Matthew 21:34 Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit.
A vinedresser is more than a farmer. He’s like a grape shepherd. Grape vines remain for decades, and the vinedresser learns the vine much like a shepherd learns his sheep. He observes and discovers how to care, water, feed … how to prune each vine so as to elicit the best crop possible; a regular vineyard Mr. Miyagi … grape on … grape off.
In this parable which Jesus is relating to the religious leaders, the time was near for the crop of grapes to be harvested and placed in the presses where their juices would be released. But it was not the duty of the vinedressers to process the fruit. Everyone in the body of Christ has certain gifts and talents which makes them better at specific tasks than others.
Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
We all have a purpose to serve within the church, the body of Christ. God has not gifted any one of us in every way to do everything in the church. No one position, gift or talent is any more important than another, for the purpose is one:
Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Don’t go around wishing you had someone else’s gift or ministry.
1 Corinthians 3:5–8 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
So many Christians have rendered themselves weak or less effective in ministry because they have their focus on ministry they don’t have rather than ministry they do have. It’s been well said that “Jealousy is the trigger of mediocrity.” When your eyes are looking enviously at another man’s ministry we have taken our eyes off of our leader, Jesus.
There was once a farmer who was obsessed with the success of his farmer-neighbor. He grew so obsessed that he watched that other farmer from the porch of his house as often as he could, night and day. When friends dropped by to visit all he talked about was what that other farmer was doing wrong, why he didn’t deserve to be so successful. Soon, however, it was time for the harvest and this farmer realized he had completely forgotten to care for his own crops, which had withered.
Fruitfulness is simply the result of Christ in our lives, as we abide in the nourishment of the vine, eyes on the prize. God has you planted somewhere and, like a Vinedresser, He knows what you need and when you need it. Bloom where you’ve been planted. Mr. Miyagi said to Daniel, “We make sacred pact. I promise teach karate to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions.”