[Jesus continued the story:] "The owner then sent another servant, but [the tenants] insulted him and beat him over the head. The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed, until there was only one left — his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, 'Surely they will respect my son.'"
— Mark 12:4-6 NLT
As this story of Jesus unfolds, we begin to get the picture. The owner of the vineyard (God) had sent servant after servant (all God's prophets), and they had been abused, battered, and even killed. So surely, if the owner (God) sent his dearly loved son (God's Son, Jesus), he would be respected and loved by the farmers (the Israelites). But we know the way this story ends, don't we? The Son is killed by those who want to maintain control of the vineyard. The Son wasn't respected but rejected. Suddenly, this story of Jesus is filled with emotion and with a strong warning. For those of us who know the end of the story, we can only be in awe of the love of God and fall on our knees aghast at the short-sided brutality of petty religious leaders. God spare us from such as these. God forbid that we would ever be one of these petty servants!
O Father, my heart breaks at the thought of your gift of love being so rejected and abused. Forgive us for our petty, selfish, and brutal ways, and use the sacrifice of your Son to touch hearts around the world. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- John 3:16-17
- Mark 8:31
- Mark 12:10
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Sunday, August 23, 2020
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 and is available in book form.
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.