GOSPEL MEDITATION #6 The Parable of the Tenants Mark 12:1-12


The Parable of the Tenants

Mark 12:1-12

(Read Psalm 118 and Isaiah 5)

  1. Find a quiet place without 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. “A man planted a vineyard,” Jesus says, as He begins to present a parable. This man does all that should be done: plants the best plants, builds a fence, a winepress, and a tower, leases it out to tenants, then goes away (Luke says for a long time. See Luke 20:9-18)
  8. At harvest time, the owner sends servants to collect the “fruit,” but the tenants beat some servants and kill others. When the owner finally sends his own “beloved son,” whom the owner is sure will be honored, they kill him outside the vineyard.
  9. The “vineyard” is a reference to Israel itself. Isaiah 5 would have been well known to the religious leaders, and there the vineyard is destroyed because it failed to yield the fruit of righteousness and justice. This parable is different but with similar themes.
  10. Psalm 118 was known as a Messianic Psalm for centuries before the days of Jesus. There the “cornerstone” or Messianic Stone that had been rejected, nevertheless becomes the chief stone, the cornerstone of a new structure.
  11. The primary point of the parable is that judgment is coming to those whom at first had been given charge of the vineyard. They rejected the owner’s rights for their own gain. The owner will give the vineyard to others.
  12. The religious leaders know the parable is about them but fear acting against Jesus because of his popularity with the people.


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