Today’s parable begins with many of the same words Isaiah used in the love song for his beloved’s vineyard. Jesus is speaking in parables, and he’s using words with which his audience would be familiar. These Jewish leaders would probably have heard Isaiah’s story of the vineyard many times over the course of their lives. For that reason it makes sense that by the end of this parable they know what Jesus is telling them without him having to come right out and say it.
Jesus is a master teacher, and one thing I love about him is the way he meets people where they are as he teaches them. In this case, he provides a hard word that ultimately foreshadows his own death. In other cases, he touches the untouchables, eats with sinners, feeds the masses, and guides and explains who he is to his closest friends over and over again.
Throughout this week we have considered how there may be spaces in our lives where we are like wild grapes, having abandoned justice and righteousness for wealth and comfort. We have also considered what a rich invitation it is to notice the work of God’s hands and live into an abundant life evidenced by good fruit.
In this passage, Jesus is walking the streets of the earth. He is teaching in parables, and he is moving closer to his death and resurrection. He is God reaching out to us, meeting us where we are so we might draw closer to God.
How is Jesus meeting you today?
Jesus, would you draw us closer to you this day? Would you help us notice where you are moving and speaking? Would you make clear the path we should follow and forgive us when we stumble? Amen.