Transferable Blessings: Matthew 21:33-46

Focus Passage: Matthew 21:33-46 (GNT)

 33 Listen to another parable, Jesus said. There was once a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a hole for the wine press, and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to tenants and left home on a trip. 34 When the time came to gather the grapes, he sent his slaves to the tenants to receive his share of the harvest. 35 The tenants grabbed his slaves, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again the man sent other slaves, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all he sent his son to them.
         Surely they will respect my son, he said. 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves,
         This is the owner’s son. Come on, let’s kill him, and we will get his property! 39 So they grabbed him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

 40 Now, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? Jesus asked.

 41 He will certainly kill those evil men, they answered,
         and rent the vineyard out to other tenants, who will give him his share of the harvest at the right time.

 42 Jesus said to them, Haven’t you ever read what the Scriptures say?

         The stone which the builders rejected as worthless
      turned out to be the most important of all.
   This was done by the Lord;
      what a wonderful sight it is!

 43 And so I tell you, added Jesus,
         the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce the proper fruits.

 45 The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables and knew that he was talking about them, 46 so they tried to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet.

Read Matthew 21:33-46 in context and/or in other translations on!

One of the parables Jesus shares really hit home with the religious leaders living in the first century. When Jesus shared it, they understood what He was talking about, and they didn’t like it. The Jewish leaders in the crowd who heard the parable knew Jesus was talking about them, and He was saying they were the “evil tenants” because they were unwilling to give God (the landowner) His share. I could discuss this idea further, but I want to zero in on an idea that Jesus concludes the parable with: “The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce the proper fruits.” (v. 43)

This brings me to this journal entry’s big idea: The blessing of being a “tenant” of the good news is transferable.

God is looking for people who bless Him with the “fruit” of what He has entrusted them with. If the people God entrusts with His message are not “fruitful”, then the blessing of responsibility can be transferred to someone else. If the Jews were not fruitful towards God, then the blessing could move to the Christians.

However, this transfer is not permanent, because if Christianity is not “fruitful” with the good news, then the blessing can move again. Perhaps you believe the broader Christian faith has lost its way and your [insert denomination, church, or faith community here] has finally gotten it right. I’m not here to challenge your belief, but if your group ever ceases to be fruitful towards God, then the blessing of being a tenant may transfer away.

God’s blessings and responsibilities are not permanent. They are instead given as we are faithful managers of what God has given to us. Part of us managing God’s blessings is returning to Him His share of what He’s blessed us with. He gives blessings to us not only for our benefit, but so we can be a blessing to others and back towards Him.

God is more than happy to bless us and give us the opportunity to be tenants for Him. However, this offer is contingent on us being responsible, and respecting His role in the arrangement.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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