Today in Mark, we look at Mark 12:1-12:
Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. 5 Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this scripture:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
11 this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?”
12 When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.
Philip Yancey wrote a book many years ago entitled The Jesus I Never Knew. In this book, Yancey talks about what he saw when he just read the Gospel. I didn’t want to look at what others said about Jesus. He didn’t want to go off what preachers had preached about Jesus.
He wanted to just see what Jesus actually said and did. Not what he thought Jesus said and did. And when he did that, he found something surprising. The Jesus he found in Scriptures was very different from the Jesus that he expected to find.
For instance, look at this passage. Jesus is just calling out the Pharisees. He is going through the history of the people, how each prophet that God sent had been rejected and killed, until finally God sent His beloved son, and He too was to be rejected and killed.
And we see a quote from the Old Testament, the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. And the Pharisees and religious leaders leave because they know that Jesus is talking about them.
Jesus is a lot of things. But He is not harmless. He is not passive. For those of us that follow Him, He demands that we do just that. Follow. He knows that we will make mistakes. He understands. And He forgives.
But He always calls us to follow Him. Keep going. Keep walking. Keep chasing. Keep being faithful. Keep coming after Him.
The Pharisees rejected. And in this passage (and in more to come later) He tells them about it. He points out their mistakes. He shows them that they have rejected. He tells them that there will be consequences.
But while they rejected the stone, others plan to build their lives around it. And for us, that’s our calling today. To build our lives around this cornerstone. To make Jesus the foundation of our lives, our families, our everything.
To build everything around Jesus. And with that as the cornerstone, we will have a firm foundation, able to stand up to any storm that faces us.
Today, may Jesus be the cornerstone of lives!
Monday we’ll look at Mark 12:13-17.
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