Tuesday, June 19th. Mark 12:1-12

Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others 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.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then 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 amazing in our eyes’?”

When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.  Mark 12:1-12


There’s an old saying about how painful it is to discover, after a lifetime spent climbing a ladder, that it is leaning against the wrong building.


As we read the gospel stories about Jesus and the opposition he faced, eventually what we come to see as the most diabolical aspect of his opponents is not that they opposed him because of the threat he posed to them, but because of their concern to protect their people from another religious pretender, another “promise whatever it takes to get elected” charlatan.


In their minds, they were doing the right and godly thing by opposing Jesus.  Even to the point of his arrest and crucifixion.


But, even if we give them that, we also see the deeper currents flowing under their actions.  For they were also protecting themselves.  Expecting anything different would be to imagine a scene where the entire United States Senate and House of Representatives decide to resign one day because they can’t agree on a budget.  “We can’t seem to accomplish what you sent us here to do, so, for the sake of the greater national good, we hereby resign so you can elect some new people who will get the job done.”  It isn’t going to happen.


Nor would the entrenched interests of the religious leaders (not to mention the crowds) realize that they were only the latest in a long line of God’s people who cared only for themselves.  Even if it meant killing the heir and keeping the vineyard to themselves.


Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, we get life so backwards when it comes to you.  We worry so much about whether or not people trust in you that we forget about how much you have entrusted to us.  We are workers in your vineyard – we are the produce of that vineyard.  Forgive our selfishness and blindness, that we might recognize you in our midst.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


2 Responses to “Tuesday, June 19th. Mark 12:1-12”

  1. Kerry, Allie, Jonathan and Steve Says:

    Your read on this story has AMAZING insight.

    Thank you, and God bless.

  2. briangigee Says:

    Kerry, a great piece. Thanks. Each of us must claim the prize of faith given by God’s Spirit and live in it completely.

    “The fierce words of Jesus addressed to the Pharisees of His day stretch across the bands of time. Today they are directed not only to fallen televangelists but to each of us. We miss Jesus’ point entirely when we use His words as weapons against others. They are to be taken personally by each of us. This is the form and shape of Christian Pharisaism in our time. Hypocrisy is not hte prerogative of people in high places. The most impoverished among us is capable of it. Hypocrisy is the natural expression of what is meanest in us all.” ― Brennan Manning, ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel’


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