Sunday, May 4th – Mark 11:27-12:12

We’ve had some good discussion going so far, haven’t we?

This Sunday we’ll be looking at Mark 11:27, and reading all the way through to chapter 12:12.  Read it here.

Don’t you just love how Jesus is always in control of a situation?  Obviously, it’s the next day after Jesus interuped the worship at the temple…and as soon as He shows his mug around that place again, the “authorities” are all over Him.  They ask about what “authority” Jesus is using to do the things He’s done.  What do you think they mean by that?

Jesus pulls another “Jedi-Messiah” trick by turning the trap back on the trappers.  He actually changes the subject, sort of.  The common people of Jerusalem loved John the Baptist.  The elders and leaders were absolutely cornered by Jesus’ question in response.  If they denounced John as a fraud, the crowds would begin to resist them.  But if they said John was of God, the crowds will wonder why they treated John with such skepticism.  It was a no-win situation for them…a guaranteed double play ball.

That leads Jesus to tell the parable He tells in the begining of chapter 12.  Traditionally, it’s refered to as “the parable of the wicked tenants”…but it could be more accurately called “the story of the renters from hell”.

Read the parable over.  Who do the vinedressers who are renting the property represent?  Who would they represent as we try to understand this parable for our own lives?

Who does the Landowner represent?  What do we learn from about Him from His responses to the growing tensions?

What was the last straw in this stand-off?  What drove the Landowner to action?  What can we learn from this story about our own lives and the choices and responses we have?

Let’s discuss.

5 comments

  1. I wonder if we could be guilty of the same things as the “renters from hell”. Here we are, the very ones that are spoken of in verse 9 (the others), and I wonder if we haven’t all but run Jesus out of his own vineyard. We say he still runs the vineyard, but is he really in control? Are we really following his directions, or (like the religious leaders he was talking to in the verses) have we come up with our own agenda, our own ideas on how to grow grapes.

    I also think it interesting that he didn’t send in the troops after the first or second servant were sent packing. Another beautiful picture of the mercy and long suffering nature of God. It’s almost like I can hear him saying, “Let’s send one more, they’ll deal rightly with this one.” How truly beautiful.

  2. The vinedressers represent the Jews (God’s Old Covenant Church) would not accept God’s Son.

    In our lives, the vinedressers are God’s Churches who speak of Love, Mercy & Grace but show no fruit and are not “really ” accepting God’s Son.

    The landowner represents God.

    God’s response to the growing tensions with the situation with the Jews was to start a “New Covenant” to include “everyone who will accept His Son into their hearts” to be in His Kingdom.

    The last straw was that God’s Only Son, Who He loved so much, was not accepted.

    My response to this parable is to exalt Jesus in my life (in every area) because He resides in my heart and is “marvellous in my eyes”!!!

  3. John – It is amazing how quick we seem to be to forget that we were the outsiders once, and yet we fall prey to the same mistakes as our predecessors. It reminds me of Yaconelli’s statement in Messy Spirituality, how we, the unworthy ones stand at the door to keep all the other unworthy ones out. Why are we like this? I wish I knew.
    And yes…I’m overwhelmed by the over-the-top mercy on display in Jesus’ depiction of the Father.

    Golda – Jesus’ story certainly does place a huge emphasis on how we respond to Jesus, doesn’t it? For me, it goes a long way in helping to shape my priorities in life.

    Great responses guys!

  4. DO WE OR WHEN DO WE DRAW THE LINE ON FORGIVENESS? I HAVE SUFFERED THROUGH A BETRAYAL THAT I DON’T KNOW IF I’LL SURVIVE IT. I LOVE JESUS. GLAD I JOINED THE FELLOWSHIP. I NEED TO TRUST IN GOD AGAIN, BRING JESUS BACK IN TO MY LIFE, AND HOPEFULLY MY FRIENDS WILL GUIDE ME THROUGH, BUT MOST OF ALL I HOPE IT IS THE LORD GOD ABOVE THAT GET’S ME THROUGH. ALWAYS, SOMEONE WHO WANTS THEIR CHRISTIAN LIFE BACKf!

  5. Do we draw a line on forgiveness? Not if we rightly understand what Jesus said in Matthew 18:21-22 (with the accompanying story in vs 23-35). Jesus indicates that we keep forgiving because God keeps forgiving us.

    We have to rightly define forgiveness though. Some people think it means we don’t hurt anymore, or we forget the whole thing happened…and that’s not reasonable, so we figure we can’t forgive.

    But forgiveness, simply put, is an act of our will (“I WILL forgive this person”). It basically means we have decided this person doesn’t owe us anything anymore. It doesn’t necessarily feel good, but we do it anyway, in obedience to God. We determine in our will, and hope it will effect our attitude later on, that this person doesn’t need to pay for what he/she did. He/she doesn’t even need to apologize to satisfy me. Why? Because I have everything I need in Christ. I am complete, fulfilled, accepted and I belong. This person can’t add or take away from that.

    I know a very Godly woman who’s husband left her, but first he let her hang in limbo while he decided if he wanted her or the “new” woman. He finally chose the new model, and abandoned her and their marriage (exactly! What a jerk!). She knew God wanted her to forgive him, but as you can imagine, she felt way too much pain to think that could ever be accomplished in her life.
    So, when she prayed, she would pray for her ex-husband and say “Lord, bless so and so (whatever his name was)”…but then she would add, “but I don’t mean it.” She was honest about her pain, but WILLING to obey God, even though she didn’t feel it.
    This went on for some time…until she gradually began to change inwardly…first saying “I sort of mean it”….then realizing one day that her ex-husband owed her nothing, that she was complete and whole in Christ…and she was able to exclaim “Oh God, I mean it! Bless him!”

    She got on the path God wanted her on by an act of her will, and over time (the key concept), it became HER path.

    Remember this: Do you want the person who betrayed you to still have control over you? As long as you don’t forgive, they still still have some influence on your life and identity. Forgiveness is for YOUR sake most of all. The moment you decide to find your life in Christ, and not build your identity on the betrayal of this person, that’s the moment the strings are cut, and you are free from him/her…and healing can begin.

    Here’s a prayer you can pray to God every day:
    “God, [the person’s name] doesn’t owe me anything. You forgave me, help me forgive this person. I am complete in you. I know who I am in you, I know I belong to you. I don’t want to be controlled by this hurt anymore.
    “Bless [the person]. I’m still angry and hurt, so I don’t want to do this, but it’s your will, so I will. Let your healing of my heart begin.”

    Pray that every day, and see what happens over time.

    Hope that’s helpful.

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