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enough is enough


And he [Jesus Christ, AD 33, Jerusalem] began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the wine press and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard......”      Mark 12: 1-2


 A vineyard was a parallel for the nation of Israel over the centuries between BC 2000 and AD 33. Almighty God chose the children of Israel (a man who had 12 sons and who was the grandson of Abraham) for his special possession and covenant of steadfast love. Yes, the Jews.

And, after a terribly hard time in slavery in Egypt for 430 years, Almighty God redeemed them and gave them the promised land now (again, after a gap of many centuries) called Israel. Almighty God wanted “fruit” from his vineyard, however......

Here in Jersey, things are different in AD 2008. Jersey publishes each year its economic statistics. Our GNI (Gross National Income) per head of population (for 2006) was £39,000. How does this compare with the nations around us? Well here are a few others, also for 2006, approximate and in £s: Luxembourg (No 1) £36,000; United States (No 7) 22,300; United Kingdom (No 11) 20,100; Israel 9,300; Egypt 700.

If the “fruit” that Jesus was speaking about in AD 33 was solely some sort of monetary return to Almighty God the Creator, we would need to take our responsibilities very seriously. What if the fruit were some sort of attempted repayment to the Creator for a pleasant and beautiful environment? Again, we owe......

Going back to Jerusalem AD 33, however, the fruit from the vineyard had been withheld for centuries—despite the sending of many servants of Almighty God to collect some return. Jesus went on to say: “He [the vineyard owner] still had one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ “

This parable did not change the folk there. Oh! They knew what he was saying. And they still killed him. No way would the owner of the vineyard receive any fruit from them......

They did not, in particular, accept the last bit of Jesus’ parable: “What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”

In AD 70 Jerusalem was destroyed, with its Temple, by Titus, who became Roman Emperor in AD 79. Later in AD 132 Emperor Hadrian (he of Hadrian’s wall) committed genocide in Jerusalem and the Jews were forbidden to enter that city for 200 years.

Who were the other tenants to whom the vineyard was given? Well, the other tenants were (are) all the people of all nations, including present descendants of Abraham........ And Jersey folk. All who will U-turn......

The parable of the tenants still applies to the new tenants. But what is the fruit that Almighty God expects?

And when will he again say to those who refuse to return fruit, “enough is enough”?


    ‘Those who will not deliver themselves into the hand of God’s mercy cannot be delivered out of the hand of his justice.’ (Matthew Henry, Clergyman and Bible Expositor, 1662-1714)  
  ‘Sin is the weight on the clock that causes the hammer to strike.’ (George Swinnock, Clergyman,1627-1673)  
Richard Syvret

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