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author on December 2nd, 2009

We live in great abundance. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us – those generations who labored to create and nurture the liberty and opportunity which we enjoy today. Yet there are those who reject these gifts.

The religious authorities of Jesus’ day were such people. From the time of Abraham through the struggles of Moses to Israel’s great king David, then to the decline which resulted in the fall of the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah, these Chief Priests, teachers of the law and elders (Mark 11:27Mark 11:27
English: World English Bible - WEB

27 They came again to Jerusalem, and as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders came to him,

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) had no appreciation for what was given to them.

Using a parable, Jesus reminded them how ungrateful they had become. As you read Mark 12:1-12Mark 12:1-12
English: World English Bible - WEB

12 1 He began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the winepress, built a tower, rented it out to a farmer, and went into another country. 2 When it was time, he sent a servant to the farmer to get from the farmer his share of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 They took him, beat him, and sent him away empty. 4 Again, he sent another servant to them; and they threw stones at him, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. 5 Again he sent another; and they killed him; and many others, beating some, and killing some. 6 Therefore still having one, his beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those farmers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 They took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 9 What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and will give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner. 11 This was from the Lord, It is marvelous in our eyes’?” 12 They tried to seize him, but they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spoke the parable against them. They left him, and went away.

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, consider:

  • The man who owned/planted a vineyard is God
  • The vineyard is the Nation of Israel (see Deut. 6:10-12Deut. 6:10-12
    English: World English Bible - WEB

    10 It shall be, when Yahweh your God shall bring you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, great and goodly cities, which you didn’t build, 11 and houses full of all good things, which you didn’t fill, and cisterns dug out, which you didn’t dig, vineyards and olive trees, which you didn’t plant, and you shall eat and be full; 12 then beware lest you forget Yahweh, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

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  • The farmers/tenants are the tribes of Israel
  • The servants sent by the owner are the Prophets of Israel
  • The son of the owner is Jesus (Mark 12:6Mark 12:6
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    6 Therefore still having one, his beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

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  • The other tenants are the Gentiles

Jesus is exposing this ungrateful generation, who have long forgotten what God had given them, in their plot to kill the Son of God. Jesus is also warning them of what will happen: God will give the blessing to others – the Gentiles who will receive the Son and not reject Him.

How are you upholding the great inheritance God has given you in Jesus Christ? When God sends His servants to you do you give joyfully of what He has given you – your tithes, feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless, caring for the widows and orphans? (Matt. 25:40Matt. 25:40
English: World English Bible - WEB

40 “The King will answer them, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers The word for “brothers” here may be also correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”, you did it to me.’

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You possess a great gift of liberty and opportunity. How will you use it?