And he began to speak to them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and dig a place for the winefat…
Where God plants a true church, He does not so leave it, but is further careful to furnish it with all things needful for a church; and not only for the being, but also for the well-being of it; that it may not only be a church, but a happy and prosperous church, growing and flourishing in grace, and bringing forth plentiful fruits of grace, such as God requires and are acceptable to Him by Jesus Christ. As a careful and wise householder, having planted a vineyard for his use, doth not so leave it, and do no more to it; but is at further care and cost to furnish it with such things as are necessary and commodious, to the end it may grow, flourish, and prosper, and that it may bring forth much fruit and profit to the owner of it. So here, the Lord having planted a church in any place or amongst any people, doth not so leave it, but is careful to use all further means for the good of His church; especially for the spiritual good and prosperity of it, that it may grow, and increase, and prosper spiritually, and bring forth much spiritual fruit to God who planted it. Thus He did to the church of the Jews: He did not only plant His vineyard amongst them, by adopting and calling them to be His people, but withal He hedged about that vineyard, and set up a winepress, and built a watchtower in it, i.e., He furnished the Jews with all things needful to make them happy and prosperous, truly growing, thriving, and prospering in grace, and bringing forth plentiful fruits thereof, to the glory of God, the good of others, and the furtherance of their own salvation. To this end, He compassed them about with His special providence, as with a strong and sure hedge, to defend and keep them safe from all enemies and dangers bodily and spiritual which might annoy them; He gave and continued to them all spiritual helps and means of grace, and a government of His own appointing; He corrected them with afflictions, bestowed on them great mercies and deliverances, and wrought miracles for their benefit, to further their spiritual good and prosperity. And this is but a sample of how He treats every true church that He plants.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.