Think on these things today.
(Mark 11 – 12)
This was a busy day for Jesus. He taught several parables and His authority was challenged in many ways.
One of the parables He gave on this day was the Parable of the Wicked Husbandman (Mark 12:1-12). This is one of the most interesting parables ever told by Jesus because it is both historical and predictive. Jesus covered the history of Israel from God’s perspective. And then He predicted or revealed exactly what was going to happen to Israel. They were going to reject God’s own Son and because of their rejection and cruelty, God was going to reject them by giving the Kingdom of God to another people.
What is said throughout this passage is applicable to all people as well as to Israel. As Christians, God has entrusted the vineyard of the church and of the world to us, the new nation of God. Every point covered in Israel’s history should, therefore, be a dynamic message speaking to our hearts:
- God is generous…He gives us everything we need (Mark 12:1)
- God is trusting…He gives responsibility and freedom to govern life (Mark 12:1)
- God is exacting…He expects payment (Mark 12:2)
- God is patient…He sends messengers to receive payment (Mark 12:2-5)
- God is love…He sends His very own Son to the world (Mark 12:6-8)
- God is just…He shall come and destroy evil keepers (Mark 12:9)
- God is trustworthy…He fulfills all His promises (Mark 12:10-11)
- Conclusion…the great tragedy (Mark 12:12)
On this day the challenges to His authority had been pressing heavily upon Him. First, the chief priests and lay leaders had challenged His authority (Mark 11:27-33). Jesus met the challengers head on and routed them. But in so doing, His mind had been focused upon His death and Israel’s rejection. The very thought that Israel, in whom God had put so much trust, was failing God by putting His Son to death was bound to be ripping out the heart of Jesus.
Second, the Pharisees (the legalistic sect of the Jews) and Herodians (Herod’s political party) had attempted to discredit Jesus by pitting Him either against the government or the people (Mark 12:13-17). Again, Jesus had met and routed His challengers. But the struggle had been hard and heavy.
Now, for the third time, the Lord was confronted and challenged. And again, it was a different group who tried to out-argue and discredit Him (Mark 12:18-27). His challengers were the Sadducees (the religious and political liberals of the day). As Matthew points out, “They say that there is no resurrection.” Luke goes even further to say that the Sadducees say there is no angels or spirits as well as no resurrection. Their liberal position caused two things:
- It caused them to stumble at the spiritual and supernatural. They ridiculed and scorned both. Therefore, in their minds, the teachings of Jesus were the teachings of an unthinking and illogical man, lacking philosophical analysis and natural proof.
- Their liberal position caused them to feel threatened and to oppose Jesus. The people were flocking to Jesus and soaking up His teachings. This meant the Sadducees were losing their grip on the people. Their position and wealth were being jeopardized; therefore, they were compelled to attack and discredit Him before the people.
It was a tough day for Jesus; He continued to teach as more and more challenges came at Him. He met all the conflicts and won…He always wins! He is THE VICTOR!