Who Is Your Life For?

April 25, 2021

David Sorn

Have you ever sat down to deeply ask the question of “Who is your life for?”

Who Is Your Life For?

April 25, 2021

David Sorn

Have you ever sat down to deeply ask the question of “Who is your life for?”



As we continue in the Book of Luke in the Bible this morning, we come to another passage on Authority.

Jesus speaks often about this sort of thing because how you answer the question of “Who’s in charge of my Life” is critical to how you live your life.

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(Renovation App)

Our passage today is directly connected to the passage we covered last week.

Which is another bonus of walking through a book of the Bible like this.

You will more richly understand a passage when it is set in its original context.

Last week’s passage, at the beginning of chapter 20, was also a passage about authority.

The religious leaders ask Jesus, “Who Gave You This Authority?”

…The authority to tell people how to live and how to know God

The Jewish leaders think that they have the authority to tell people what to do.

But Jesus, because He is the Son of God, has authority over everything in heaven and on earth.

And as we begin today’s passage, you’ll see that it’s taking place a mere seconds after last week’s passage.

It’s the same conversation.

(Luke 20:9-19) – NIV

9 He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.

13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’

14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”

When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”

17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

19 The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.

Okay, let’s get our bearings in this parable

God, the Father, is the owner of the vineyard.

The vineyard represents God’s chosen people…the people of God (which at that time in history was the people of Israel)

You see this throughout the Bible (Isaiah 5, Psalm 80, Jeremiah 2…the people are “the vineyard”)

The tenants, those managing the vineyard while the owner is away, are the Jewish religious leaders of Jesus’ day…

These are the Pharisees, the chief priests, the elders (the people Jesus started talking to at the beginning of this chapter)

The servants that the owner sends to collect the fruit of his vineyard are God’s messengers throughout history.

Namely, the prophets.

Many of whom were beaten by the people of their day (or thrown in a pit like Jeremiah)

And the son of the owner, the one whom the tenants kill…is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

They throw the son out of the vineyard, and kill him.

Which is exactly what they did with Jesus.

They caught him in the garden, and eventually took him out of the city, and killed him

Jesus then says that after the death of the son, the owner will give the vineyard to others

Matthew, in recounting this parable gives a tiny bit more detail

He says:

(Matthew 23:43) – NIV

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

And that’s primarily what happens in history, right?

The center of God’s movement transitions to the Gentiles, the non-Jews


Okay, the main issue here is that the tenants want to be in control of the vineyard

They want to dismiss the owner.

They want the fruits of their labor to be only for themselves

This is a parable that is ultimately asking the question: What will you do with God?

Is He in charge of your life?

Is He the true leader of your life?

Who is your life for?

Think about this: The tenants didn’t create the vineyard.

Neither did you create your life.

You didn’t make it.

You didn’t put breath in your lungs.

You didn’t determine when you would be born (or to what parents), or where you would live.

Or even that you’d still be living right now.

You are God’s.

The Apostle Paul explains it this way:

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) – NIV

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

The purpose of your life, the Bible teaches, is for you to bring glory to God with your life.

God is the owner of your life.

And the fruit of your life, the actions of your life, are first and foremost to be for God.

But listen, this is SOOO different than how almost everyone lives.

Right? It’s crazy different!

From childhood, most people are taught that the purpose of their life is very different than this.

And it depends a bit on which culture you’re born into

In many cultures in Asia, or in some parts of Africa and South America, children are taught that their purpose in life is to bring honor to their families.

They are, quite simply, to avoid bringing shame to their family, (or their community)

Or think about all of the millions of people who grew up in communist Europe during the Cold War

In East Germany (where many people had grown up Lutheran and were accustomed to confirmation), the government literally replaced church confirmation classes with government confirmation classes where children were literally taught that their purpose in life was to live for the “state,” their country

In America, most kids today grow up believing their purpose in life is to live for…themselves.

We talk to children endlessly about what they might accomplish with their sports or activities as they get older, or where they might go to college, and what they might be when they grow up

I was thinking about this the other day.

We ought to start saying, “What do you want to do when you grow up,” instead of “What do you want to be?”

It might decrease some of the immense pressure that kids feel nowadays

Think about this: When they grow up, they may do medical work, or do construction work, do educational work.

But who will they BE?

Someone with character?

Someone who trusts God?

Someone who loves Jesus?

Who will they be?

If my kids all grow up to be brain surgeons, but don’t follow Christ, I will be absolutely devastated.

And what happens when you spend your whole life thinking about what YOU are going to do and accomplish as you get older?

