Monday, March 18, 2013
Sermon March 16-17, 2013
Title: Christ is the heir but in Him you are adopted!
Text: Luke 20:13-15
13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright once told of an incident that may have seemed insignificant at the time, but had a profound influence on the rest of his life. The winter he was 9, he went walking across a snow-covered field with his reserved, no-nonsense uncle. As the two of them reached the far end of the field, his uncle stopped him. He pointed out his own tracks in the snow, straight and true as an arrow's flight, and then young Frank's tracks meandering all over the field.
"Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again," his uncle said. "And see how my tracks aim directly to my goal. There is an important lesson in that."
Years later the world-famous architect liked to tell how this experience had greatly contributed to his philosophy in life. "I determined right then," he'd say with a twinkle in his eye, "not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had."
Focus on the Family letter, September 1992, Page 14.
We too who have spent some years of life to may be many years of life as Christians at times miss important lessons that God wants us to learn. In our Gospel lesson today we hear of the vineyard and the owner of the vineyard.
9 And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while.
In this parable, Jesus tells a story. It is a very clear story for those who were gathered to listen in His presence. The picture Jesus tells of the vineyard would have been very familiar to them. Here too they would have made the connection as to the point that Jesus was making.
In chapter 5 of the book of Isaiah, God had told a story of a vineyard that He had built and how he had taken care of it looking for a yield of grapes.
The vineyard was on a very fertile hill. It was dug and cleared of stones, and planted with choice vines; a watchtower was in the midst of it, as was a wine vat and the owner of the vineyard looked for it to yield grapes … but it only yielded wild grapes.
What else could I do he asks? “I gave the vineyard everything and it only yielded wild grapes!”
So He makes this statement. “I will remove the hedge from my vineyard and let it be overrun. I will break down its wall allowing it to be trampled becoming waste. No longer will I pruned or hoe it and briers and thorns shall overtake it and rain will no longer fall on it.” (Isaiah 5:1-6 paraphrased)
The leaders in Israel who were listening to Him and who would have known the reference to the parable of the vineyard, were the ones who had just questioned Jesus when they said to him: “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” (John 20:2)
God had come to Israel as His chosen people but had been rejected. Time and time again God’s messengers, His Prophets, proclaimed God’s word to those chosen by God, hoping they would bring fourth good fruit, but were rejected and cast out.
As Jesus continued:
13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’
This is obvious that Jesus is speaking about Himself in this parable and of His coming as the very Messiah proclaimed and prophesied about in the Old Testament. You might remember from our lesson reading from a few weeks ago when Jesus laments:
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
You and I too are without excuse. Those of us who have been brought to faith by God’s Holy Spirit to faith in Christ but have fallen away from the joy that has been given us by God are also under His condemnation.
Here is an interesting analogy:
Had Adam and Eve retained their original state, they never would have died. But Eve and then Adam yielded to the serpent's temptation, and death came into the world. Before that moment, they were in a beautiful, pristine state. They existed on a level far above the present condition of the human race. It is difficult to imagine what man was like then by viewing him as he is now. It would require something like trying to reconstruct the original version of an aircraft from its wreckage. If we knew nothing of flying, we would hardly suspect that it had once soared above the earth. The material would be the same; the capability of flight, however, would be lost.
But, we who have been given faith know the truth of Christ and His victory over sin, death and the power of the Devil. So too we are under the same condemnation as those in Israel; who refused to recognize the Messiah, the anointed one sent to Israel, Jesus Christ.
14 But when the tenants those in Israel saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’
They recognized Jesus as the Messiah, which is all the more, heinous. This was not an imposter that they crucified but the very Son of God, the heir of the vineyard.
15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
There is the death of the Son but:
Christ is the heir and in Him you are adopted!
Christ Jesus is the heir. He is the beloved Son of God. He is pointing to the work of adoption that He will accomplish, for you.
Adoption is a special gift. That’s the way many people involved in an adoption see it. They believe and see adoption as God’s gift to the parents, child, and even to the people around them. One mother said, “When I look at my daughters, I see God’s work, I know God bought us all together.” She believes God knew what he was doing when he chose each person for their family. “It’s a perfect fit,” she added.
When strangers comment how much her daughter looks like her or how her other daughter looks like her husband? She just smiles and says “thank you.” Sometimes she tells them her children are adopted so she can amaze them. One elderly lady once responded, “Well, what they say must be true. If you feed ‘em long enough they start looking like you.”
My friend Bud, has a daughter that he adopted when she was very young. They looked, acted and became so close that it was hard for me, who knew that she was adopted, to almost believe it. Whatever it is, the fact remains, that many times adoptive children resemble their adoptive parents.
So what does that say about you as God’s adoptive child?
Adapted from http://www.examiner.com/article/adoption-god-s-special-gift
Christ is the heir but in Him you are adopted!
God has made you His own. In Him you have been adopted and have been given a new name. Your birth father, the Devil, brought you fourth in the sin of his corruption of this world and you have been washed clean and made a child of God. By Christ and his saving act, you are covered with his righteousness, being conformed into His image. You look to me the same as the Father sees you. When God the Father sees you … you look to Him just like His Son. You are adopted and reflect the look of your adoptive family. When God sees you, He sees Christ Jesus. What an awesome and blessed gift.
Frank Lloyd Wright determined not to miss all of the things that this life had to offer like his uncle that just moved from point A to point B not seeing all the blessings this life had to offer.
Jesus has given you faith by his Holy Spirit in you so that you can see the blessing of the cross for you. Through the cross of Christ you see redemption, love, fullness and life eternal, in Him. In Jesus and by His Spirit you know that God’s love for you is so deep that:
In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Eph 1:5-14)
Christ is the heir … but in Him you are adopted!
In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.