Isaiah's depiction of God's delightful vineyard is marred only by the outcome, sour grapes. God provided everything that was needed, and nothing worthy was produced. Of course, the vineyard is God's tender care of God's people. What they produce as a result of God's generous blessings is corrupt, an abomination. God has wasted these blessings and will not continue to invest in a people unable to produce the sweet grapes of justice, righteousness, and peace.
Jesus continues his lecture to the chief priests and elders who have challenged his authority in the Temple - see last week. He likely uses the Isaiah 5 imagery in constructing a parable about another vineyard. (The telling has significant variations between Mark 12, the likely original source, and Matthew 21's version.)
God is the vineyard owner who goes away and leaves the vineyard in the hands of tenants. At harvest time, servants of the owner come to collect the owner's share from the harvest. However, God's servants are beaten, stoned, and killed.
More servants of the owner are sent and they suffer the same fate.
Finally, the owner sends his son, thinking that they wold never harm his son. Yet the son is killed, too, as these tenants think that somehow they can take away the inheritance of the son for themselves.
There are plenty of times when everything has been provided for a wonderful outcome, and the opposite occurs.
And there are plenty of times when information is sent that urges a change in ways, but it gets rejected, dismissed, or ignored. Change gun laws? Not now in the wake of a massacre. Address climate change? Not now in the wake of devastating storms.
Or how about you? How has God provided for you, sown abundant blessings, and seen a disappointing outcome?
Check it all out in the sermon video below (no, I don't know what I'm doing here, but you're welcome to guess), and note the downloads below the video panel.