient Israelites turned away from God, the Jews didn't recognize the Messiah and many today still do not believe.
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