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The Murder of God’s Son: A Prophetic Parable, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 23, 2021 4:00 am

The Murder of God’s Son: A Prophetic Parable, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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July 23, 2021 4:00 am

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Now, as we look at this story in this, subsequent statements of our Lord that follow it going to be introduced to the coming death of Christ and its implications.

This then is a very important.

It is a sweeping and comprehensive story told in very simple language balanced by his courage and by the boldness with which he denounced hypocrisy today on grace to you, you're going to see how Jesus boldly and vigorously confronted, hypocritical, false teachers, I urge you to listen closely today because bottom line. You need the same attitude toward error that Jesus displayed so follow along with John MacArthur now as he continues his study titled how to talk to a heretic if you will open your Bible to the 20th chapter of Luke, we come to verse nine and a prophetic parable of prophetic parable concerning the murder of God's son Jesus is speaking to the people in the parable before us about the leaders. This parable that we come to in verse nine is one of three parables directed at the leaders. Matthew gives all three of them.

Luke only gives one during the day Wednesday from the very early morning throughout the day Jesus was moving through the temple teaching. It may well have been that he repeated with the slight variations. This parable several times, Matthew's account of the parable is substantially exactly the same with a few variables.

Mark's account of the parable is substantially the same with a few variables and it is very likely that is. He moved in the mass of people he retold and reintroduced these themes, but there is no essential difference in this parable. As I said in Matthew's gospel. You have two other parables. This is the middle of the three Luke only gives us this one. Let me tell you the story that Jesus told the prophetic parable that begins in verse nine and he began to tell the people this parable. A man planted a vineyard and rented out the vine growers and went on a journey for a long time and at the harvest time you send a slave to the vine growers in order that they might give him some of the produce of the vineyard for the vine growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed and he proceeded to send another slave and they beat him also and treated him shamefully sent him away empty-handed and he proceeded to send 1/3. This one also they wounded and cast out, and the owner of the vineyard said, what shall I do, I will send my beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him. But when the vine growers saw him, they reasoned with one another saying this is the error, let us kill him, and the inheritance may be hours and threw him out of the vineyard and killed what therefore will the owner of the vineyard due to them will come and destroy these vine growers and will give the vineyard to others. That's the story. Now, as we look at this story in this, subsequent statements of our Lord that follow it going to be introduced to the coming death of Christ and its implications. This then is a very important parable because it looks forward to this event about to happen. It is also exceedingly important because it looks backward through all of Israel's history is a sweeping and comprehensive story told in very simple language, a stunning story. A story loaded with meaning a bizarre and shocking story as you could tell now as we unfold this story going to have you look at four features one the illustration. The story itself to the explanation and then next will look at the extension and the application but to begin with the illustration and the explanation verse nine and he began to tell the people this parable he is speaking to this massive crowd that has been surrounding him since he entered the city a couple of days earlier this great crowd is now in the temple area.

He is speaking to them and mingled amidst them. Of course, are the leaders story is told to the people and in the hearing of the leaders. Most importantly, it is a story about the leaders simple to understand a man planted a vineyard very common occurrence in Israel fact from an agrarian viewpoint or an agricultural viewpoint, Israel is divided into two kinds of land hillsides and flatland flatland is where you planted the green hillsides is where you planted the vineyard state terrorist vineyards remove the stones.

The walls that allow them to terrace and then filled those terraced hillsides with vineyards very very common in Matthew's account of the story, which may be the fuller account of the story, or it may be the same story with a little different detail. Jesus told in another place during the days that he was teaching in the temple. Matthew shows us a little bit about the completeness of this effort by the man planted the vineyard talks about putting a hedge around it putting a winepress in it, building a tower tower so that someone could sit and observe so that it wouldn't be attacked or assaulted by animals or enemies. So was a thorough job of planning vineyard very, very familiar stuff to them very common. All the hillsides of Israel and there are many were covered with such vineyards, and rented it out to vine growers commonly done as well. This would be an absentee landlord. This is an owner who is not there who doesn't live there. He owns the land, but he's not present. These are tenant farmers. I guess you could call them that that's what we would call them in our country are contract farmers who come don't own any land but have certain farming skills and rent the land from an absentee landowner with a view to producing a crop and paying the owner of the land. A certain percentage contracted and agreed upon.

They are contract workers then given the benefit of working the land they have are the best of everything. Really their freedom to work the land the way they want.

They can be as creative as they want.

They don't have somebody looking over their shoulder. This is a wonderful opportunity. This is a great privilege, as well as a great responsibility.

They can work hard and they can produce the crop and day they will pay the owner what they contracted to pay him everything else they get to keep.

So without having to purchase the land they can get the best of it and they can work hard and do very well in making a living, the owner, it says if you go back to verse nine, went on a journey for a long time a long time. All journeys took a long time in those days. This would be a long, long time, and extended time away.

In fact, such a long time away that he doesn't even come back between the time he contracts with these people to plant, and the time of harvest and so it is a long time. Everybody would understand that kind of situation. There were people who owned land in Israel who didn't live in Israel, Jews who had moved to some other place and so that's the common scenario harvest season comes verse 10 at the harvest time at the appropriate time.

