URC Daily Devotion Thursday, 7 March 2024

Thursday, 7 March 2024
 
St Mark 12: 1-12

Then he began to speak to them in parables. ‘A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watch-tower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country.  When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed.  And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted.  Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed.  He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, “They will respect my son.”  But those tenants said to one another, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.”  So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.  Have you not read this scripture:

“The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
    and it is amazing in our eyes”?’

When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.

Reflection

The servants, seen as the prophets that God had sent to His people/Israel, were rejected and killed by the very people who were claiming to be of God, and obedient to Him. Jesus used this parable to remind the religious establishment what they were like. The landowner, God,  sent his own son, believing that he would be respected. The tenants saw an opportunity here; they believed that if they killed the son they would receive his inheritance. The tenants probably thought that the fight for the property was over, but it wasn’t; the owner now appeared on the scene 

Up to this point, Jesus has been dealing with the immediate situation of Israel and its past disobedience; now He leaves open the question of what Israel’s leadership is going to do with the Son of God, whom He refers to as the “chief cornerstone”.  Jesus now stands over the Church in His rightful position of honour, guiding the Church to fulfil its divine destiny. This verse makes clear prophetically how Jesus will be rejected by the religious establishment and ultimately be crucified.

We can apply this parable to our lives by asking two questions; first, have we come to know Christ as our Lord and Saviour, or have we rejected Him like the religious leadership did? The process is simple, as long as we are sincere in seeking a relationship with Christ. We need to recognize our sins, and then accept Christ as the only One who can save us from the penalty of our sins. Second, if we are a believer, what have we done with Jesus? Are we like the bad tenants, rejecting His Word and living a life of disobedience? If we are, we need to study God’s Word and pray for guidance, seeking His will for our lives and living out that will as best as we can, moment by moment, day by day.

Prayer

Dear God
Remind us always that the truth lies in you and not ourselves. 
Help us to work with you and not against you 
so that your kingdom may grow 
through the renewing power of your Holy Spirit. Amen
 

 

Today’s writer

Sue Knight Local Church Leader Reigate Park URC & Ordinand

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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