Where would you put your ‘God forbid!’?

Where would you put your ‘God forbid!’?

Luke 20 v 9-19

He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. 13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”

 

Every Jew would understand this parable and even we can see it clearly. The owner is God, the farmers/tenants are Israel and the son is of course Jesus.

All seemed well until harvest time. The farmers were paid by what the harvest brought with a percentage going to the owner. God was wanting a portion, a return from their lives that indicated they belonged to him. God has the right to that. He owns the whole thing. Surrender of the fruit of the harvest is still a problem for some today. Some Christians are still struggling with a tithe never mind giving from the 90% and it has nothing to do with debt or personal circumstances, just greed.

So God sends His servants the prophets.

They beat one, physically hurting the prophet.

“When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!” No they didn’t.

Another servant came and this time was dishonoured. To the Jew they understood full well honour and shame, it is part of their culture as in many parts of the world. The prophet was sent away in shame.

“When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!” No they didn’t.

The third one came and they wounded him, the word is ‘traumatizo’. The prophet was thrown out traumatised by them.

“When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!” No they didn’t.

So the son came, the one who was loved, Jesus. In a prophetic message of what would happen in a few days, Jesus describes how the son was taken out of the vineyard and killed (outside the city wall). The owner’s son, killed by those benefiting from the owner!

“When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!” No they didn’t.

So the owner returns. When He comes He comes with severe judgment and what the farmers thought was theirs is taken away and the vineyard is given to others, which clearly is understood as the other nations, the people that the Jews despised.

“When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”

The point is, we don’t seem to think it is wrong to judge ruthlessly and deal harshly, to be unkind, to abuse, manipulate and treat ruthlessly. Why would we when we are right?

But when the same judgment is used on us. That’s a different story. God forbid!

 

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