Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 50-52; Mark 12
John 7:17 says, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” God does not give new truth if we have rejected the truth He has already given. In this parable in Mark 12, we have another emphasis on stewardship wrapped in a rebuke against the Pharisees and Sadducees. These religious leaders picture a hypocritical and carnal Christian of our day. They look good on the outside and they do things to convince you of their spirituality, but they have no inward desire to glorify God. They have no sense of stewardship, but rather believe they should work everything to their own advantage. The parable pictures how God lovingly sent prophet after prophet to Israel and they abused them and even killed them. How gracious of God to send His “one of a kind” Son to them as well. Instead of realizing they were stewards and not owners of the vineyard, they killed the Son thinking they would inherit the vineyard for themselves. It is interesting that these religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus, but they knew the parable was about them, so they left him. But they were not humbled at all, but rather tried a more deceptive means of sending certain Pharisees “to catch him in his words.” But Jesus “knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, ‘why tempt ye me?’” The Sadducees tried next to catch Him in his words, but Jesus simply exposes their erroneous teaching. A Scribe listening to Jesus’ teaching was impressed with His answers. As he began to ask the right questions and see the truth, Jesus says to him discreetly, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” Then the chapter closes with Jesus rebuking the Scribes for their hypocrisy. He was not impressed with their outward adorning clothes, their fair speeches, and their positions in the church, their visitation practices, or their long prayers. What He wanted was their heart, like the widow who gave her all. The rebuke to these religious leaders was strong, “these shall receive the greater damnation.”
• Lord, help me to always remember that I am merely a steward of your vineyard. You own me, for you bought me and I really own nothing at all.
• Lord, expose areas of my hypocrisy so that I can address these areas with your help and be to the praise of your glory.
• Lord, help me to embrace the servants you send to me.
• Lord, thank you for the revelation of your Son you have given to me in the Bible. Please help me to listen and apply your word as you teach me.
• Lord, help me to be completely surrendered to you like the widow who gave you all she had. Help me to never live selfishly by merely demonstrating an outward appearance of godliness.