Preached at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California on the Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost, October 4, 2020 by Pastor Todd Peperkorn.
Sermon Text: Matthew 21:33-46
Sermon Theme: “God’s Vineyard“
Old Testament: Isaiah 5:1–7
Epistle: Philippians 3:4b–14
Holy Gospel: Matthew 21:33–46
The True Vine Redeems the Vineyard of the LORD of Hosts
“The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel” (Is. 5:7), which He planted “on a very fertile hill” (Is. 5:1). He did everything for His vineyard, not only clearing it of stones and planting it with “choice vines,” but also building the “watchtower” of His prophets and hewing out the “wine vat” of His priesthood in its midst (Is. 5:2). But when “he looked for it to yield grapes,” there were only “wild grapes” of bloodshed and unrighteousness (Is. 5:2, 7). The Lord Jesus likewise described the unfaithfulness of those who were called to care for His vineyard (Matt. 21:33–35). But in this He also describes His cross and Passion (Matt. 21:38–39), by which He has redeemed the vineyard for Himself. He is the true Vine, planted by death into the ground, and in His resurrection He brings forth “the fruits in their seasons” (Matt. 21:41). Among those good grapes of the true Vine is the apostle Paul. Once a zealous persecutor of the Church, he “suffered the loss of all things” in order to “gain Christ and be found in him,” to “know him and the power of his resurrection” (Phil. 3:8–10).