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The Parables of Jesus: When Jesus Finds No Fruit

Chris Buttery
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Although God doesn’t run stores, or have a basketball team to coach, He is head of His church.  What’s a God to do with His people when they don’t meet His expectations, especially when every provision has been made for their success? Find out in this all-important message.

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  • October 4, 2014
    11:30 AM
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This morning's message. Is entitled. When Jesus finds no fruit. In his autobiography he made in America. Wal-Mart found a Sam Walton. He describes three pillars that make a great company. Number one. Respect for the individual. Number two. Service to the customer. And number three. Striving for excellence. On a quiet evening. In Illinois in two thousand and two. All three pillars were knocked down impressively in less than half an hour I'm going to read to you here. What I read in a book and. It will. Well it not only amuse you but it will get us thinking here a little bit as we head into our message. Heading into warm up. The ride a said engine. Jenny so. And this again is in Illinois to pick up a prescription. A seventy three year old woman stopped by a newspaper box outside the store. As a woman removed her paper and turned away. The door slam shop. On the drooping hood of her jacket. I'm able to wriggle out of the garment thanks to a recent shoulder surgery. The step. Septet generic when I think I pronounced that right. Looked around for assistance. A young woman spotted her predicament and went into the store to find a helpful Walmart employee. Respect for the individual was on the way. Alas the woman was informed that Wal-Mart had a strict policy. Against tampering with newspaper boxes. So with the woman. Still held hostage by the Quad Cities dispatch August's a Wal-Mart employee mindful of the all important service to the customer told the paper to have someone sent out to liberate her. The woman politely suggested that the employee simply cough up two quarters. And open the door. This concept wasn't found in Sam Walton's book of employ. The employee handbook. The store she explained didn't offer refunds for newspapers. Fifteen minutes past. No sign of did spats. August. Rescue Squad desperate the senior laid out the plan again. Two quarters. Placed one after the other in the newspaper slot. Would result in unlocking the door which would enable me to be free fifty cents. D'oh. Freedom. Throwing corporate guidelines to the when the employee tried. The coin solution and bingo. Another customer. Helped. Now the woman's grateful daughter. Lady came to the store and intrusted a five dollar bill to the Wal-Mart employee. For you soley to underwrite future pedestrian releases. It was proof that when people work together to strive for excellence. Everybody wins in quote. That's a funny story for sure. We can all relate to certain company absurdities that we've all experience we've all entered. Well known store was. That makes high professions and our expectations that run high. As we anticipate top notch. Service. But when they're let down. Well we're let down those who know better. Treat us with indifference. What's the boss. Supposed to do with lackluster. Effort put forth by the stuff. What would you do. I know what I'd do. What's a god to do with his people. When they don't meet his simple expectations especially when the every provision. Has been made for this success. Jesus tells another fascinating story. In the Gospels and I want to encourage You invite you to turn with me to Matthew chapter twenty one. Tells another story that has this very question. This one is right on the heels of the one. About the two boys who were told to go out and work in their father's Vineyard. That story was related to highlight the importance of a B.D.'s. To the Lord. This parable. Says the question What's a god to do with his people. When they don't meet his expectations it's a tough question. We're dealing with solemn subjects here this morning and so let's continue the story is related the story is shared the parable is about a vineyard but in this case. It's a leased out to tenants. To be kid. This Vineyard is to be KID four. So let's read meth you Chapter twenty one and Marie verse thirty three together twenty one and verse thirty three hear another parable. There was a certain land owner who planted a vineyard and said I hedge. Around it. Dug a wine press. In it and build a tower and he leased it to Vin. Vine dresses and went into a five. Country. So Jesus tells the story. About simply who rents out his vineyard. While he goes away. On a journey away. Jesus is referencing the vineyard and the Elegy God used to speak to Israel. Back there in the time of. And when you read they are not up to five in verse one Israel is the vineyard. And the men. In that been. Videoed according to verse seven of Isaiah Chapter five. The pleasant. Vine. God planted his vineyard his church. They removed the stones he placed the hedge about it. He put a towel up in the middle of it. And he expected. Fruit. To grow. That's what he expected. What was the fruit that he expected from his people that were to reveal his principles his character. The fruit of his goodness. His Mercy his truth. Which was to stand out in direct contrast to the heathen nations who bore the fruits of violence and crime and greed and oppression. That was the first thing. To reveal his principles his character the fruit of his goodness. The second. Fruit. They were to produce. It's up there was to lead others to trust God. They would to impart the blessings they received at the hand of God. To all of us. They were to help them become acquainted with the true God. And the history of the Jewish nation started. When he called Abraham. Out of idolatry to preserve. God's truth. About him and his children and his grandchildren Isaac and Jacob. And then of course Joseph. Also bore witness to the true God. And then God delivered Abraham's descendants. Out of that pagan