What happens is that this truly Biblical concept (that God is your Creator and Master), and your #1 goal in life is to live for Him, to produce fruit for Him…

That Biblical truth almost feels foreign to us.

Even to those of you who have been going to church your whole life

Because we grew up in homes where our parents maybe took us to church or gave lip service to God once a week, but the entire rest of the time they talked about career and success.

When truthfully, they should have been teaching us first and foremost about:

How to surrender to God and trust His ways

How to put God first in all things

How to fall in love with Jesus

Because you know, you can have a high-paying job and still be miserable.

I bet your guidance counselor never told you that in high school.

Our hearts, just like the hearts of the tenants in this parable, gravitate towards finding a way to be in charge of our lives.

The tenants see the son coming, and they say (verse 14), “Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.

This is what the human heart wants!

Our sinful and selfish hearts want us to be rid of all of this talk about God being in charge of our lives

We want the vineyard for our pleasure!

We want to get to decide how we live

If we’re going to work hard at something, we want it to be for our glory, not for God’s.

I mentioned a shocking question earlier, and it’s been staring at you on the screen for quite some time now, so…I want to ask it again:


This question is earth-shattering if you really take time to think about it and let it actually penetrate your heart.


It’s the question of the vineyard.

To the tenants in the parable, the fruit of their labor in the vineyard…they think…ought to be for them!

It’s for them…

And that’s why they don’t want to live for the owner.

“The fruit ought to be for them!”

We do the same thing!

The reason God does so little in so many of our lives, is because we just can’t seem to let go of the fact that our lives, our vineyard, the one we work, ought to be for us!”

Who is your life for?

When you make choices about where you will live, what you will do, where you will work, who you will marry, how you will spend your time…..WHO IS YOUR LIFE FOR?

Your life is not for your parents

The purpose of your life is not to make your parents happy

Or, some of you live like the purpose of your children’s lives is to make you happy.

Yes, honor your father and mother…

But your life is not for your parents.

Your life is not for…the culture or the community or the government.

Your life is not for you.

Your life is for God

Your life is to be lived for the glory of God

Your life is meant to be a life that would yield such fruit with its actions that it would bring God praise and glory and honor.

And here’s the great paradox of Christianity

When you recognize, I mean truly recognize, that your life (your whole life) is meant to be for God…

…that’s when you’ll truly come alive.

But most people don’t get there.

Because surrender sounds like death to them.

They’d rather hold onto the fruit of their life then give it back to the owner.

But in clutching their life, and refusing to let go, they miss true life

All the great reversals of the Bible speak to this

The last will be first

Those who humble themselves will be exalted

To die is gain

But you can’t find that gain until you get this monumental question right:

Who is your life for?

Every single one of us is either trying to take the fruit of the vineyard for ourselves, or trying to produce fruit for the owner.

Who is your life for?

Jesus expounds on this more in verses 17 and 18

Look again at what it says:

(Luke 20:17-18) – NIV --- KEEP UP!

17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

Jesus is quoting a Psalm from the Old Testament in the Bible, the same Psalm about the Messiah riding into Jerusalem that we talked about last chapter (Psalm 118)

And Jesus is the cornerstone.

That’s the stone that builders used at a building’s corner to bear the weight of the stress of two walls.

It’s the stone you lay first.

The stone that kept the whole building up and together.

Is Jesus Christ the cornerstone of your life?

Is Jesus the one you put first?

Do you put his priorities, and his way of life first, and then build the rest of your life around Him (like a cornerstone)

If you want to answer “Jesus,” when I ask, “Who is your life for?”

Then that’s what you want to do.

To make Him your cornerstone.

Put Him first.

One of the things I want you to do this week, when you pray:

Ask God these questions:

Where am I living for myself and not you?

Where do I need to put you first?

How can I produce fruit for you, and not me?

Because my life is for you.

Look at verse 18.

Jesus says he is the Cornerstone, but then he says: “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces”

You know what that means?

It means, that to surrender to Jesus as your cornerstone, to admit that He is your leader, and come fully under Him…

Is to be broken…

To let your own dreams and desires be broken (to fall apart), so you can align with his will instead.

But my friend that isn’t a loss.

There is NO better place to be than in the will of God.

Trust me, He is a better leader than you.

Everywhere He asks you to go is better than where you would go.

Everything he asks you to do is better than what you would do

If you determine that your life is for Jesus, and you make Jesus the cornerstone, He will build a beautiful building with your life…

…one that will bring great glory to Him

But if you determine your life is for you, and you make YOURSELF the cornerstone, and then try and fit Jesus in later as some sort of extra piece…

Your life will fall apart…crashing to the ground like those who built their lives on sinking sand instead of the rock that is Jesus Christ

What I want do now is pause for a few minutes and share with you a story of someone who has made a choice to make Jesus their cornerstone.

