Today’s Reading: Mark 12:1-12
Jesus has already cleared the Temple of its money changers and traders only to find His authority questioned. He answered them with a question and then began to speak in parables. On this occasion a very special parable called an allegory. Parables have one main point, but an allegory is much closer to reality. Each element of the story relates to events that unfolded just days before Passover. The cast includes:
Owner of vineyard = God
Servants of owner = Prophets, John the Baptis
Vineyard= people of Israel
Son/Heir of Owner = Jesus
Tenants= religious leaders
It was apparent that Jesus had spoken against the religious leaders. Let’s ask the same question they put forth many years ago; “By what authority do you judge us?”
The vineyard was a familiar image and everyone knew the owner had to receive goods from his tenants in order to retain legal ownership. They refused to give him anything and wanted to claim it for themselves. Let’s remember that God, as creator of the world, His world, has every right to judge us since all was His to begin with. God shows incredible generosity, trust and patience as seen in the character of the Owner. The tenants had everything they needed and were trusted with a responsibility. He forgave many times, as the tenants continued in their greed and wickedness, but His judgment and justice would prevail in the end.
We may feel that people get away with injustice, oppression and even murder. God’s messengers continue to be rejected, mocked and experience many hardships. Jesus knew who he was and why he had come. God knew what would happen to him, and yet he still came to bring us back to our Owner, the Loving Father who never gives up on us.
“Lord, we’re reminded that you have the authority to be our judge. You are also a patient and saving judge. You declare us guilty then come and pay the penalty in our place. We offer our thanksgiving and ask for the power to follow you more closely than ever.”