What Jesus Did! 'Beating the Servant' — Mark 12:1-3

Saturday, August 22, 2020

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 NLT
Illustration of Mark 12:1-3 NLT —  So the man sent a servant to the farmers to get his share of the grapes.

Key Thought

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.

Today's Prayer

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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 2 Kings 9:7
  • Jeremiah 35:15
  • 1 Corinthians 4:7


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.