by Jerry Vines

Before we can understand this twelfth chapter of Mark, these first twelve
verses, you have to pick up in the 27th verse in the 11th chapter down to the
conclusion. This is the account of the Jewish leaders coming to Jesus and
asking Him by what authority he was doing what he was doing. They were asking
what were His credentials. What right did he have to do the things he was
doing? In reply to their question, Jesus asked them a question. He said the
baptism of John- was it from heaven or was it from men? That put them on the
horns of a dilemma. If they said his baptism was from heaven then Jesus would
say, why didn't you believe in him. If they had said he was from men, they
knew John the Baptist was popular with the people, and they would be in
troubl-e with the people so thvy iust copped out and said, "we don't know." So,
Jesus said, "I won't tell you, then, where I get my authority." This is an
illustration of the kind of running battle that is going on between Jesus and
these Jewish leaders. It will culminate in His arrest, trial and crucifixion.
In that context, Jesus tells the parable beginning in verse 1.
A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it,
and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and
let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he
might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.
And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.
And again, he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast
stones and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully
And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others;
beating some, and killing some.
Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last
unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come,
let us kill him and ...

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