Summary: parable of the tenants as a part of the Lent series

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The Tenants


Ask people to bring an egg, it could be empty egg shell or a hard boiled or even a raw egg. Demonstrate or Show a video of people squeezing or sitting on a raw egg - Purpose is to handle it roughly and see what happens. Mishandle it, you lose it. Sit on the egg? What is likely to happen?

What if the egg is cared for, properly used – it can last a long time!

Prepare some eggs by popping a hole in top and bottom, blowing out the insides. Hand them back to decorate. Throughout Lent season, we invite you to put the Passion story on eggs. Create a Passion tree (cross or branches) Bless People


The Gospel of Mark is a Passion Gospel with a long introduction.

Goal is to proclaim the Passion, the Suffering of Jesus

The last week of Jesus begins with Mark 12

Why is this parable the introduction to Jesus’ last week?

The Parable of the Tenants

12:1-12 Then he began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a pit for its winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went on a journey.

(common to plant a vineyard and rent it out - a vineyard is a figure for Israel in Isaiah 5:1-7)

The nation and its leaders are the tenants, renters, they have been given a promise! All nations will be blessed through YOU! But they dropped the ball. Rom. 11 Paul says that the failure of the Jews to embrace the Messiah would eventually lead to the Gentiles being fully adopted into the Kingdom.

2 At harvest time he sent a slave (10:44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all) to the tenants to collect from them his portion of the crop. (what does this crop represent? Blessing) 3 But those tenants seized his slave, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 So he sent another slave to them again. This one they struck on the head and treated outrageously. 5 He sent another, and that one they killed. This happened to many others, some of whom were beaten, others killed. 6 He had one left, his one dear 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’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours! 8 So they seized him, killed him, and threw his body out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this scripture:

‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

11 This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

12 Now they wanted to arrest him (but they feared the crowd), because they realized that he told this parable against them. So they left him and went away.

What was entrusted into the hands of the Jews?

It was a promise – given first to Abraham, passed on down through his son Isaac and his grandson, Jacob.

Genesis 12 – Go from your country to a land I will show you (unknown)

2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;

I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

The way that the Jews had mishandled the promise literally broke Jesus’ heart

All the nations of the earth will be blessed through you – that was the promise, that was God’s dream for the nation of Israel. But that never happened. Jesus literally wept over what had become of the nation of Israel:

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it! 35 Look, your house is forsaken! And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Luke 19:41 Now when Jesus approached and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had only known on this day, even you, the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and surround you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will demolish you – you and your children within your walls – and they will not leave within you one stone on top of another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God

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