We enter a new week where we will face new challenges and new opportunities. As we do, let’s study this great parable that Jesus told in Mark 12:1-12 together:
And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.
You may want to take a look back at Mark Chapter 11 to see why Jesus spoke this parable. It has been said that a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. That is certainly true here.
God created the world (the man & the vineyard). He gave man stewardship of the world (the tenants & the vineyard). He sent many leaders & prophets to guide man and to ensure they were properly bearing fruit in the world (servants sent to get fruit). Many people rejected God’s leaders & prophets then and now and even killed some of them (servants beaten & killed). God, in His Grace, sent Jesus to be the ultimate, complete & final Savior of mankind (The man sent his beloved son as the final communicator and inspector of fruitfulness). He was rejected and killed by evil people who thought they could get God’s gifts by theft (let’s kill the heir and the inheritance will be ours). Those who reject Jesus would ultimately be destroyed with no inheritance, no fruitfulness and no hope (the owner of the vineyard will come and destroy the tenants and give it to others).
I want to be a good tenant in the vineyard of God? What about you? What stands out to you in this parable? What heavenly meaning gives you motivation to act?