February 28th Mark 12
The Parable of the Vineyard
1: 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. 2: And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. 3: And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. 4: And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. 5: And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. 6: Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. 7: But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. 8: And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 9: What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. 10: And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: 11: This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 12: And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.
13: And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. 14: And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? 15: Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 16: And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. 17: And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.
Question – Resurrection
18: Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, 19: Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 20: Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. 21: And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. 22: And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. 23: In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. 24: And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? 25: For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. 26: And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27: He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
Question – First commandment
28: And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29: And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31: And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 32: And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34: And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
The Lord’s Question – David
35: And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? 36: For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. 37: David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
Jesus warns of the Scribes
38: And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, 39: And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: 40: Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.
The Widows mites
41: And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42: And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43: And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
The Lord is bringing his preaching ministry to an end and in doing so he gives the parable of the Vineyard. The owner of the vineyard sends men to the vineyard seeking for fruit but they are badly treated. In the end the owner says to himself l will send my son! When the vinedressers see the son they say let us kill him and take the inheritance to ourselves. The owner of the vineyard comes latter to punish those who have done this wicked thing and he gives the vineyard to those who will give him the fruit in season. This parable describes the History and prophetic course of the Nation of Israel. The Herodias try to catch Christ out politically. But he overcomes their tricky plans by acknowledging the authority of the Romans to extract taxes but points them also to the demands of God on the Jews. The Sadducees come with their most tricky question but again Christ completely overcomes their difficult question. The question is overcome by Christ’s superior understanding of scripture and of the ways of God. Lastly the religious leaders come with their favourite question. Which commandment is the greatest? Christ answers perfectly, that the greatest, commandment is to love God and the second is to love men. So after all the questions were asked – the most difficult questions that the Jews could think of – Christ asks one question. (This question and answer method was the standard form of Jewish learning) Christ asks about the Messiah that David calls his Lord. Then Christ says if the Messiah is David’s son, why does David call his son - his Lord? They are completely stumped. Christ then warned the common people of the perverse teaching of their religious leaders. He describes them as self important, self seeking, self obsessed. Lastly Christ points out where the true religion is - by observing the devotion of a poor widow. What a contrast between the poor widow and the Sadducees.
- If you have a concordance look up the use of the word vineyard in scripture. So what is the vineyard that Christ is referring to in this parable?
- Everybody is asking their key questions. How does Christ answer them?
- What was Christs question all about?