Detectives use the words hot and cold to describe their cases, saying the trail of evidence has gone cold when their search comes to a dead end. What they’re saying is that the clues and tips seem to stop.
Exactly the same thing happened in the Bible.
For thousands of years the clues about the Messiah continued to be given, like bread crumbs sprinkled along the path. Those who believed and were waiting felt they were getting warmer and warmer. Then suddenly the clues stopped.
For 400 years there was not a single word from God. Not even a whisper of a clue was given.
Then, on the darkest of days, an angel broke the canopy of space and announced, “This shall be a sign for you.” For the few who were there the clues began to connect like pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle. But Bethlehem was so obscure, no one was looking there, of all places. For the next thirty years the answer to the Messiah mystery was in plain sight, but no one even knew.
When Jesus of Nazareth turned thirty years old, He Himself began giving clues, connecting the dots between all the clues God had given in the Old Testament. He was saying, “YES! I’m the one who you’ve been waiting for all this time! I am God’s answer to everything that is broken. I am the promised Messiah!”
In solving any mystery, what a person says about himself is always considered key evidence. Jesus told lots of stories—which were full of clues—clues that were, closer and closer, warmer and warmer, even burning hot.
Here is an important story in Matthew 21 about two kinds of grapes.
“There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country.” v.33
- Who do you think “The master” might be?
– The Master is God. He created the earth, created people, and then planted them to tend the earth and to live for Him.
- Who owned the vineyard?
- Who did the work to plant the vines and make sure they produced good fruit?
-The master. The tenants’ job was to water the vines and pull the weeds.
Let’s read on.
“When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them.”
- Who did the fruit belong to, the tenants or the Master?
-The fruit belongs to the Master, God, because He owns the whole earth.
- Who are the servants?
-the people who work for and came on the Master’s behalf
- Is this a clue?
-The servants were those sent to serve God in the Old Testament, His prophets
More of Jesus’ story:
Finally the master sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
- Who is the Son that was sent by the Master?
-The son is Jesus. By killing Him they thought they would be in charge, but there is a deeper mystery still at work.
- Was Jesus talking about something that had happened in the past, or would happen in the future?
Congratulations on finishing all six lessons!
Holy Week begins soon, on Palm Sunday, so as you finish Lent (the last day of lent is ?) begin preparing your house and your heart to celebrate the greatest miracle, the pinnacle event of all time, Resurrection Day! Plan a grand party for your family or your neighborhood or your church. There is no greater moment for all who believe in Jesus than His resurrection. Make this Resurrection Day reflect the majesty of the Messiah, our hope of eternal glory!
Before you close your conversation, pray this prayer as a family:
Our Father in heaven, You are the Master and we are your vineyard, your children. Loving parent that You are we thank You that you want us to produce sweet flavorful fruit that brings You and others joy. But like the wicked tenants we, too, treat Your Son badly. We do not deserve Your favor. Yet Your arms are always open to welcome us, and so we come to You and we say, help us follow Your ways, graft us into Jesus, make us fruitful vines. Thank You that when we come, in Your presence we find peace and rest.
Because of Jesus, Whose victory we will soon celebrate.