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Summary: God is extremely gracious. He gives each one of us countless opportunities. But we must not take His patience for granted. He is a just God as well. I would be delighted if you could rate this sermon and give a brief feedback.

INTRODUCTION (SECURE ATTENTION) & BACKGROUND OF THE PASSAGE:

PRAY before starting the sermon.

Second Samuel 12 records the prophet Nathan’s visit to King David.

This visit occurred after David’s terrible sins of committing adultery with Bathsheba and getting her husband, Uriah killed.

Nathan tells David a parable in which David himself is part of the story.

After listening to the story, David burned with anger and says that the rich man who took the poor man’s little ewe lamb must die.

Then Nathan replies, “You are the man!”

In our text, Jesus does something similar.

He tells a parable to the religious leaders and they eventually realize that they are the key actors in the story.

Would you take God’s Word and turn your Bibles with me to MARK 12:1-12 (READ)?

I have entitled today’s sermon as: “WILL YOU RESPECT OR REJECT CHRIST?”

CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE TEXT: In this passage, Jesus tells a parable about the coming judgment on the Jewish religious leaders.

FALLEN CONDITION FOCUS: {Many non-Christians keep rejecting the claims of Christ.

They keep rejecting His love.

Many Christians too reject Christ in several areas of their lives.

We don’t really give Christ the place He deserves in our lives.}

THE PURPOSE BRIDGE: To encourage the members of EAGC to respect and submit to Christ.

CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE SERMON: I have used inductive proposition for this sermon.

I. GOD IS GRACIOUS.

Refer verses 1-8.

This passage is a continuation of the response that Jesus gave to the religious authorities, the representatives of the Sanhedrin who questioned his authority (refer 11:27-33).

Read verse 1.

During Jesus’ time, several landlords would rent out their land to tenants on a crop-sharing basis.

Jesus’ listeners would have understood this scenario well because several landlords did this in their time.

Read verse 1a.

While some parables concealed the truth from the hard-hearted people, Jesus reveals the truth of the impending judgment in this particular parable.

Read verse 1b.

After planting a vineyard, the man put a fence around it to protect it from wild animals.

He dug a pit for the winepress.

People would trample the grapes under the feet on a winepress and the juice would flow into the pit or vat.

He even built a tower which served as a watchtower to watch over robbers and intruders.

This tower probably even housed workers during harvest time.

Here, the man represents God, the Father.

The vineyard is a symbol for Israel (refer Ps. 80:8; read Isa. 5:1).

The tenants/vinedressers represent the Jewish religious leaders.

The servants are the prophets and priests sent by God (cf. Jer. 7:25 f.; 25:4; Amos 3:7; Zech. 1:6).

The mention about planting the vineyard, putting the fence, digging the pit, and building a tower reveals the kindness and generosity of God (read Isa. 5:2).

These tenants didn’t own the vineyard.

They were only stewards of the vineyard.

They were graciously given the privilege of working in the vineyard.

The Lord trusted the tenants by entrusting the vineyard to them.

Even today, as leaders and followers of Christ, we have the Word and the Spirit with us.

We have the presence of the risen Savior with us.

God expects even His Church to bear fruit and to be faithful.

We must bear the fruit of the Spirit (character) and do good works which will glorify the Father.

Read verse 2.

When the harvest season came, he sent one of his servants to get his share of the crops.

We are not sure that the Jews followed the Law strictly during Jesus’ time, but if they followed the Law, the owner could have collected the crop only five years after he had planted a vineyard (refer Lev. 19:23-25).

Read verse 3.

The tenants refused to give the share of crops that was supposed to be given to the owner.

To the servant’s surprise and eventually to the owner’s surprise, the tenants beat him and send him away empty-handed.

Read verse 4.

The owner sent another servant to get the share of crops.

But the tenants struck him on the head and treated him shamefully.

We see the increasing wickedness of the tenants in dealing with the man’s servants.

Read verse 5.

When another servant was sent, they killed him.

How sinful and ungrateful these servants were!

The owner sent several other servants and some were beaten and some others were killed.

That’s how Israel dealt with her prophets.

For instance, Elijah was driven into the wilderness by Ahab and Jezebel (refer 1 Kings 19:1-5).

According to tradition, Isaiah was sawn into two.

Zechariah was stoned to death (refer 2 Chron. 24:21).

In the New Testament, we read that John the Baptist was beheaded (refer to Mk 6:27).

The writer of Hebrews tells us that: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (read Hebrews 11:37-38)

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