October 12 I Wednesday
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.”
—1 Corinthians 6:19-20
As we revisit Jesus’s parable of the vineyard, aside from just describing Israel, it has a wider application as well. This parable could be applied to any situation where divine generosity is answered with human contempt. In other words, God pours out His blessings and goodness, but is met with a response of contempt and rejection. This is repeated throughout the history of Christendom with those who bore the name of Jesus, yet again and again, responded to God’s way and God’s Word with disobedience and rejection.
It applies to nations and peoples who have known the blessings of God—even in Canada. Our Parliament building in Ottawa has these words inscribed on the exterior: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea” (Psalm 72:8, KJV). Originally, Canada was known as “The Dominion of Canada” on the basis of that verse at the Canadian Confederation in 1867. The intent of the founding fathers was for Canada to be one Dominion under God. Yet, on some of the issues that are being discussed and debated today, if we are to ask our legislators or government officials as a whole, “What does the Word of God say about this?” they will probably tell us that it is a totally irrelevant opinion. But it is not an opinion when it is the Word of God. We trust the Word of God not because we agree with it but because it is God speaking to us. God reveals the truth.
Be careful when we begin to turn our backs on God and think we have become smart enough to function on our own. Jesus said, “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’[.] Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed” (Luke 20:17-18). That is, when we reject the stone, we will trip and fall on it—breaking us.
Aside from nations, Jesus’s parable also applies to individuals. The teachers of the law and chief priests listening knew this parable was spoken against them. In their personal lives, they were not looking to God for governance in their lives.
The heart of the issue in this parable is that the tenants wanted to be owners. Paul, however, reminds us, “For none of us lives for ourselves alone…” (Romans 14:7). Many of us would like to think that we do, but we are not our own. We are tenants of our bodies, this nation and the world. Tenants are accountable to the owner—God. May we humbly submit and glorify God with our bodies and our lives.
Prayer: Lord God, You are the Owner of my life. Teach and guide me to live a life that embraces Your way and Your Word. Thank You, Lord.