Jesus used stories to teach the people. Jesus said, "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around the field and dug a hole for a wine press. Then the man built a tower. He leased the land to some farmers. Then he left for a trip. Later, it was time for the grapes to be picked. So the man sent a servant to the farmers to get his share of the grapes. But the farmers grabbed the servant and beat him. They sent the servant away with nothing."
— Mark 12:1-3
The symbols in this story were familiar for Jesus' audience. The vineyard would instantly be recognized as the nation of Israel, also known as God's chosen people. The tenants would be recognized as the leaders of the Israelites. They were given a beautiful and good vineyard in which to work. But, these leaders began to feel the vineyard was their own. They forgot it belonged to someone else and so they abused the vineyard owner's servants. These servants would be recognized from the Old Testament as God's messengers, the prophets. There were bad times in Israel's past when the prophets came with God's message and they were abused, mistreated, and even killed. Now this message had a clear historical connection, but we can carry away a powerful reminder for ourselves today from the implications of the first part of the story. So often, we begin to view God's Kingdom, God's people, God's gifts, as our own. We forget that all we have is "on loan" from God and to be used for him and his purposes. It is not ours by right, but by grace. We must never forget it.
O Father, you have blessed me so incredibly. My physical blessings are wonderful. My spiritual blessings in Christ are beyond description. Thank you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
Jesus used stories to teach the people. Jesus said, "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around the field and dug a hole for a wine press. Then the man built a tower. He leased the land to some farmers. Then he left for a trip. Later, it was time for the grapes to be picked. So the man sent a servant to the farmers to get his share of the grapes. But the farmers grabbed the servant and beat him. They sent the servant away with nothing. Then the man sent another servant to the farmers. The farmers hit this servant on the head. They showed no respect for him. So the man sent another servant. The farmers killed this servant. The man sent many other servants to the farmers. The farmers beat some of the servants and killed the others. "The man had one person left to send to the farmers. This person was his son. The man loved his son. But he decided to send the son to the farmers. The son was the last person he could send. The man said, 'The farmers will respect my son.' "But the farmers said to each other, 'This is the owner's son. This vineyard will be his. If we kill him, then it will be ours.' So the farmers took the son, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. "So what will the man that owns the vineyard do? He will go to the vineyard and kill those farmers. Then he will lease the land to other farmers. Surely you have read this Scripture : 'The stone that the builders did not want became the cornerstone. The Lord did this, and it is wonderful to us.'" These Jewish leaders heard this story that Jesus told. They knew that this story was about them. So they wanted to find a way to arrest Jesus. But they were afraid of the people. So the Jewish leaders left Jesus and went away.
Mark Mark 12:1-12
Related Scripture Readings
You must destroy the family of Ahab your king. In this way I will punish Jezebel for the deaths of my servants, the prophets, and the deaths of all the Lord's servants that were murdered.
2 Kings 9:7
I sent my servants the prophets to you people of Israel and Judah. I sent them to you again and again. Those prophets said to you, 'Each of you people of Israel and Judah must stop doing evil things. You must be good. Don't follow other gods. Don't worship or serve them. If you obey me, then you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.' But you people have not paid attention to my message.
Who says that you are better than other people? Everything you have was given to you. So, if everything you have was given to you, then why do you boast like you got those things by your own power?
1 Corinthians 4:7