He sent a slave to the vine growers do lawsuit comes as an authorized representative of the landowner and he comes for an obvious purpose in order that they might give him some of the produce of the vineyard.

This would've been agreed upon in a contract that they would've agreed to at the owner would've agreed to it. This is just time for the owner to come and get his share of the crop so that he can have what is due.

To him his share is now do nothing unusual about this very normal procedure. By the way this kind of farming goes on today. It goes on today all over the world as it has centuries for millennia in the world tenant farming very very common. What is not common is the response of the tenant farmers back to verse 10, but the vine growers beat him. That is the slave who had come and sent him away empty-handed. Now that is the shock in the story and many of our stories that the Lord tells familiar to us in the Bible have this moment of outrage.

This moment of shock. This moment of shameful unacceptable if not criminal conduct.

The listeners would see this is ungrateful, wicked and criminal illegal not to pay them was illegal to be the servant and send them back with nothing. Was it outright criminal word beat is a strong word can literally mean the full body pummeling real abuse send back with nothing. Verse 11 landowner's response proceeded to send another slave and they beat him also and treated him shamefully Greek verb from which we get the English word traumatize and sent him away empty-handed proceeded to send 1/3, and this one also. They wounded and cast out in Matthew's record. He has even more servants being sent and some of them killed and some of them stoned. These tenant farmers have conducted themselves in an absolutely outrageous fashion. They had been given privilege they had been given opportunity to do very well.

They had been given liberty and freedom they had made pledges and promises and contracts they manifest.

What is selfish, resentful, rebellious, criminal conduct, even to the extent of murder.

They are vicious, disrespectful criminals. Amazingly, this owner in the story who is already demonstrated amazing patient he would have had every right after they beat up the first slave and send them back to show up call in the appropriate authorities and bring justice and retribution.

He didn't he send a second slave that is merciful. That is being kind and patient. They did the same thing to the second slave he sends 1/3 one they do the same to him. This owner is extremely patient giving them opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to do what is right what they said they would do what they agreed to. So we asks the question in verse 13 and the owner of the vineyard said, what shall I do that seems a silly question on by now everybody would've expected vengeance. Vengeance after number one servant vengeance after certainly number two and number three. Why are you even asking this question. Why is there even such a soliloquy here. What is there to question what shall I do that to be obvious the people would've taken the side of the offended owner, they would've in their mindset is only one thing to do, take vengeance take reprisals an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth life for a life, but the owner is very patient again and decides that he will try one more time in the verse 13. I will send my beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him in Matthew's account of the parable. Matthew says. Last of all, I will send my son. Finally, last of all, I will send my only beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him. That phrase is simply a way to say this would be what I should expect to happen. They would show him respect and triple literally to be shamed into respect. After all the shameful things they've done up to this point. Surely, one could expect some kind of righteous civil treatment of my own beloved son. Maybe they had a low view of people who were slaves.

Maybe they saw slaves the way a lot of people in the secular and Gentile world saw slaves as animals, so the owner expresses a reasonable thought that they will show respect to a son, if not the slave but look what happens in verse 14 when the vine growers saw him before he could say anything.

Apparently nothing is stated as coming from his lips at all. They saw him, they knew who he was. They reasoned with one another deal against my the dialogue. They went into a discussion and this is what they came up with this is the air. Let us kill him that the inheritance may be hours, thoughtful planning, full knowledge of who he is. The renters premeditate is murder so they can control and possess everything they don't want him encroaching they don't want them taking anything that they now believe is there's and the way to get that is the killing, summary listing, the story might imagine that maybe they thought the father was dead. That's why the air came because he hadn't said anything. Maybe they assume when he showed up, that the king that the error that that the owner rather had passed on the property to his son, and all they would have to do then is kill the son, and it would belong to them according to the Talmud of three years went by, and no one laid claim to land it reverted to those who were working the land, so if they got rid of the son, assuming that the sun to come because the father may have been dead, it would belong to them. They wanted the inheritance to be theirs completely.

They didn't want the sun exercising any control having any authority or exacting anything from them. They immediately did as they plan verse 15 through him out of the vineyard and killed him shocking story, like so many of our Lord's parables stunning response. Shocking designed to generate outrage designed to make the audience feel outraged against those tenant farmers. This is unacceptable to law-abiding religious people.

This is unacceptable to people who feel that they are good people that they worship God that they try to do what is right, this is outrageous. This is pagan like conduct and so they fully identify sympathetically with the owner and they are in outrage against the tenant farmers verse 15 the end of the verse. What therefore will the owner of the vineyard due to them. Jesus poses the question that sucks them in what will the owner of the vineyard due to them.

The owner is not dead. The owner is alive.

What will he do, he asks his listeners to complete the parable to complete the parable. You will notice in verse 16 that it says he will come and destroy these vine growers and will give the vineyard to others, and it appears as though Jesus answered the question didn't give them an opportunity to answer, but if you look at Matthew's account as I tell you so often. I think that the full account of these stories is in the composite of the parables in the separate Gospels listen to what Matthew's account of the story as a very helpful detail. Matthew 2141 they said to him, they being the people who'd heard the story they said to him when he asked the question what therefore will the owner of the vineyard due to them.

