October 29, 2017

Broken vs. Crushed

Luke 20:9-19 (NASB)

And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!” But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone?' Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them.

Something that is broken can be rebuilt. Something that is crushed is destroyed. We’ll see in our study of this text that whether a person surrenders his life to Christ determines if he or she is broken or crushed. Some Christians struggle understanding the Bible because they miss seeing two covenants or agreements.

  1. The Old Agreement is God’s covenant with the nation of Israel
    Jesus is a Jew. He’s entered Jerusalem, the heart of Judaism. The nation of Israel is the “vineyard.”
    1. God plants Israel as a nation – “A man planted a vineyard” (v. 9).
      “Let me sing now for my well-beloved a song of my beloved concerning His vineyard. My well- beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill” (Isaiah 5:1). God is “the man” of the parable Jesus told.
    2. God goes away for a long time – “He rented it to farmers and went away for a long time” (v. 9).
      Jesus frequently refers to the withdrawal of the visible presence of God from the world, always bringing out the point that the withdrawal tests faithfulness. For example, God “came down” upon Mt. Sinai, gave the law and established the Hebrew nation, then withdrew His revealed presence.
    3. God expects fruit from the vineyard – “At harvest time he sent a servant … for the fruit” (v. 10).
      What is this fruit? Changed lives. The fruit of the Spirit. “To love mercy, to do justly.” Obedience. Isaiah said, “Then He looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit” (Isaiah 5:2). The Law of God never produces changed lives; rather, the Law was given to expose man’s sin.
    4. God sent His prophets to prune the vineyard – “He sent…they beat and sent away” (vs. 10-13).
      Israel’s rejection of God-sent prophets happened repeatedly (1400 B.C. – 400 B.C.). For Israel’s treatment of the prophets, see passages like 1 Kings 18:13; 22:24-27; 2 Kings 6:31; II Chron. 24:19-22; 36:15 and Heb. 11:35-38. “They mocked God’s messengers…scoffing” (II Chron. 36:16). During the OT, God expected His people to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt. 3:8).
  2. God sent His Son to the vineyard to prune His vineyard to produce fruit
    After 400 years of silence from God (Malachi – Matthew), God sends His only Son to the vineyard. “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love” (v. 13). Being tender and forgiving, and unwilling to resort to extreme measures, the Lord of the Vineyard resolved to thus send His Son, better than any other messenger (Heb. 1:1-5). Christ was rejected. “So they threw Him out of the vineyard and killed Him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others” (Lk. 20:15-16). The “coming of God” to judge Israel for their rejection of the Messiah occurred in AD 70 (Matthew 24).
  3. The New Agreement is God’s covenant with the people of the world
    The meaning of all this? (vs. 17-18) “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” It’s interesting that in Jerusalem there is a rock that builders of the Temple rejected. You can see it today in the Western Tunnel of the Temple grounds. Right beside this rock, Jesus was rejected. The Jews rejected Christ as King of their lives, and He became the Cornerstone of a New Covenant “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness” (I Peter 2:9).
    1. Surrendering to Christ leads to brokenness and a changed life.
    2. Rejecting Christ leads to a life that in the end will be crushed by God.
    3. God expects His people to listen to His Son and submit to His authority.
    4. The fruit that comes to the life of the broken is the fruit of the Spirit in you (see Ga. 5:22-23).

You can view the video for this sermon HERE.