Summary: The Big Idea: We don’t always like the warnings Scripture gives us. In the parable of the wicked tenants, Jesus warns the religious leaders of of the consequences of not bearing the fruit God is looking for.
Since we’ve titled this series “Good News,” a lot of the sermon titles have related to the news—“The most trusted name in News,” “A Slow News Day,” “The Rest of the Story—” stuff like that. So that’s where this title comes from, and I’ll talk more about this later.
An interesting thing about Trish—she doesn’t like the news very much, but she does love the weather. She can name weathermen the way I can name rock and roll drummers. And when I first started picking up on it, I have to confess I felt a little threatened because she would talk about Josh Johnson from WSFA like they were on a first name basis. So I was a little worried—what is this with you and the weather guy from WSFA?
Then I saw him, and I was like, ok. I’m not quite as worried.
But far and away, Trish’s favorite meteorologist is James Spann from Birmingham. A few days ago, there was a tornado warning in Birmingham, and apparently the TV station interrupted their regularly scheduled programming to talk about it. And the next day, Trish said, “Did you see James Spann’s Facebook page? And I’m like, no… why are you friends with James Spann on Facebook?
Which, again… James Spann…
But the point is, apparently someone didn’t like the fact that James Spann interrupted whatever they were watching on TV because James Spann posted a screen cap of their Tweet on his Facebook page:
Its so interesting to me that there are people who get mad at the weather man because they don’t like the warning. If James Spann or Josh Johnson gives you a good weather report—the forecast is for sunny skies, humidity is at 60%, whatever, then we feel good about the weather. But if we don’t like the warning, sometimes we take it out on the weatherman. Especially if the warning means that our plans are going to get disrupted or are programs will get interrupted.
That’s what’s going on in Mark 12. Jesus is James Spann the Weather Man here—giving a warning in the form of a parable to the religious leaders of the day, and the religious leaders don’t like it. Let’s look at this together. If you are physically able, please stand in honor of the reading of God’s Word:
12 And 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. 2 When the season came, he sent a servant[a] to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some 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 And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What 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;[b]
11 this was the Lord's doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
12 And 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.
Before we get into these verses, I want to Catch us up to where we are in Mark. We finished up chapter 10 last week, and now we are jumping to Mark 12 because we talked about the Triumphal Entry and other details from Mark 11 on Palm Sunday. So just understand that this story happens in the context of Holy Week—the last week of Jesus’ life.
And I want us to notice how much Mark slows down here. We’ve talked about how fast paced Mark is—how his favorite word is immediately, and how he just jumps from event to event. But beginning in chapter 11, Mark goes from warp speed to a slow walk. In fact, when you realize that Jesus’ public ministry lasted about three years, then the first ten chapters of Mark covered two years, 11 months, and 24 days of it. But The last six chapters of Mark cover the last seven days of Jesus’ life