They said to him, he will bring those wretches to a ratchet in course is not hard to figure out that's exactly what they ought to do, but it's important to note that the people affirm that they said to him, he will bring those wretches to a ratchet in.

Secondly they also said, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper season, that's the People's conclusion. That's their conclusion yes to things, he will destroy them and he will give the land into the care of others.

That is the only sensible answer.

That is the only reasonable answer. That's exactly what the people said, and our Lord affirms that in verse 16. Yes, he will come and destroy these vine growers and will give the vineyard to others.

That is exactly right.

Everybody knows that. Obviously if you have destroyed them. You have to give the vineyard to somebody else to care for. This is appropriate judgment and no one would argue with that. This is exactly what the people said he will destroy those wretches and give his land to someone else. That's what the people said they were absolutely right. They are now inside the story. They are now inside the story.

What is the explanation. What does this story mean that's the illustration. Listen to the explanation second half of verse 16 and when they heard it, they said, may it never be this strange what what you mean the people when they heard it said may it never be made again. Oh I taught in Greek, the strongest negative possible in the Greek language. No no no no, can't be can happen. Never, never, never, if they just said he will destroy those vine growers and give the vineyard to someone else. Why would they then say no no no no, don't let it happen.

That can't be I'll tell you why, because they had come to understand the meaning. Please notice the sentence again in verse 16 and when they heard it heard the Greek verb is cool, from which we get acoustic it means to comprehend. It means to perceive by hearing it means to understand it means to grasp it means to get it. For example, in Revelation chapters 2 and three. There is a repeated phrase. Let him who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches that's repeated again and again and again but him who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches not talking about hearing sounds not hiring talk about hearing words talk about grasping messages and that's the way I could always use throughout the New Testament hearing in the sense of understanding.

They said kill those vine growers and replace those vine growers and then they got it whether it was such an obvious story that the epiphany was momentary or whether Jesus explained it to them they got it and as soon as they understood it, they said no no no no no no role can have that can have that can do that can't can't kill those people and and and and and we can't take away that the vineyard from them can happen. They understood the meaning of the store they got and they planning. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John's current study is showing you the bold words Jesus had for men who distorted the gospel.

It's titled how to talk to a heretic, John. I know you've spent a lot of time in the Gospels and when you had an opportunity to choose to preach something that you'd already preached before your first reaction was to go back to the gospel of John and you said it's because the one thing you most love to preach about is Christ that he's the most compelling person you've ever studied, so here's a simple question, but I wanted to ask it why why does Jesus fascinate you so much well because there's never been a person like he is the God man. He is truly God and truly man is the fulfillment of all Old Testament messianic prophecies.

His wisdom is the wisdom of God. I think John 114 comes to mind, and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth. What a statement full of grace and truth. There is no one like him and one of the things that continues to amaze me. Some people might look at the four Gospels and say that's a lot of material not really. Four Gospels is not in a massive tome, but what you have in it in the four Gospels is you have four records of the life of Jesus and the things he said no one could say more. In a short sentence than he did, and it was always profoundly true and appropriate. All of us who speak would love to be able to reduce everything to its purest expression so we didn't have to use of many words he does that. He says things like, before Abraham was, I am whoa what that is. That is beyond profound there. There's no person like him. There's no person who live the way he lived thought the way he thought spoke the way he spoke and you not even the. The people of Israel say we never heard a man speak like this man and and part of it was because he reduce everything to the essential truth without wasting words so there's no comparison between him and anyone else to communicate the things that he communicated in the Holy Spirit inspired four Gospels and cover everything you needed no about life and godliness in those brief sort of I think summaries of conversations and cover all the ground.

If a philosopher was try to write a book and cover all the ground of life. It would beat it would be 25 volumes of machinations trying to get to the realities of things Jesus just nailed everything with direct statements. That's why preaching expositions on the person of Christ is such a powerful thing. Yes it is, and friend. There is no more valuable way to spend your time, then by studying the person and work of Christ. So I would encourage you to get John's book one perfect life. It combines everything the Bible says about Christ into a continuous biblical narrative. It's a chronological biography of Jesus Christ unlike any you've ever read order a copy today. One perfect life costs $17 in hardcover and shipping is free to order your copy, call toll-free anytime 855 grace or go online to GT Y.org again. This book puts everything the Bible says about Jesus in chronological order starting with Old Testament references to his life and everything in the New Testament to order one perfect life.

Call 855 grace and our web address GT Y.org friend.

Thanks for remembering that the support of people like you is what keeps grace to you on the air when you give you help encourage people around the globe with hopeful messages about the future with lessons on how to honor the Lord in daily life and with the life-changing truth of the gospel to partner with us make a tax-deductible donation when you call us at 855 grace or you can mail your gift to grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or you can give it our website. GT Y.org. Thank you for studying with us and now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson reminding you to watch grace to you television this Sunday and then be back here on Monday when John continues his study how to talk to a heretic with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you


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