Today we’re going to do a Bible Study. This is Matthew 21:33-46
““Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’? “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.”
Matthew 21:33-46 NKJV
Jesus was speaking of the prophets, Himself, and the church leaders. The Pharisees realized this. Based on this - and other - passages, I believe the Pharisees knew exactly who Jesus was. Their lust for continued power over the people, and even in the face of their Roman oppressors, gave them, just as the passage indicates, a desire to take control of the reigns of their religion. I believe they truly thought that if they killed Jesus, not only would they get rid of their prime detractor, but would somehow establish themselves as gods, since they were killing off God’s “heir”. This is the same temptation that the serpent used to entice Adam & Eve to betray God in the garden - “...you’ll be like gods...”
They knew who He was but still didn’t understand the plan. Even on the cross, Jesus asked that their treachery not be held against them, since “...they know not what they do.” In order for God‘s plan of redemption to be realized, they HAD to crucify Jesus. Their desire to kill Him and take over the vineyard was no different than Adam & Eve’s desire to be like gods. God formulated His plan with the knowledge this would happen. This is why Jesus didn’t want this held against them, but for God to “...forgive them...”
What does this mean for us...for me? ”Forgive each other, even as God forgave you.” We are called to live a life of forgiveness. In the face of our sin, yes our deceitful, treacherous, willful sin, God forgave us. What right do we have to not forgive those who betray, plan against, and try to destroy us?
Lord, please bring to my mind, on a regular basis, the people whom I need to forgive. In Your Word You said that if I don’t forgive others their sin against me, neither would you forgive me of mine. I desire - I NEED Your constant forgiveness. Please, help mold me into the person I need to be by forgiving others. You sent Jesus to die for them; I want them to see You in me. That can start with my forgiveness. Hopefully, in seeing You in me, this will cause them to seek Your forgiveness, too.