3 May 2013Mark 12:1-11
“This was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes?” (v. 11)
Immediately before this passage Jesus' authority has been threatened by the religious leaders of the time (Mark 11:27-33). Now there is a parable or story telling to explain the Scriptures or about God, God's ministry and the kingdom of heaven. Like many other parables, God is explained in agricultural or farming terms. God created the world and then handed over its stewardship to people. When they have not stuck to their tenancy agreements then God has sent prophets to remind the people how they should behave. However, the people would not always listen to the prophets or soon ignored the rules again, so God sent Jesus to show them how they should act. Here Jesus is explaining that even he would be rejected by those within the land. Jesus references what we now understand to be Psalm 118:22-23.
Today, this passage can be looked at with the understanding that Jesus has the authority of heaven and was God's son. However, at the time when the parable was first told this must have led to confusion about who Jesus was and what was to happen. If he was the Son and was to be rejected then what was to happen to him and his followers, and how will this work for the glory of God? This would have also have implications if he was the Son for the whole earth as it would have angered and scared those who held power as the parable alludes to a complete change and even destruction (verse 9).
Like many of the other parable Jesus used to explain scripture, understanding for 21st-century readers comes with the knowledge of Jesus' death and resurrection. The Lord's doing is amazing in our eyes because the rejected cornerstone is God's Son.
- Where is Jesus' authority challenged in the 21st century?
- What amazing things is God doing in your area?