The message in Jesus’ parable of the tenants was very clear to the Jewish leaders: they were the ones who had rejected Jesus, and because of their unbelief, they would be destroyed. In telling this parable, Jesus introduced the new Israel, which is made up of all those who possess faith–both Jews and Gentiles. Alistair Begg uses this parable to remind us that we, too, have rejected God, and that eternal life can only be found by believing in the promised Messiah.
1And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. 2When the season came, he sent a servant1 to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. 6He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10Have you not read this Scripture:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;2
11this was the Lord's doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
12And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.
The stories Jesus told described a King and a Kingdom unlike any other. Jesus’ words challenged His hearers to consider the magnitude of their sin and the depth of mercy that they could never deserve. Like those in Jesus’ day, we too are prone to misunderstand how these stories testify to the realities of Christ’s Kingdom. In a culture that is reluctant to embrace absolute truth, it can be convenient to marginalize who Jesus is and why He came to earth. Like the rich young ruler, we may consider ourselves to be moral people with no need for a Savior. We may never have been struck by the weight and gravity of God’s coming judgment, driving us to consider our need for mercy. In this series of messages from the Gospel of Mark, Alistair Begg shows us the necessity of knowing Christ as a gracious Savior, an eternal King, and the One who will ultimately judge the world in righteousness.
|How Does God's Kingdom Grow?||Mark 4:1-12|
|The Seed and the Soils||Mark 4:1-20|
|Careful Listening||Mark 4:21-25|
|The Kingdom of God||Mark 4:26-34|
|One Thing You Lack||Mark 10:17-22|
|Lessons From the Fig Tree, Part One||Mark 11:12-14 Mark 11:20-25|
|Lessons From the Fig Tree, Part Two||Mark 11:23-25|
|"This is About Us!"||Mark 12:1-12|
|The Coming of the Son of Man||Mark 13:24-31|
|A Wake-Up Call!||Mark 13:32-37|