Jesus Makes His Vineyard Fruitful

There is a song in the sacred Scriptures about God’s love for us—a love song concerning his vineyard.

My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it.

This richly furnished vineyard was none other than God’s chosen people, and the fertile hill was the very Promised Land of Caanan.

For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting.

He made meticulous and thorough preparations for His people, supplying them with every good provision and means of fruitfulness. Nevertheless, the harvest of His vineyard was corrupt, wild, and worthless:

And he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.

His people became toxic, saturated in sin, and deadly:

Their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter; their wine is the  poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps.

A vineyard that grows only wild grapes is no vineyard at all. It is an extravagant waste, a ruinous investment that no one in their right mind would make.

Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit?

For this reason—the clearing out of the wild grapes—God allowed His vineyard to be defiled.

Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have trampled down my portion; they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

But He did not make a full end. In His infinite wisdom and sovereign might, He decreed that there would one day be an abundant harvest of grapes greater than those of the Valley of Eschol.

In that day, “A pleasant vineyard, sing of it! I, the LORD, am its keeper; every moment I water it.”

And this plan was brought to fruition by sending the heir of the vineyard Himself into our midst.

“I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.”

But when the Son of God arrived, so did the fullness of sin. Rather than offer Him the respect and worship He deserved, we turned against our Maker with all the wickedness and rebellion we could muster. Like King Ahab of old, we imagined we could take God’s vineyard by force.

And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

By this very deed, we declared ourselves worthy of being killed and thrown out ourselves—gathered up by the angels and thrown into the winepress of the wrath of God. And yet, this very act of treason was used by God to heal the wayward wildness of our hearts. Jesus’ blood—symbolized by wine—transforms barren sinners into a people producing the fruits of the kingdom of God that will multiply without end:

In days to come Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots and fill the whole world with fruit.

Where there was once only ruin, Jesus is creating an everlastingly abundant harvest. And though He has full right and claim to partake of it all now, He has chosen to delay the fullness of His joy until it can be shared with all of His people at the marriage feast of the Lamb:

Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Lord, thank You for preserving and redeeming your vineyard! Only You can take wild grapes and change them into an abundant harvest of righteousness and glory. May our lives be poured out as a drink offering as we delight in the fullness of Your love, the new covenant in Your blood!

For your love is better than wine.

Jesus Is The True Vine

Jesus said,

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.”

Indeed, God is like the owner of a vineyard, who planted His people Israel in good soil:

“You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.”

And yet, despite all His faithful care, His people quickly went astray. Listen to what the divine vinedresser asks them:

“I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?”

“When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?”

The answer is sin. Instead of the fruit of lips that praise His name, our unassisted hearts naturally produce wickedness.

“For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter.”

We have all become cut off, useless vines that are charred on either end by our sin:

“When the fire has consumed both ends of it, and the middle of it is charred, is it useful for anything? Behold, when it was whole, it was used for nothing. How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it ever be used for anything!”

But Jesus is different. He is like the vines of the promised land, whose grape clusters grew so large that they had to be carried on a pole by two men. He yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness, and that in infinite abundance.

But most amazing of all is that He was plucked up and cast away in our place! Of Him it was written:

“The vine was plucked up in fury, cast down to the ground; the east wind dried up its fruit; they were stripped off and withered.”

Like Naboth, He was killed in His own vineyard, although He was the son and heir of everything. But now He lives forever, and allows even those who killed Him to be grafted into Himself and bear fruit.

Thank you, Lord, that I don’t have to be a vine, but may instead be one of your branches!

“Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”