Setting traps for Jesus
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1 And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-
A story which really stings
Avoiding forthright speech which could accelerate the religious leaders’ attempts to kill Him, Jesus now speaks in parables. Meaning God the Father, He talks about a vineyard owner leasing his vineyard to tenants. The rent is proportional to the grapes harvested. The tenants, recognised by the Jewish leaders as themselves, won’t pay their rent. The vineyard owner successively sends three servants, and then many others, to ask the tenants to pay their rent. Similarly, God sent His prophets to disobedient Israel to demand they abandon their rebellion and submit to God. As this parable shows, God’s messengers were ignored, rejected, beaten, or even killed. Finally, in the parable, the owner sends his beloved son. Showing no respect for him, they kill him, reasoning that because he is dead no one will inherit the owner’s vineyard. Jesus says the owner will come to destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
Jesus is clearly predicting that the Jews will kill Him, God’s eternal Son. He has come to die on the cross to save us. But God the Father’s judgement will crush those guilty rebels who reject Christ. The parable also foresees blessing coming to others because of the Jews’ rejection of Jesus—surely referring to Gentiles’ coming to know Christ as Saviour and Lord. Jesus then quotes from Psalm 118, referring to Him as the rejected stone that becomes the cornerstone of the building. The religious leaders passionately want Jesus arrested but are scared of the people. They will seize Him later.
The Herodians again combine with their sworn enemies, the Pharisees, in a cynical attempt to trap Jesus. If He can be made to speak against their Roman rulers, perhaps the Romans will arrest and kill Him for treason. They ask whether they, an occupied country, should pay Caesar taxes. Jesus asks whose features figure on the coins. They reply Caesar’s. Christ’s logical reply leaves them speechless: Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. That says all they need to know—and nothing that traps Him! What wisdom!
One wife for seven brothers!
Another Jewish religious group now seeks to discredit Jesus. The Sadducees, unlike the Pharisees, believe in neither the resurrection nor the miraculous. Hypothetically, they mention a woman who marries seven brothers in turn, after each previous brother dies. They ask whose wife she will be after she dies. Jesus shows their two-
First, the Scriptures reveal marriage doesn’t exist in Heaven. Sex is a God-
Second, God says, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—not I was their God. Although physically dead, they are clearly alive spiritually through the resurrection. God is the God of the living! The person who trusts Christ now immediately receives eternal life, a different spiritual life which is everlasting in length. Christians will enjoy it forever in God’s new heaven and earth in perfect resurrection bodies that God will give to each Christian!
 . Romans 11:1-
 . Psalm 118:22-
 . My emphasis.
 . 1 Corinthians 15:42-
Questions on Chapter 38
27 Setting traps for Jesus.
A. How does the parable about the vineyard mirror the religious leaders’ opposition to Jesus? Mark 12:1-
B. Consider the question in verses 13 and 14 put to trick Jesus. Why does his answer amaze them? Mark 12:13-
C. What important truth do the Sadducees attack? What are their two big errors? To prove the resurrection how does Jesus blend Bible and logic? Mark 12:18-