Last of all God sent His Son

August 9, 2018

 

Last of all God sent His Son:

Matthew 21:33-46 (verse 37)

 

If you saw the movie The Color Purple, you will remember the sinners marching to the church singing, “God’s tryin’ to tell you somethin’.” Every time you come to preaching you must think that God is trying to tell you something. You are coming for an encounter with God. You are not here by accident but by divine incident! “So will the words that come out of My mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them” (Isaiah 55:11 MSG)/

 

Matthew 21:33-46, esp, verse 37, “Then last of all He sent his son…”

 

The Parable of the Vineyard appears in three of the gospels (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19), with Matthew’s account being the most complete. Here Jesus is giving His third answer to the Temple leaders regarding His authority. “The chief priests and elders asked Jesus, “By what authority do you do these things?” (Verse 23). “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth_ (Matthew 28:18).  “He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:29). “Authority” in Greek is exousia, meaning, “the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)…” –Thayer

 

Here in Matthew 21:33-46 we find a vintner who has built an up-to-date vineyard, with hedges, a tower, a winepress and every modern convenience. Then he rents the vineyard to a group of men. Promising retirement  income for his future, and some comfort for his old age. But when he sent his servants to collect the rent the tenant’s, “took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another” (Verse 35). “Finally, the owner sent his son, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’ But when the tenant farmers saw his son coming, they said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Come on, let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ So they grabbed him, dragged him out of the vineyard, and murdered him” (Verses 37-39 NLT).

 

“When the owner of the vineyard returns,” Jesus asked, “what do you think he will do to those farmers?” (Verse 40 NLT). “The religious leaders replied, “He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest” (Verse 41 NLT).

The primary application of this parable is to the nation of Israel. “Then Jesus asked them, ‘Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures? The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit. Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on’” (Verses  42,43 NLT).

 

This is brought out very clearly in Stephen’s sermon to Israel’s leaders. “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you!  Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered” (Acts 7:51,52 NLT). Then they stoned Stephen!

 

John 1:11, “He came to His own (Israel), and His own did not receive Him.”

 

Acts 2:22,23, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.”

 

Our text says, “I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit” (Verse 43 NLT).

 

Enter the courageous Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul. “The Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel’” (Acts 9:15). “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.  But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, ‘Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.’  And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue” (Acts 18:4-7).

 

Now to the message, “Last of all God sent His Son. Listen to the great Jewish prophet Isaiah in speaking of God’s efforts with His chosen people, Israel, “Now let me sing to My Well-Beloved a song of My Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-Beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; so He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, please, between Me and My vineyard. What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?” (Isaiah 5:1-4).

 

The broader application and the one that I will make is to all people of all nations…to us! The gospel is addressed to Jew and Gentile, bond and free, male and female, every race, creed, gender and people. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1 KJV). “For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Are you listening? God is talking to you! He’s trying to tell you something! He cares about you and wants you to come to Him! He has done everything to show you His love.

 

Note that God says in Isaiah 5:4, “What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it?”

 

1. God sent Noah and the flood and death. (Genesis 6,7).

 

Sin began small in the Garden of Eden, then it grew until the whole earth was infected, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth” (Genesis 6:5). God created all things, and said “that’s good,” “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Then sin entered and God said “it’s not good,”  “And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart…” (Genesis 6:6).

 

So God set about to cleanse the world with a flood. Noah and his family began a new life on Mount Ararat. Then, just a few days after Noah left the ark, sin reared its ugly head again, with drunkenness and immorality (Genesis 9:20-27), and again they were facing the judgment of God.

 

And God said, “What more could have been done?”

 

2. God sent Moses and the Law and the idea of blood sacrifice.

 

Sin sent God’s chosen people into slavery in Egypt for 430 years. Moses is given the responsibility of bringing them out. So God moves on Pharaoh and the nation, He parts the Red Sea for them and starts them off to a land flowing with milk and honey. And they are eternally grateful to God for their deliverance, right? Wrong! They will now vow to love and serve God forever, right? Wrong! Less than 50 miles from Egypt they began to complain, “…on the 15th day of the second month after leaving Egypt. Then the whole community of Israelites began complaining again. They complained to Moses and Aaron in the desert. They said, ‘It would have been better if the Lord had just killed us in the land of Egypt. At least there we had plenty to eat. We had all the food we needed. But now you have brought us out here into this desert to make us all die from hunger’” (Exodus 16:1-3).

 

Now God in His great love brings Moses to Mount Sinai where He instructs him in worship; teaches him the Law; gives him the moral concepts, principles and laws so the people can live happy, clean, healthful, moral, useful and godly lives. But before Moses gets down from the mountain, the people had already gone back to worshiping idols, completely ignoring God’s teachings. (Exodus 32)

 

God had given them everything, including His very presence in a pillar of fire and smoke. He fed them with manna, blessed them long lives, healed them, and even their clothing lasted for 40 years.

 

And God said, “What more could have been done?”

 

3. God sent David and songs of forgiveness and assurance.

 

Here’s just  s small sampling of David’s songs:

 

Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want, He makes me to lie down in [b]green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

 

Psalm 46:1,2, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…”

 

Psalm 103:1-5, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

 

Over and over again God reminds His people of His great love and compassion for them. He promises that He will take care of them in everything if they will just trust Him. Unbelievably, David, “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), the “sweet singer of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1), sinned against God, lost his joy, his song and his testimony, and God forgave him (Psalm 51), restored him, gave him a new song.