nation Egypt. To serve him. And to continue the witness borne by those who came before. The possibilities for Israel were phenomenal phenomenal. B.D. and would make them. In prosperity. In wisdom in skill in enterprise in health. In wealth. And most importantly in character. All of these favors however. Other work conditional upon by B.D.'s obedience to God. Adam last even through disobedience. So through Israel God wanted to teach the nations the important spiritual truths of redemption. And how to reclaim. Eden. Having a relationship with God I bang God this is how. Restoration of even a kid. But sadly. As we know the story. Pretty well. They didn't fulfill their purpose in Isaiah Chapter five instead of bringing forth. Good grapes. They brought forth. Wild. For wild grapes. God. Had done everything for them to prosper and to succeed but that I failed. And so what's a god to do. When his people don't meet his simple. Expectations. The story continues in Matthew chapter twenty one Jesus isn't done yet. So the vine dress and the land owner goes well and leases out his vineyard. These individuals. So he can go away. To a far country before now when vintage time. Drew media. He sent his servants to the vine dresses. He sent his servants to the vine dresses that they might receive its fruit. And so when the time had come for the land owner to take stock of his vineyard to see if any produce any fruit was produced he sent his servants he sent. Individuals to go and take. Account. So the landowner sends his employees. To inspect the work of the tenant. Isn't God good. God is good. We're talking here about his church. God established his to his people there back there in the Old Testament. Established them. They weren't doing too good. In general at fulfilling his purposes. And so God sends. Someone and send somebody to help to help out. Send somebody to guide them and to leave them. He doesn't just leave Israel to himself but goes off to her to see how she's doing. And encourages her to meet her high expectations that he's justifiably. Placed on her but sadly sadly they don't listen. The story continues verse thirty five in the vine dresses took his servants and beat one. And killed one. And stoned another those thirty six again he sent out other servants. More than the first. And they did likewise. To them. They refused to change they refused to be transformed. They refused to bring forth the fruit of humility and self sacrificing love. If only. If only they had realized that the outcome of the attitude would be robbing others. Of the religious guidance and holy example their Heavenly Father had desired of them but instead. Instead they made the sacred things. Of God appear of us. They became a huge stumbling block to the heathen. And they turned away from. Having the chance of receiving salvation through the Savior. Of course. The tenants in this particular parable to Jesus is teaching. Represented the religious leaders. Not only of. New testament. Israel but Old Testament. Israel that were not true. To their trust and they were self-serving. You know they had read the handbook. They had read the law that read the Word of God. And they pledge themselves obedience to it all that the Lord has said. We will do is what they said. But instead. They place policies. Around the intent of the law. Thus loading heavy burdens on the people in forcing them to conform to the customs not founded on the Word of God. All these heaped up requirements. In tune. Made God's people indifferent to the hurt and the needs of those not only in their midst. But also of those outside the camp. And as we're going to put it up on the screen if you don't mind. That was stuck between policy. And piety. That's where God's people were stuck between public policy and piety. That was stuck between knowing what they knew. To be the right thing to do human decency based on humility and. Self sacrificing love. It was spelled out in God's holy law. And I was stuck between that and mounted up policy loopholes to avoid going out of your way. Going out of their way to help out us. And he is where our opening story is mimicked in the lives of God's. Ancient people like the Wal-Mart employee who should have fried the hooded seventy something from the newspaper box but didn't because she was stuck between knowing what human did decency dictated. And her company's policy that prevented her from doing the right thing Israel. Often found themselves troubled. To truly help others because they were afraid to offend. The religious big. It's. The religious leaders who had said it's OK if your ox falls in the ditch on the seventh to go ahead and help them. But don't be helping any human being that would be working and you'd be breaking the Sabbath. So what's a god to do. What's a god to do. In the story and we know the history of Israel he sends his messages. He sends His prophets. But they have despised. And they're persecuted and even killed for bearing their very straight and pointed testimony. Just read the stories of the Old Testament you'll quickly find that in general Israel often despise them. I don't know one prophet that I read about that had a cushy job. Their job was tough. And there was a prophet that I wouldn't want to be the prophet I would want to be as a prophet Jeremiah. Go and Isaiah. Well I am his equal actually. And Joel. And I Moss I mean you just run down the list. There that I didn't have it easy. As I was told that they going to be hearing you but they're not going to listen. Jeremiah was told he was going to have difficulty and he was going to get himself into trouble for preaching the truth. And one time the Germans said look I'm done I'm not saying anything else. About what you want me to say God. Because every time I do it. I'm thrown into prison I'm in trouble. And then he's holding back but he couldn't hold back any more. And he says I was weary with a bearing and I could not stay have to speak and proclaim the Word of God. No prophet had it easy. And the work wasn't to the heathen to those who didn't believe it was to those that believed that they had the greatest trouble with the people of