John 1:12. Let’s say it together: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
The Vineyard and Tenants
Boys and girls, thank you, Christine/Victorine/Tiffany, for a wonderful singing/praising leading and the singing was so touching and our Lord Jesus must be very pleased! Let’s give all the glory and praise to our living God and the Lord Jesus wholeheartedly!
Last Sunday Teacher Sharon gave us a message regarding “the unmerciful servant.” Sill remember why the servant was unmerciful? Yes, he was forgiven with a big debt, but he was not willing to forgive his fellow servant just a small debt. Well this parable reminds us that God has forgiven our big debt of sins, and therefore, we should be willing to forgive those who debt to us.
Pastor: Oh, Debbie, you just came at the right time! Join us for the children worship.
Debbie: Thank you, pastor Sidney, I just heard a wonderful parable of Jesus, can I share it with the children here?
Pastor: May I know what the parable is about?
Debbie: It is about the vineyard and the tenants.
Pastor: It is a great parable of Jesus. Please share with us.
[Debbie shared the parable]
Thank you, Debbie, for sharing such an inspirational parable to our children! The parable of the wicked tenants was written in Matthew 21:33-46. Bright will read part of verses v. 37 to v. 44 for us. Let’s listen to it carefully.
<Bright read the Bible verses>
37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ 39 So they seized 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?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
Thank you Bright for reading such long verses for us. Now commander ask you: who is the landowner of the vineyard? Yes, it is our heavenly father who gave His kingdom to His chosen people, Israelites. The tenants are those Jewish leaders, such as the chief priests, the Pharisees and the pollical leaders. In the old testament, the Israelites disobeyed God and totally forgot His commandments. However, our God, who is full of love and mercy, kept sending messengers, prophets to the people and asked them to return to God, don’t worship the idols, all kinds of false gods. However, they never listened, instead, they even caught God’s messengers and prophets, and humiliated them even physically beat or tortured them. Like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos, Joel, etc., etc…., they have suffered from their own people’s attack, humiliation, and the Israelites never listened to them. Later God decided to send His one and only son Jesus to them and hoping that they will respect His son and willing to respect and honor Him. And at that time even Jesus was still alive, He had foreseen that they would never accept Him and would kill Him on the cross. So, how would God respond to their disobedience? Was He going to take back His kingdom? No because our God is such a merciful and gracious God, He opened His kingdom to all the people around the world. The only requirement: receive His son Jesus. As John 1:12 says: “Yet to all who did receive him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Jewish leaders killed Jesus, but Jesus became the cornerstone, which is the foundation, of the church. Jewish people rejected Jesus, and God gave Jesus to all the world and therefore, we are able to enter the kingdom of God as long as we receive Jesus.
This parable taught us that at the beginning, we, the gentiles, have no part for the kingdom of God. The salvation was planned for the Jewish people who are His chosen people only. However, because of their disobedience and rejection to the Messiah, who is God’s only son, Jesus, God opened His salvation to all the world, and as we receive Jesus as our Savior, we receive the salvation and receive the right to enjoy the kingdom of God.
So, having understood this parable, what the actions we should take? Are we just like the wicked tenants totally ignored God’s commandments? Commander have three points for you:
- Be willing to give back to God: God wants His people to be willing to give a portion from what they harvest under the grace of God. So be generous to God, show your love back to God.
- Give thanks to God always knowing we didn’t deserve the salvation. God can take out the salvation from giving to the humans. However, because of His love and grace, He is willing to open the salvation to all the people in the world no matter Jews or gentiles. Remember, we can have salvation is all by God’s grace.
- Accept Jesus to enter the kingdom of God. The most important point is we only receive Jesus in order to receive the salvation. Jesus is the only key to the kingdom of God. No matter you are Jew, or Greek, or American or Chinese the only key to the eternity, the kingdom of God is to accept Jesus as your Savior.
Well, before closing, commander have the memory verse for you. This is from John 1:12. Let’s say it together: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
Boys and girls, Let’s bow our head and pray: “Our gracious Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching us the parable of the wicked tenants that we then understood that we didn’t deserve this special salvation of God for us to be part of the kingdom of God, as we are not Jewish people. But because of God’s love and grace, we then have the opportunity to become the children of God when we accept Jesus as our Savior. Let the Holy Spirit remind us that we are always willing to listen to God and obey God’s commands and always give thanks to Him.
Thank you Lord Jesus for your love and the teachings. In the Lord Jesus’ holy name we pray, Amen!