Intro: Mark; to recall who Jesus is, what it means to follow Him. Jesus knew that He will die for His
people's sins. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, declaring symbolically, "I'm the Messiah!" Last week, Jesus
surprised us by cursing a fig tree and wrecking the temple. But the most surprising thing that Jesus did was
that He relocated the temple from an earthly location to His followers! Today, we find Jesus'
confrontation w/the religious leaders continuing to escalate!
The Parable! (Read Mark 12:1.) Jesus begins to speak to "them." Who? (Read Mark 11:27.)
Religious leaders, members of the Sanhedrin. Jesus tells them a parable, "an earthly story w/a spiritual point."
This parable is interesting, b/c it is clearly based on a prophecy from Isaiah. (Read Isaiah 5:1-7.)
In Isaiah's vision, the vineyard represents God's people, Israel. Jesus tweaks this picture, includes
"farmers/tenants" of the vineyard. Who do they represent? The religious leaders! "Jesus includes us in His
story? We didn't see that coming!" Do we see it?
The People! (Read Mark 12:2-5.) Jesus' story continues: Vineyard owner sends one servant after another to
collect His harvest. The tenants' treatment of the servants is horrifying, and insulting to the vineyard owner!
They beat the servants, treat them shamefully, and even kill some of them. If God is the owner and the vineyard
tenants are Israel's leaders, then who are the servants? God's prophets, who, throughout history called Israel
back to God. (Read Hebrews 11:36-38.) God's people refusing to listen to Him? We didn't see that coming!
Do we see it?
The Plot! (Read Mark 12:6-8.) Jesus' story reaches its climax: Vineyard owner sends His "beloved son."
1:11, 9:7!) Surely, they will respect His son! But the tenants decide to kill the son and seize the
vineyard for themselves. After they murder him, they cast his body out of the vineyard! God's people murdering
the beloved Son of God? Surely, He saw that coming! Do we see it?
The Punishment! (Read Mark 12:9.) Jesus concludes: What will the vineyard owner do? He will kill the tenants and
give the vineyard to others! Jesus' story is a clear warning: B/c of their refusal to respect God's Son, b/c they
intend to kill Him, Israel's religious leaders are in big trouble! They are in danger of losing their lives, and
Israel is in danger of losing its land! God's people coming under His judgment for refusing His Son? They
should have seen that coming! Do we see it?
The Prediction! (Read Mark 12:10-11.) Jesus adds a postscript to His story: First, an insult; "Haven't you read
this Scripture?" Then He quotes from a Psalm. (Read Psalm
118:22-23.) The psalm pictures a stone which, although rejected by builders, becomes the most important
stone in the building! (A cryptic prediction of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection!) How has this reversal
happened? "The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes!" God vindicating Jesus by raising Him from
the dead? They should have seen that coming! Do we see it?
The Parting! (Read Mark 12:12.) The religious leaders, aware that Jesus had spoken this parable against them,
refrain from arresting Him, for fear of the crowd. They depart to lick their wounds, and continue to seek a way to
eliminate Him. Fighting against God, continuing on a path that leads to certain destruction? They should have
seen that coming! Do we see it?