God. So what's a god to do. He sends them they despise their profits. They despise the messages and so. What he does. According to the story. Let's take a look. Matthew twenty one verse thirty seven then last of all. He sent his who knew son. He sent His Son. To them saying that he will respect my son surely. They'll respect him. The study had to when the vine dresses saw the sun they said among themselves. This is the A Come let us kill him. Seize his inheritance so they took him and cost him. Out of the vineyard. And they killed him. Miss. Strange logic isn't it. If we do away with the area. We'll have the will have right to the throne. Do you think the King's going to grant. Murderers of his son to the throne. Jesus is. Is speaking sharing the absurdity of their reasoning because that was the absurdity of the reasoning of the. Of God's people back then when I even took the son they rejected him. The religious leaders resented Jesus because. Jesus was popular and was leading people away from them and their teachings. He got no they got very nervous. They rejected Jesus. And on that on that. That Fosse of a trial and when Jesus was brought before. Pontius Pilot. Who did the crowd ask for. They did not ask for Jesus like hold for barabus instead. They declared at that time that they had no king. But sees an OS that the blood of Christ be on them and on their children. They killed God's only son. And they did this. While the clearing themselves to be the children of Abraham. So what's a god to do with the disappointed performance of his team. Of his church. Of his people. Look at verse forty. Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes Jesus asks the question the clincher this is it. Have you been with me up to. Here's the question for you he says. Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes what will he do to those vine dresses. They said to him in verse forty one he will destroy those we could men miserably. And lease his vineyard to all the vine dresses. Who rented to him the fruits in this season. They didn't know that the story was pertaining to them. I had no idea and so they shared. The truth of the matter and Jesus said to them in verse forty two. Have you never read in the scriptures the star in which the builders rejected has become the Chief Cornerstone. This was the Lord's. Doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. Verse forty three Therefore I say to you. The Kingdom of God will be taken from you. And given to a nation bearing. The fruits. They are all of. God said look you have not been bearing. Good fruit you've been bearing. Sour grapes. And I'm going to remove the blessings of the progressives of the Gospel from you. To someone else. Others who will bear. The fruit. God will give people. Give it to the people who will bear fruit face him. Of course. Jesus was thinking prophetically here. The Jews. Knew and read. And knew very well the stories in the prophecies in the Book of Daniel. And right they in Daniel Chapter nine. Was a prophecy that predicted the coming of the Messiah. The prophecy said that that he would be baptized. On in this year. And that he would. That he would be cut off. In this year. They all knew that this prophecy and then your non related to Jesus the Messiah. Yeah. And their time was just about up. By the time Jesus came upon the scene how many years were left in their great four hundred ninety year prophecy. Remember Daniel said seventy weeks Gabriel said today. Seventy weeks at a time and upon that people cut off until. Given time to get their act together to sort it out. I mean even for four hundred ninety years from the going full of. Of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until. Messiah the Prince shall be. Four hundred eighty three years. How many years did they have left from four fifty seven B.C. when. When that decree went forth it was the. The most complete decree. For the Jews to leave Persia to go back and rebuild this city the temple their religion this state go back and do that for fifty seven B.C.. All the way until Messiah the principle hundred eighty three years is it would give them hell all. And Jesus died in the middle of that last week. The last seven years. When Jesus died there was just three and a half years left That's why Jesus told His disciples. You don't go out there you go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. When you preach. Go to Jerusalem. Go to Israel. Then go to summarily and then go to the other parts of the world. Take it to my people first. They've only got a short time to get their act together. And they're not doing well. Three and a half years left Jesus was thinking prophetically. He was pleading with his people it's going to happen. If you don't shape up. That was then. What about today. The Church. What about us. Personally. While lessons. There for us. When Israel failed. Where Israel failed Could we be at risk of repeating ourselves. Number one I'm going to share with you six points. You can come down real quick we're going to go through the number one. The Jewish nation prided themselves in their temple and. Their heritage which simp which while. The simplicity of godliness was lost sight off. And the last. Was seldom reached. Is it possible. Is it possible that the work of making mention of God's goodness and telling of his power. Is often sidelined for the sharing of the stories of the good old days. I belong to the pastor of. One of my first my first church district my one church. They call themselves they used the church because I used to do this and they used to do that things have changed quite a bit. Now what they used to church. Some churches. Remember. And reminisce about the good old days. And while it's good and important at times to reflect on how God has led his people in the past and weird Mohnish to do that because they will give us courage for the future. As we see how God has led us in our past. While it's good to do that at times. Doesn't the same God who led us then want to lead us today. While some of pining the glory of the yesteryear's God is waiting for those who profess to serve him. To begin writing a