In fact, I want to call our Baptismal Team on stage right now, so they can get our baptismal ready

Because today is a Baptism Sunday for us.

…and so right now, you’ll not only get to hear a story of how someone met Jesus, and you’ll also get to see them be baptized.

Baptism is a symbol of what Jesus did for you when you, personally, believed in Him

It doesn’t save you.

It’s like the wedding ring of the Christian faith

It’s a symbol that our old life has been buried, and through our faith, we’ve come up a new person!

And so we’re baptizing 3 people throughout the morning who’ve made a decision to follow Jesus…and we have 1 at each service.

Every person you see baptized at Renovation Church is baptized by at least one sponsor (someone who’s had a spiritual impact on them)

And so, we’re going to begin!


I’m so thankful for this!

I want to take us back to our passage now.

Let me ask you a hard question about it:

When you read about these tenants in the vineyard…the ones that injured the messengers and then murdered the son…in cold blood.

Do you believe that they deserved punishment? Do you believe there should be justice for them?

Sure we do.

They murdered someone.

Surely justice should be done.

But what about justice for our sin?

It’s really easy to cry for justice when we see the sins of other people…like that of the tenants in this story…

But when we think of our own lives, many of us cry “No, but for me, I deserve grace! Forgiveness! God owes me heaven!”

We have the hardest time in the world seeing ourselves as the tenants in this parable

We’re like the Jewish leaders who were listening to the parable, but then in verse 16, they say, “God forbid!”

Or in some translations, it reads, “Oh, surely not! God would never do that!”

Not to us…Justice couldn’t fall on us.

But indeed, the Bible teaches that our sin should lead to our death, to our punishment, to hell

(Romans 6:23) – NIV

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Without the gift of forgiveness from Jesus…

Without letting Him die in our place for us…the punishment of sin will be upon us…and that is death…separation from God in hell.

My friend, God is the owner of your vineyard.

And God is sending his OWN SON to you in love…wanting you to know God.

God is patient with you.

Look at how patient He was in putting up with the tenants.

We miss this sometimes.

We see the justice at the end, but we miss the patience!

They kept beating the owner’s servants and giving the owner nothing…

And God just kept sending another servant…and sending another servant…

…to tell them the message of truth again and again.

He holds out hope…even sending His only beloved Son

And God is patient with you…wanting you to see that the only way to real life on earth, and life in eternity is through His Son (whom He sent to die for you)

Wanting you to turn your life over to Him

Even now, just like the tenants in that vineyard, God is sending you messengers to speak of this truth.

I am one of them…

Your friends, your family who brought you here are another.

Will you turn your life over to Jesus?

If you’ve never told God before that you believe Jesus died for you…

If you’ve never truly made Him your leader, your cornerstone…

I urge you to do that today.

In fact, I want to give you a chance to do that right now.

Let’s just have everyone bow their head and close their eyes.

If you’ve never done this before, and you want to be saved by Jesus, to make Him the cornerstone of your life.

I urge you to respond.

If this message has just been hitting your heart, and you know you need to come under His leadership…to stop leading your own life.

To let Him save you…

If that’s you, as a way to mark this day, and tell Him that you believe, I want you to stand up where you are right now.

Everyone has their eyes closed, so don’t think about that.

If you need to tell Jesus that you believe, and you need His forgiveness…

If you’re ready to surrender to Him…

Stand up right now.

For those of you standing, we want to pray with you.

Repeat this out loud after me…whether you’re a brand-new believer or have been one for quite some time.

Repeat after me

Dear God

I confess to you, that I have sinned against you.

But God I believe, that you sent your Son Jesus, to take my place

And God I thank you, for forgiving my sins.

And now I commit, to following you, with my life.

As everyone still has their eyes closed, for those of you standing up, you just made the most important decision of your life, and I believe that requires some more information…

So here’s what we’re going to do to get you that…as everyone has their eyes closed, I want you, in just a second, to walk back out to the lobby where it will be quiet.

You won’t walk out there alone.

There are others standing with you, and our follow-up team is going to walk out at the same time with you

And I, and our follow-up team are going to get you some extremely important resources & next steps to get you started on the most important journey of your life.

If you’re part of this church, and your friend or family member is standing up right now, PLEASE come out there with them.

All right, you can all go now.

As they’re walking, I’m going to thank God in prayer.

Let’s pray

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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