Monday Morning: 20 May 2019 – Mark 12:1-12 ~ a prophecy of God’s judgment

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for the Renewal of Life – Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 12:1-12 (NLT)

Parable of the Evil Farmers

Then Jesus began teaching them with stories: “A man planted a vineyard. He 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. At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head. The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed, until there was only one left—his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’

“But the tenant farmers said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ So they grabbed him and murdered him and threw his body out of the vineyard.

“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do?” Jesus asked. “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.  Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?

‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.’”

The religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away.
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Morning Reflection:

a prophecy of God’s judgment

“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do?” Jesus asked.
“I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers
and lease the vineyard to others.” – Mark 12:9

In today’s reading, Jesus tells a story illustrating God’s coming judgement against Israel. The central truth of the story is drawn from the prophecies of Isaiah 5:1-2 and Psalm 118:22-23. His teaching points are –

  • the rejection by Israel’s leaders of Jesus as God’s beloved Son
  • the removal of Israel’s leaders as custodians of God’s revelation
  • their replacement with leaders outside of Israel as custodians of God’s revelation
  • the eventual restoration of Israel through these other custodians of God’s revelation

As Jesus’ identity became increasingly clear to everyone, the opposition of Israel’s leaders intensified and became more virulent. And God would judge the hardness of their hearts.

Questions for consideration:

  • In Jesus’ illustration, God is the owner of the vineyard and we are simply his tenants. What are the differences between ownership and tenancy? Please explain.
  • In Jesus’ illustration, God expects a harvest from his tenants. What sort of harvest do you believe God expects from you? Please explain.
  • In Jesus’ illustration, rejection of God’s Son brings God’s wrath and judgement. Have you received or rejected God’s Son? Have there been times when you have been more or less faithful? Please explain.
  • What would an increase in faithfulness mean for you today? What sort of harvest might God expect? Please explain.
  • Are you prepared for Jesus’ imminent return? What would you do differently if you knew he was returning today? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

The Persecuted Church: Prayer for Christians in the midst of persecution.

Heavenly Father: I pray for Christians suffering persecution and hardship because of their faith. Meet them in their deepest sorrow and comfort them. Strengthen them in faith that they may continue to follow you, and empower them with your Spirit to respond in love to the evil shown by their persecutors – that doors will open to share the Good News of your Kingdom. I ask this in Jesus’ name, who lives and reigns with you in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

For the Coming of God’s Kingdom: Anglican Church in North America

Hasten, O Father, the coming of your kingdom; and grant that we your servants, who now live by faith, may with joy behold your Son at his coming in glorious majesty; even Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
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“Cornerstone” – Hillsong Worship

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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