Day 71 | Did Ye Not Believe?
February 14, 2015 - WEEK ELEVEN
James Tissot, The Vine Dresser and the Fig Tree, Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription.
CONSIDER AS YOU READ
- Was Christ unfair to the fig tree?
- Why would Christ not directly answer the question about the source of his authority?
- Do you always believe you will receive whatever you pray for?
[T]he householder refers to God, the owner of the vineyard, who performed many tasks in its behalf (see Isaiah 5:1–7). First, he planted it, an effort that would have been preceded by removing large stones, leveling terraces, and otherwise preparing the ground. He then built a hedge consisting of stones or thorny bushes to deter thieves and animals. Next, he dug a winepress, perhaps out of solid rock. His creation of the winepress demonstrated that he anticipated a successful harvest of mature grapes that could be pressed into grape juice.
Inasmuch as the winepress was installed by the householder, rather than the tenants, it may be that the winepress is symbolic of the Atonement. The householder, or God, prepared the winepress knowing that his Beloved Son, during mortality, would trod the winepress as he performed the Atonement….
[A]t the time of harvest things take a bloody, violent, and unexpected turn. When the householder sends his servants to collect his portion of the fruits, which fruits represent his payment for the lease, the tenants beat, kill, and stone the servants….
To this point, Jesus has told the story of the landowner, his servants, his beloved son, and the wicked tenants. Now Jesus asks a question of his audience…,”When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?” This question forces Jesus’ audience into a position where they have to judge themselves. They, along with others, are the wicked husbandmen of the parable. They and their forefathers have persecuted and slain the prophets, the servants of the landowner. And very soon they will also slay God’s Beloved Son (Donald W. Parry and Jay Parry, Understanding the Parables of Jesus Christ, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006).
FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
- How does it help us to not be troubled by knowing that if we are lost, Jesus will come to find us?
- Does reading stories about Jesus help you feel at peace?