Deuteronomy 10-12 Mark 12:1-27
“The Jewish leaders knew that the story was about them. So they wanted to find a way to arrest Jesus, but they were afraid of the people. So the leaders left him and went away.” (Mark 12:12 NCV)
The meaning of the parable Jesus told was obvious. God sent many prophets to teach His people Israel, and yet, the people stoned or killed the prophets. In a claim for divinity that must have appalled the Pharisees, Jesus took the last step: The owner of the vineyard, God, sent His Son, Jesus, and those tending God’s vineyard, Israel, decided that this was the owner’s last shot. If they killed this latest messenger, the owner’s son, they’d have the vineyard all to themselves and so they killed the son, only to run into total destruction. The reaction of the Pharisees to that story was that they wanted to shut Jesus up. They would have arrested Him, but they were afraid of the reaction of the people. Jesus got away this time, but later, the Jewish leaders would arrest and kill the Son, fulfilling the final action of the tenants in this story.
If you never understood the meaning of irony, this story lays it out. The Jewish leaders didn’t like the implications of what Jesus taught, so they tried to stop Him teaching by doing the very things that He taught they would do. As much as that parable was meant for the days of Jesus, though, the same attitudes prevail in our leaders today. Sometimes it’s the political leaders. At other times, so-called religious leaders seek to silence the message of Jesus. Leaders are happy when we follow their religious rules. The message of Jesus breaks those rules and reminds us that God loves each of us in spite of our past. Jesus, the son of the owner, paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. When we turn to Him, God sees us through the lens of grace, and forgives all of our sins. Thanks be to God.
Lord, remind me to trust You and Your grace for forgiveness. Teach me to walk in Your grace as a disciple of Jesus every day.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.