Devotional # 31. 4/29/13. The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers.
This week’s Reading: Mark 12: 1-12.
Introduction. This is a special story to me because when we went to England three years ago for our first Hungarian camp we made a movie with the kids about this story. When we realize how it is a prophecy from Jesus about what was going to happen to Him it brings new meaning.
vv. 1-8. Let’s define the words Jesus uses: the “man” is God the Father. When Jesus says “vineyard” He is referring to “Israel”, and more specifically the Israelites. When He says “vinedressers” He is talking about the “religious leaders’ (i.e. Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, etc.). The reason for this was that they were supposed to be taking care of Israel. When Jesus says “servant” He means “prophets”, this is because prophets (and all followers of Christ) are servants of God.
So God planted and protected Israel and gave it to the care of the religious leaders but when He sent prophets to check on how things were going they were killed and hated. Then the Father sent His Son to redeem Israel but they crucified Him.
vv. 9-11. When Jesus says “others” He means “Gentiles” because the word “Gentile” actually means “other.” The Israelites are God’s chosen people but there are others and they are given the option to accept Jesus.
So God has been merciful but the religious leaders (who have been given the privilege of leading Israel but killed God in human form) will pay for their sins. Then the Gentiles will be given chances to accept Him (as we saw in Mark 7:27-28).
Jesus goes on to quote Psalm 118:22-23 which is talking about Him. When a building was started a “cornerstone” was laid. It would be the biggest stone and would form a corner, it was the most important part of a strong foundation. So here Jesus says that the “builders” (religious leaders) “rejected” (crucified) the “chief cornerstone” (Jesus) but it was God’s plan and it is an awesome plan.
v. 12. The religious leaders understood exactly what He meant (and were about to fulfill exactly what He said!) except they were scared that they would lose the favor of the people so they don’t try to kill Him yet. Sadly, they were less concerned with the truth of God and more about how they looked and their power over the people.
Conclusion. This has been a shorter lesson but it’s because I want you to take some time to think about the sacrifice that Jesus gave us…His life! It has taken me years to figure out what this parable meant and I just gave you the answers in the time it took to read this. Don’t waste the time spent studying this by not letting it impact you.