What God is Saying

Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. — Psalm 96:2-3

Monday, March 5, 2012

Easter Devotion: A Stumbling Stone (Day 14)

He went on to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time.
At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty‑handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty‑handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.
"Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.'
"But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. 'This is the heir,' they said. 'Let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. "What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When the people heard this, they said, "May this never be!"
Jesus looked directly at them and asked, "Then what is the meaning of that which is written: " 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone'?
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."
The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.  Luke 20:9-19

- What happened to the servants that the owner sent to collect some of the fruit?
- Then whom did the owner send? What did the tenants do to him?
- This parable was like a secret code. Who do you think the owner is? Who are the servants? Who is the son?
- What was the message that Jesus was trying to give through this story?
- Who understood Jesus' meaning and how did they react?

What made the Jewish leaders so angry was that Jesus was saying that He was God's son. Most of the Jewish leaders did not recognize that Jesus was God's Son because they were not pursuing God through faith but through works (but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." Romans 9:31-32). They did not want to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and they did not like that the people were following Him and listening to Him rather than listening to them. Today, if we tell the truth about Jesus, some will become very angry, just like the Jewish leaders. Many people do not want to believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. They want to think that they are good enough on their own and that they can earn their salvation.

Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me the faith to believe that You are the Son of God, that God sent You to earth to die for my sins and rise from the dead. Help me to tell others about you, in a loving and gentle way.

Song:   I Lay in Zion

I lay in Zion for a foundation, a Stone,
I lay in Zion for a foundation, a Stone,
A tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone,
A sure Foundation, a sure Foundation.
A tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone,
he that believeth shall, shall not make haste.

Wonderful, counselor, the Mighty God,
The everlasting Father;
Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace

Here is a link for the song: I Lay in Zion

For Further Study: 
There are many children throughout the world who are very bold in their faith in Christ, especially in nations where it is hard to be a Christian. Sharing their stories can encourage a bolder faith in your children. A wonderful resource is Kids of Courage

* Some of the content of this blog is based on the book Family Celebrations at Easter by Ann Hibbard.*

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