new chapter in their history today. What God did back then he'll do today in men. Surely. So number one the Jews pride themselves on their heritage and their temple and God's people could be at risk of doing the same thing. If we're not careful number two. Israel failed to possess the land. They failed to root out the enemy. And they became influenced by the enemy not leaving the enemy to Christs. We do want to be said of us we don't want to be said of us that Israel is cold in our services feeble therefore being mocked as unfaithful. We don't want the world to see that we've lost our spirit of self-denial and cross bearing. Will it be said of us not produces but. Number three the leaders failed in their responsibility to the people. And this is talking to them in God I asked the shepherds of the Old Testament era. Where are your sheep. And God asked the religious leaders of Christ day to give an account of the privileges God had bestowed upon them. Don't you think that God will come to the men of the church and say. Where are you all families. Surely he will. Don't you think you come to the leaders of the church and say. Where is the flock. That I intrusted to you. The responsibility lies. On the shoulders of the gentleman. Now before. God's people. Failed because I didn't listen to the prophets. How well do we listen to the Word of God as written by the prophets Amen. How well do we do listening to the Bible hell. Do we take time to apply the words that we read a lot so it's a nice idea Lord Great I'll get on to that another day. God wants us to take what we read in applied by His grace. To be do is of the world like we were talking about earlier. Not just here is only. We've got we've got growing to do. God knows that. Number five. Israel failed. Because I didn't I by. Truly a by God's law. You know. Legalism. We could define legalism in three ways. Legalism could be defined in three ways first of all the futile attempt to earn salvation by one's owns or in performance. That's a legalism that's the common definition we hear about legalism. Legalism and someone's futile attempts to earn salvation by their own performance the legal ism is also the gaining of assurance by achieving a minimum standard. By saying Lord it's OK if I don't measure up. I'll just do this right here and will be will be will be fit will be good one me. Will be right. While we neglect. Something in our lives we know we ought to be doing. Or stopping something we ought to stop doing. And being satisfied with that low standard. That's also legalism. Really legalism is changing the purpose for which God's law was intended. Causal was intended to reveal to us in need of a Savior. And then. When we when Jesus comes into our life we look back into the mirror of his law. And Jesus is supposed to be reflected in every respect. His goodness and his grace character. So Israel failed because they failed to truly keep Cause law we must let the Holy Spirit right. His lawyer. You know hots. And in our minds. That's the only hope. Of humanity to let God do the miracle. Through the Holy Spirit in our lives. Israel failed to obey God's law and number six and lost. It's the capstone. They rejected. The Messiah and completely rejected the Messiah. The question for us is and we would not reject a Jesus. The question perhaps for us is do we spend time getting to know Jesus. Or are we contingents knowing about Jesus. That might be a better question for us I think and once. He won a consciously he would have rejected. As well will reject Jesus who has rejected Jesus but we spending time with him and we continue getting to know him better or just to know about Jesus. A Christian may not reject Jesus. But it's just as dangerous if not more to neglect. Jesus. Hebrews chapter two verse three poll asked the question what I mean what's going to happen if we neglect. So great salvation. It's a rhetorical question. How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation even say rejected he said simply neglect it. And so for God's people to die how are we doing when it comes to Jesus. And we spending more time with him. Then with. Stuff with our remote controls with. Stuff. You fill in the gap. Whatever the gap is whatever that is that we spend time with Jesus. The one who spent time with us who laid down his life. Who lives for us. He's coming back for us everything he does is about you. It's time that God's people. When what they did. Was all about him. Glorious possibilities. Can be realized by a loving of billions to the Lord. Let's not forget the big picture here. What a great aunt to God has bestowed upon us. What a huge privilege he's given to us. To represent him in this world and in return the least we can do is to render him. The fruit. That he so long to see in each one of us and in his church. The fruit of love. The fruit of humility. And the fruit of self sacrificing service. That's all. That's all. And not much. When compared with all that Christ has done for us. Not much when compared with the glories that will be. Be revealed in us when Jesus returns. Not much when we consider what awaits those who love Jesus with all their hearts. It's not too much to ask is it. Yes. We may have tripped up on our efforts for getting to help. But the good news is that God loves us and is willing if we're willing to be picked up and have him said our feet on the right path to do for us. What is impossible for us to do for ourselves. Jesus wants to bring forth fruit. In each of our lives that even though we may have placed him second best in the life. Or we may have never really accepted Him as your personal savior he's a savior. But is he a personal savior. My friend he's coming toward you and you offers you the greatest life you could have a possibly dream. Dream of having right here. And beyond right here holding out to the possibilities of. Future life. With him he wants to help you the question is this media was brought to you by a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free and much more. If you would like to know if you would like to listen to visit or.

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