 

But all of the beautiful songs did nothing to slow His people from their downward spiral. So on and on they went in their sin and rejection.

 

And God said, “What more could have been done?”

 

4. God sent the weeping prophet Jeremiah and tears.

 

Jeremiah came with a sense of devastation in his voice, “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which has been brought on me, which the Lord has inflicted in the day of His fierce anger” (Lamentations 1:12). “Tears stream from my eyes because of the destruction of my people! My tears flow endlessly; they will not stop until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees” (Lamentations 3:48-50).

 

For 40 years he walked up and down the land with a tear in his eye and a lump in his throat crying for repentance. God knows the moving power of tears.

 

He washed my eyes with tears that I might see,

The broken heart I had was good for me.

He tore it all apart and looked inside,

And found it full of fear, so much foolish pride

 

He swept away the things that made me blind,

And then I saw the clouds were silver lined.

And now I understand ‘twas best for me.

He washed my eyes with tears that I might see.

 

He washed my eyes with tears that I might see,

The glory of Himself revealed to me.

I did not know that day that He had wounded hands,

Until I saw the marks and the blood

That was spilled on the sand

–Jimmy Swaggart–

 

And God said, “What more could have been done?”

 

5. God sent Isaiah and loving invitations.

 

Isaiah 55:1-3, “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink—even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk—it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.”

 

Isaiah described for Israel their suffering Savior in Isaiah 53:3-10 NLT, “He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the LORD ’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many. descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD ’s good plan will prosper in his hands.”

 

Isaiah went to the mountain tops with an invitation to come to this suffering Messiah”

 

Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”

 

Even under this loving pressure the people did not heed God’s invitation and went on trying to find purpose, happiness and contentment without God.

 

And God said, “What more could have been done?”

 

6. God sent the kings of the earth with chastisement and captivity.

 

The people were guilty of idolatry, they had become polytheists, God said, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).

 

Now they are worshiping immorality, prostitution, divination, pride, and false idols that practice child sacrifice. Can you imagine someone who claims to be one of God’s chosen people, throwing their children into the outstretched arms of a white-hot heathen idol? “Give the people of Israel these instructions, which apply both to native Israelites and to the foreigners living in Israel. If any of them offer their children as a sacrifice to Molech, they must be put to death. The people of the community must stone them to death. I myself will turn against them and cut them off from the community, because they have defiled my sanctuary and brought shame on my holy name by offering their children to Molech” (Leviticus  20:2,3 NLT).

 

Listen to what God has to say to them:

 

“Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel! The Lord has brought charges against you, saying: ‘There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere—one murder after another” That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away…(Verses 1-2 NLT).  “They will play the prostitute and gain nothing from it, for they have deserted the Lord to worship other gods…” (Verse 10,11 NLT). “Longing after idols has made them foolish. They have played the prostitute, serving other gods and deserting their God. They offer sacrifices to idols on the mountaintops. They go up into the hills to burn incense in the pleasant shade of oaks, poplars, and terebinth trees…” (Verses 12,13).

 

Again they found themselves in slavery. That’s the history of sin, from freedom to slavery to freedom and back to slavery again.

 

The lights at the front door are bright and cheerful and they beckon, “come on in, this is fun!” “This will make you feel good!” “A little bit can’t hurt you.” “You only go around once in life, grab the gusto!” But the tunnel at the end is dark, bleak and foreboding. And you will find there, broken homes, shattered lives, divorce, abuse, anxiety, depression, guilt, rejection, grief and pain.

 

Captivity changed Israel for a while! They went back to their land forgiven under Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubbabel as monotheists. However, their new found relationship to the Law of God didn’t last very long, and they were back again rejecting their loving God, and worshiping idols.

 

Then God sends kings and foreign armies from every direction to bring judgment on His people. God allowed the king of Assyria to come in to drive the people from their homes and their land and take them into a strange land, probably to become slaves for the Assyrians. “The Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel. He punished them by handing them over to their attackers until he had banished Israel from his presence” (2 Kings:17:20 NLT). They remained in Babylon for 70 years, dejected, depressed, in pain and despair. They were miserable under the hand of God’s judgment. “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst of it we hung our harps. For there our captors demanded of us songs, and our tormentors mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’ How can we sing the LORD’S song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, nay my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy” (Psalm 137:1-3).

 

And God said, “What more could have been done?”

 

Then as an artist puts the finishing touches on his painting; as the sculptor completes his sculpture with a final polishing; as the architect prepares the final draft on his plans; and as the author is inspired with the perfect ending to his book. So God presents His best and final plans for the redemption of all people.

 

Are you listening? God’s trying to tell you something!”

 

Last of all He sent His Son.”

 

Galatians 4:4 MSG, “But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law.”

 

When Jesus was presented as a child in the Temple, Simeon, a Jewish Prophet said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32). “Then last of all He sent his son…”

 

Yet they still rejected God’s plan and purpose for mankind. Listen again to Stephen’s sermon to the religious crowd in Jerusalem. He reminds them of God’s efforts to bring them to Himself, He reminds them of their history of rejection: “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels” (Acts 7:51:53 NLT).

 

John 1:11,12 NLT, “He came to his own people, and even they rejected Him.  But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.”

 

Ephesians 2:4,5, “But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)”

 

God gave all that He had, so that we may have all that He has, His only Son! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18).

 

Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); and  The Message (MSG).

 

Permission is hereby granted to use any of Dr. John Sparks’ materials. If this message was helpful, please E-Mail me: pastorbigjohn@sbcglobal.net

 

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