And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
Luke 20:9-18 (ESV)
When someone walks away from us in a moment of rejection, it hurts. If it is someone we care deeply about, we go after them, asking them to return. The pathway back to the relationship is difficult. Sometimes it may be broken and irreparable.
The story Jesus told to the people was difficult. It was about rejection of Him. They would not accept God. So God sent His Son. But they also rejected Him, and they killed Him. This is the saddest story of rejection.
God came after those who had rejected Him. He loved those who rejected Him so much that He even sent His Son. As the story says, “I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.” He risked everything to restore those who rejected Him.
It may seem to us that God lost everything the day Jesus was killed on a cross. But not so! As one of my favorite Christmas songs states: “And the Father rejoiced for He did not lose His Son, but He gained to Himself forever those who’d come.” What a wonderful ending to the heartbreak of rejection.