“But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, they will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, this is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him” Matthew 21:37-39 KJV
“But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.” Matthew 21:27-39 NASB
The Apostle Paul expressed what may have been the deepest wish of his heart in Philippians 3 when he spoke of knowing Christ in a more intimate and experimental manner. He was looking back to the life of His Saviour and to Calvary. It is noteworthy, as well, that long before the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, God was allowing select men to experience the “fellowship of His sufferings” (Phil 3:10). One such individual who occupies a very small piece of history in the Old Testament was Naboth (1 Kings 21).
The vineyard was Naboth’s. He had full right to it. He was the heir who had come into the good of what his father had left him (1 Kings 21:3). The Lord Jesus was the Son-Heir who had full right to the vineyard.
What marked Naboth was his faithfulness to the Word of God. Despite the pressure and prestige of King Ahab, he would not compromise the truth of God. The rest of the nation may disregard the truth of God, but Naboth would not. There may well have been financial gain to be had in selling his vineyard, but he did not seek gain. To accede to the king’s request would have made him popular with the king, but he refused. The truth of God was the rule of his life.
The Lord Jesus was faithful. We often sing, “Faithful amidst unfaithfulness.” Amidst a nation more intent on ritual than reality, with commerce than with communion, He was faithful with the Word of God. His faithfulness did not bring Him popularity, profit, or prestige; it brought Him reproach.
A wicked queen, Jezebel, plotted for Naboth’s downfall. Like his Lord almost 900 years later, Naboth endured the false accusations raised against him. Not only were they false, but they were the exact opposite of what marked him. The charge was made that he had blasphemed God. Here was one of the very few in the nation honoring God; yet he is accused of dishonoring Him.
False witnesses arose, and false accusations were levied against the Savior. The plots of wicked men sought to bring Him down in the eyes of the populace as well as Pilate. If we can imagine how grieved Naboth was with the public accusation made against him, we can begin to appreciate how grieving it must have been for the Lord Jesus to hear the lies and blasphemy which were heaped upon Him. The Truth had to endure the lies of men! He endured the shame of public ridicule and reproach
Evil triumphed and heaven was silent! Naboth is accused, arraigned, and executed. All is over and men went about their business as though he did not exist. It is not until Elijah appeared upon the scene to bring heaven’s verdict that we know that righteousness will triumph.
The Lord Jesus was not only falsely accused, but condemned and put to death under those false charges. Like Naboth, He was cast out of His vineyard. If we can sympathize to some degree with the injustice Naboth endured, we can appreciate that it was only a small sampling of what the Lord Jesus knew.
- God allowed an act of gross injustice to be perpetrated against a righteous man and was silent. Do you think that Hebrews 11:37 is a suggestion that God remembered Naboth’s faithfulness?
- In light of the knowledge of the Son cast out of His vineyard, will Naboth look back from eternity’s vantage point and regret his faithful stand?