As today’s readings exhibit, grape vines and grape vineyards are common images in the Bible representing the descendants of Abraham, the House of Israel. The Temple in Jesus’ day included a vine made of gold that grew around the entrance to the Holy Place. It was so large that each grape on the vine was the size of a bowling ball, and weighed much more because they were solid gold.
Grapes represent life, as well as Israel. That is one reason Jesus used wine in his remembrance celebration. When we say the blood of Jesus saves us, we leave out important points. We must include the body of Jesus; his life, his presence on earth, those years he spent living the human life.
We also leave out the connection of Jesus to Israel. Jesus is Israel. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus is the true representation of Israel on earth. In his living, he did not change Israel, he only reminded Israel of what God expects of Israel.
Those of we Gentiles who have decided to walk in the way of Jesus have been grafted into the vine of Israel. Christians are not separate from Israel, we are a part of Israel.
When God says, So why, when I expected good grapes, did it produce sour, wild grapes? CJB God is talking to American Christians in our time. We cannot say, God was angry with the Hebrews; I’m glad I’m a modern Christian. No.
We must ask ourselves: when did I last feed the hungry, visit the sick, help the poor, build a house, prevent war, bring comfort?
Read my earlier comments on these NT readings here.
Be righteous and do good.