Summary: This message is based on parable of the vineyard and the wicked tenants.

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Mark 12:1 (NLT)

Then Jesus began telling them stories: "A man planted a vineyard, 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.

The Master Plan

 The vineyard owner had taken great care to assure that his vineyard would be fruitful

 Planted seed

 Built a fence

 Dug out a pit for a wine press

 Built a watchtower

 The vineyard owner had an end result in mind

 Bountiful harvest

 Excellent fruit

 Leased his vineyard to tenant farmers

The Parallels

 The Planter = God

 The vineyard = The nation of Israel

 The tenants = Israel’s religious leaders

 The servants = The prophets and the priests who remained faithful to God

 The son = Jesus

 The others = Gentiles

The Truth of the Vineyard

 Israel had been set apart and cultivated to bring salvation to the world

 They had been given God’s favor

 They had been given God’s law

Mark 12:2-3 (NLT)

At grape-picking time he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. [3] But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed.

The Expectation of Harvest

 The servant was sent to collect his master’s share of the harvest

 The tenants were greedy and self-centered

 They did not give what was expected

 They beat up the servant and sent him away

Mark 12:4-5 (NLT)

"The owner then sent another servant, but they beat him over the head and treated him shamefully. [5] The next servant he sent was killed. Others who were sent were either beaten or killed,

The Hardening of the Heart

 The owner sent multiple servants

2 Kings 17:13

2 Chronicles 24:19

2 Kings 17:13 (NLT)

Again and again the Lord had sent his prophets and seers to warn both Israel and Judah: "Turn from all your evil ways. Obey my commands and laws, which are contained in the whole law that I commanded your ancestors and which I gave you through my servants the prophets."

2 Chronicles 24:19 (NLT)

The Lord sent prophets to bring them back to him, but the people would not listen.

The Hardening of the Heart

 The owner sent multiple servants

2 Kings 17:13

2 Chronicles 24:19

 The degree of disregard increased

 Refusal

 Beating

 Humiliation

 Murder

Nehemiah 9:26

Nehemiah 9:26 (NLT)

"But despite all this, they were disobedient and rebelled against you. They threw away your law, they killed the prophets who encouraged them to return to you, and they committed terrible blasphemies.

Mark 12:6 (NLT)

...until there was only one left—his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, ’Surely they will respect my son.’

A Special Messenger

 The owner sent his own son

 A personal messenger

Mark 9:7

Mark 9:7 (NLT)

Then a cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."

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