Then comes the big theological question: “When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
“He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give Him the fruits in their seasons,” is the chief priests’ and Pharisees’ answer. And that reveals something about their mindset. They expect God to act as they would. Selfishly. Harshly. Tit for tat. Quid pro quo.
Luther puts it very well. “As you believe, so you have.” In other words, if you treat God as one who deprives you of what you believe you have coming, one who takes what is His and pays back evil for evil… then that’s the God you have. If you treat God as one who can’t be trusted to care for your good, if you treat Him as a threat… then that’s the God you have. The evil you think of God, you’ll receive from Him in judgment. There’s nothing capricious about God’s judgment. It acknowledges what is the fact with a man and deals with him accordingly.
What fruit, then is called for? In a word… repentance. Turning away from sin and back to God. Turning away from insisting that God do things our way and instead, trusting in Him, and His grace and mercy, patience and steadfast love. Repentance is contrition and faith. Repentant believers are those who are sorry for their sin, and who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.
In Proverbs we read: “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find mercy” (28:13).
So you in the vineyard. How goes the digging? The watering? The weeding? What of the harvest? Are you producing fruits of the