[Jesus said] "There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard ... and leased it to tenants ... When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him." (Matthew 21:33b-39)
The foolishness of the master in this story always bothers me. The tenants have a long pattern of murdering servants. How could anybody be stupid enough to believe they would respect his son? Of course they're going to kill him. And they do.
One could almost say the same of God for sending Jesus. Why do that? Of course we were going to torture Him and put Him to death on a cross. As sinful human beings, we have a long track record of abusing the innocent. And Jesus being the Son of God didn't change that.
But God knew what we would do—knew it from before the foundation of the world. It wasn't naivete that brought Jesus into the world—it was love. God would use our predictable evil for His own purposes, to bring about the greatest reversal that ever was. Jesus' death and resurrection would completely remake us—changing us from wicked tenants into forgiven, innocent children of God.
WE PRAY: Lord, open my eyes to Your love. Amen.
* Give an example of a predictable evil you know about.
* Why do you think God sent so many prophets before His Son?
* Why does God choose to use our evil to produce His wonderful good?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Today's Bible Readings: Numbers 9-11 Mark 14:1-26
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