1 ¶ And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
Matthew 13:13 and Luke 8:10 and Mark 4:11,12 show why Jesus used parables. Those who desired understanding and had willing hearts would know the mysteries while those who did not wouldn’t see what He was saying. As it is, those who read the Bible wanting to be taught by the Holy Spirit will learn and those who don’t will be confused by what they read. The Bible is a closed book only to those who will not hear and refuse to see its truths.
It’s interesting how the Holy Spirit speaking through the understanding and wisdom he gave the Bible writers uses the anonymous “a certain man” to accomplish a purpose whether it be to tell Joseph where his brothers were or to shoot King Ahab with an arrow in the heat of battle. “A certain man” here clearly represents God the Father, the soul of God, the seat and origin of divine self-identity and will.
The vineyard is the nation of Israel to which He is referring. The husbandmen are Israel’s rulers.
Isaiah 5:1 ¶ Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: 2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? 5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: 6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
God expects fruit when He plants something. Here the church is speaking in type.
Song of Solomon 4:16 Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.
Song of Solomon 6:11 I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.
Song of Solomon 7:12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.
Song of Solomon 8:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver. 12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.
It’s easy to knock ancient Israel for not producing fruit. What fruit have you produced?
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Your works will mean nothing without the fruit of the Spirit.
John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Notice that the fruit of the Spirit do not include self-righteousness, a psychopathic hunger for control, hatred, paranoia, fear, a lust for violence, and the spirit of revenge even though many conservative Christians seem to think those things are part of the list, at least by their actions.