Summary: In the parable of the tenants we see the characteristics of God Man and Jesus
Intro: One day, a bus driver was driving along his usual route. He didn’t encounter any problems for the first few stops; a few people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well. At one stop, however, a big hulk of a man got on. He was 6’ 8" tall, built like a wrestler, and his arms hung down to the ground. He glared at the driver and told him, “Big John doesn’t pay!” Then he sat down at the back of the bus. The driver was 5’ 3" tall, thin, and very meek, so he didn’t argue with Big John. But he wasn’t happy about it.
The next day, the same thing happened. Big John got on again, made a big show of refusing to pay, and sat down. It happened the next day, and again the day after that. The bus driver began to lose sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him.
Finally, he could stand it no longer. He signed up for body building courses, karate, judo, and a class on finding your self-esteem. By the end of the summer, the bus driver had become quite strong and felt really good about himself.
The next Monday, Big John entered the bus and again declared, “Big John doesn’t pay!” Enraged, the driver stood up, glared back at Big John, and bellowed, “And why not?!”
With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, "Big John has a bus pass."
. The bus driver thought that he had lost control of the situation.
. In leading up to our scripture this morning, the Pharisees knew they were losing control of the situation.
. Jesus had just arrived in Jerusalem for His final Passover.
. He had gone into the Temple and turned over the tables of the people who were selling sacrifices there in the temple.
. The Jewish leaders were incensed and were trying to figure out a way to get control back from Jesus because so many were following Him.
. At the end of chapter 11 here they demand to know what gives Him the right to do the things that He is doing and He refuses to give them the response that they are looking for.
. Jesus saw this as a teaching moment and tells them a parable.
. Mark 12:1-12; 1Then Jesus began teaching them with stories: “A man planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country.2At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop.3But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed.4The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head.5The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed,6until there was only one left—his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’
7“But the tenant farmers said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’8So they grabbed him and murdered him and threw his body out of the vineyard.
9“What do you suppose the eowner of the vineyard will do?” Jesus asked. “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.10Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
11This is the LORD’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.’ ”
12The religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away.
. Have you ever heard of sharecroppers or tenant farmers?
. Back when I was a little boy I had an uncle who was a tenant farmer. He lived in a house that was owned by someone else and he farmed the land that this homeowner had there around the house. Part of his payment for living in that house and farming the owners land was a portion of those crops.
. That’s the basis for Jesus’ story here.
. The man here in the story that provides the land and the wine press and the watchtower is God.
. The wicked farmers were the Jewish nation and the religious leaders.
. The servants that were killed and beaten were the prophets that God had sent to the people in an effort to bring them back into a relationship with Him.
. The son that was killed was Jesus.