At the end of this parable, Jesus switches and begins to speak in future-tense, of something to come later. Jesus says “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you (religious leaders) and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.” Allow me to answer a few questions here: 1). What is this fruit? 2). Has the vineyard exchanged hands yet? 3). What or who is this nation that will bear the fruit of the seed the landowner planted?
Regarding question 1: The book of Genesis says all seed produces offspring of the same kind as itself. Therefore, the fruit that comes from the seed God planted is sons of God – those who think like Him and have His spirit. If this sounds far-fetched, it’s because you’ve probably not been exposed to the plans of God, which are much bigger than religion realizes. Consider these scriptures: (Hebrews 2:10): For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory…” (Romans 8:29): For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Regarding question 2: For many reasons I can’t expound on here, (but you can just look around and see it), I do not believe the faithful nation Jesus spoke of, who will will bring the seed to fruition, has shown up yet. The vineyard was taken from the Scribes and Pharisees, to be sure. But as prophesied in this parable and elsewhere, Christianity itself has followed the path of the Pharisees. It’s done this by exalting tradition (thus nullifying the seed – God’s word), silencing His prophets, and rendering the worldwide church, i.e. the body of Christ, immature. Christianity wants the inheritance (heaven) selfishly. They don’t truly care about the landowner or His vineyard, only what they can get from Him.
This is going to change. The church was prophesied to follow the path of religion and blindness for a season, so this is no surprise or accident. But we are at the beginning of th third 1,000 year day since Christ, and the 7th 1,000 year day since Adam. Prophesied to come is the arrival of a people, with no religious identity at all, who will bring God’s word to maturity, repair the hedge, begin making new wine in the winepress, and man the watchtower. They won’t be religious, but they will follow God in spiritual ways that don’t make sense to many. Jesus will be their Lord – not in word, but in reality. They will walk as he walked – devoted to their Father, attentive to his voice, and concerned with truth rather than morality or self-improvement.
If you want to be a part of that people, I believe the surest way is to deny yourSELF (including all the religious knowledge you’ve gained) and seek desperately to hear God’s voice, develop intimacy with Him, and follow Him on a daily basis. The standard of a follower of Jesus is not ANY religious ideas or Bible verses, but God’s present voice. He speaks today, Spirit to spirit. Get your mind quiet and free of pre-conceptions and begin to let Him teach you in the spirit. Amen.