Monday, 18 October 2010

TENANTS NOT OWNERS

Sphere: Related Content “9 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. 10 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. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. 13 "Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.' 14 "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.' 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. "What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. NIV Luke 20:9-16

“When Jesus gave the parable of the tenants, the teachers of the law understood that he was speaking against them. (v.19). the owner of the vineyard is God; the vineyard is Israel; the servants are the prophets and priests that God sent to Israel; the son was Jesus himself and the evil tenants were the religious leaders.” AD 2010 Daily Guide, Scripture Union Nigeria. P.151.

It is true that this parable focused on Israel and the religious leaders of the day, but as I look around in the church today, I see the same picture playing itself. For them, it was Israel, but for us today it is the church. The genuine servants of the Master, the Son who is the true heir and religious leadership are all still relevant today.

It is unfortunate that some of us in leadership have established ourselves so strong that we behave as if we are the owners of the work. We carry ourselves as if we have absolute powers and can do whatever we want irrespective of what anybody thinks about it, forgetting that we are all tenants who have limited time in this work. Inferiority complex and insecurity make us fight every other servant that we feel is a threat to us. We see the fringe benefits that come out of the work as solely our own. We determine who gets what because we have the powers today. So today, we see all kinds of oppression and wickedness in the body of Christ even among leaders themselves. The same way worldly politicians manipulate and compete for powers is what we see among us Christians. No wonder, we cannot set any pace for our politicians, instead they set the pace for us. If they set Vision2020, we equally set Vision2020. If they set 7 Point agenda, we set 7 Spiritual Point Agenda. If they set a celebration of Silver Jubilee, we equally declare a Year of Jubilee.

All the pictures I’ve painted above are even mild when compared to the fact that we have kept the Son, the Owner of the work out of His work while we go about as the owners. The church is now like some people’s personal property. Some people think that they are the king makers, the movers and shakers of the church. We do these while we kept the Son outside the church. We do not want to listen to His Holy Spirit neither do we consider His words to be the ultimate authority. We forget that we are tenants.

My consolation is that no matter the kind of position we are privileged to occupy today and the powers we may wield, our tenancy will always expire and the Owner of the work will come one of these days for accountability. I can hear the Lord asking us today what He asked the people in this passage: "What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?

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