The Parable of the Vineyard Mark 12:1-12


The Parable of the Vineyard

Mark 12:1-12

(Also see Psalm 118:19-29; Is. 5:1-7; Jer. 2:21)

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Foreigners rented out land to be worked by Galileans, so the framework of the parable was common knowledge.
  8. The owner made it possible for the land to be productive, all at his expense. Thus, the owner of the land had a right to a return on the investment and thus would send others to receive that.
  9. The mistreatment of those sent was beyond reason. Here we are to think of the prophets and others God had sent to those of His “vineyard” to receive what was His.
  10. One after the other, the owner of the vineyard was rebuffed, ignored, and treated with great disrespect.
  11. One emissary was held in reserve – a beloved son. When the time was right, the owner sent this special son supposing this one would be respected.
  12. Here we see the nature of the parable: it can be interpreted according to another story line.
  13. The son is obviously Jesus Himself, the beloved of the Father, who ought to be received and honored. The opposite occurs.
  14. This favored son is killed, which would actually take place within three days. The result would be catastrophic for the workers of the vineyard – they would be destroyed.
  15. This scenario had been predicted long centuries before. The son, or in the words of the Psalmist (Psalm 118:22-23), the “cornerstone” would be rejected.
  16. We are however startled to discover that the whole of it “was the Lord’s doing” and what appeared to be a tragedy is really “marvelous in our eyes.” And so it is!


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