When renting apartments, I always felt that the monthly payment was tossed down the storm drain or worse. Wasted money. No equity builds up except for the apartment owner. As a financial planner, I decide early on to do something about rubbish rent. Every month I would deposit the same dollar figure into my own investment account. Why? To build equity. When Sue and I marry, I have enough to buy our first home. No debt.
So what does this have to do with the Jesus’ last recorded parable in Luke’s Gospel? Good question! Let’s look at Luke 20: 9–‘…A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time.’ The vineyard farmers give back some of their harvest to the landowner as rent payment. Jesus says–‘At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard (v.10).’
But these ingrates refuse to cough up even a small portion of the rent they owe. They want it all for themselves. Violent promise breakers, losers weepers.
After sending a servant or two to collect the rent, neither of which return alive, the owner decides to send his son. You know what happens. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours’ (v.14).
They hanker for the whole schmear, kit and caboodle. Give back nothing. Kill if necessary.
As a believer, I know that God has given me much. Not to hold onto tightly. More like we’re renting our time here, during which we willingly and joyfully give the Lord His due. Turning ears to Him. Listening. And eyes. Looking. Reading His Word daily. Applying what He says, knowing that forgiveness is but a prayer away. He’s well aware that we’re made of clay and dust. Oh, how He knows!
While renting here, also build up equity in heaven. How? Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full on His wonderful face. Love Him. Talk with Him. Relish His lavish grace and mercy. Share Him. Spiritual equity builds and multiplies.
Jesus has a home for us with Him. No rent. Equity has been sent ahead, invested in God’s Kingdom.
Renters? Here, yes. But there, a paid-for home awaits those who wait upon Jesus!
Thank you, Lord, for a mansion over the hilltop. Because of Jesus. Amen.