Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
It’s been said that the early bird gets the worm…but, it’s also been said that the second mouse gets the cheese… The Parable of the Leased Vineyard centers on second place folks. Many of the Jews in Jesus’ time rejected Him and His Disciples going as far as to murdering most of them – including the Vineyard Owner’s (God’s) Son, Jesus. This ultimately left the door open for other “tenants” (the Gentiles) to come into the Vineyard (Heaven). Up to this point in Jesus’ days, the region in and around Jerusalem was home to Gentiles who were mostly polygamous pagans that were highly-influenced by both Greek and Roman theistic practices. They were the polar-opposite religiously to the Jews and both they and their practices were seen as “non-Kosher” and to be avoided. But, that’s not how Jesus (a Jew) saw the Gentiles. He spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well, healed the Roman Centurion’s servant, and was constantly using Parables to illustrate the point of God’s Kingdom being for everyone – not just for the Jews and even “for the dogs”. Many of us were not our employer’s 1st choice for the job. Many of us were not our Spouse’s 1st love. Many of our sports teams were not supposed to win the big game. Many of us never saw us being where we are today – good or bad. But God always has a plan for us and He has a real special place in His Heart for “second mice”. The ones who will have Faith in Him and, through Him, do things that inspire all of us. So, in a Spirit of humility, let us humble ourselves in Him, ask Him to forgive us our sins, and, in a Spirit of Gratefulness, Praise and Honor Him today and each and every day as best as we can in our fleshly-bodies. As we’re all ultimately on the same Team, what other choice is there, but to Love like Jesus did?