YouTuber John Stapleton continues with the Gospel of Mark 12 – The Parables Revisited.

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The Parable of the Vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-7)

Owner and tenants (Mark 12:1-2) represent God and Israel.  Tenants and servants (Mark 12:2-5) represent how Israel treated the prophets. The beloved Son and the tenants (Mark 12:6-9) represents Jesus (Mark 1:11; 9:7).

The Owners Response (Mark 12:9-12). Why let these violent tenants manage? We can tell more about ourselves by noticing what question we ask: 1) Why did God destroy the tenants? or 2). Why did the tenants destroy God’s servants? The response is appropriate since they chose not to honor his messengers (verse 4).

The chief priests and scribes were trying to kill Jesus because he turned the tables over (Mark 11:18). They returned to challenge and trap him (Mark 11:27).

Traps For Jesus (Honor Games)

Taxes (Mark 12:13-17). If Jesus says yes, he loses popularity. If he says no, he commits treason against Rome. Jesus doesn’t fall into the political trap; he points reverence where it should be. Why are they hypocrites (verse 15)?

Resurrection (Mark 12:18-27). If Jesus answers them, he’s affirming the resurrection and polygamy (of course, affirming the resurrection would be laughable in their group). Jesus corrects their ignorance (verses 24-27) by showing them that God continues to have relationships with the patriarchs who have long been dead. If this is possible, that would make resurrection possible. (It’s also interesting that Jesus proves his point from the books of Moses, the only books the Sadducees consider inspired by God.

Law of Moses (Mark 12:28-34). There were 613 laws. Which one is most important? Many teachers would try to pick one law as an umbrella that summarizes the others. (One popular suggestion was honoring your parents.)

Jesus’ Question: Who Is David’s Son? (Mark 12:35-37). There is no way David is talking about his own sons. The only conclusion to draw from this passage is that David was calling one of his own descendants ‘Lord.’ The only conclusion is that Jesus is the true descendant of David, but they don’t want to admit it.

April 19 Q&A 

1. Where in the Bible does it speak about praying to Mary so our prayers can be heard?

Praying to Mary is not a biblical injunction. In general, Catholics almost deify Mary while Protestants ignore her unless it is Christmas. The truth is, while we are not instructed to pray for Mary, we are encouraged to learn from her example of great faith, which we see as she prays in the gospels:

  • Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)
  • And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:46–49)

She wasn’t anybody important, but she honored God and submitted to him as a servant. Therefore, God has elevated her status. That’s why we all call her blessed!

2. Matthew 5:3 Says, “Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit.” How Do I Become Poor In Spirit So That I Can Be Blessed?

First we need to understand what Jesus means when he says ‘poor in spirit.’ What’s that mean? It means we desperately realize our need for God. By default, we tend to be proud people who think we are basically good and don’t need God’s help or saving from anything. But its only the people who are poor in spirit who can draw closer to God. Jesus said in another place, “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (Matthew 9:13). 

3. Did Obeying The Law of Moses Always Lead To Warfare and Turmoil?

You have to understand the context of the law of Moses before you can critique it. Before the law was the promise that God made to Abraham to grow his family to global size and bless him. Even though the deepest meaning is a spiritual one, we see this start to unravel in his own family who becomes the 12 Tribes of Israel. As former slaves from Egypt, they don’t know how to fight or defend themselves, so as God sends them out to conquer lands that he already promised to Abraham, he miraculously assists them at times. Secondarily, the people who they conquered burned their children to false demon gods and were abhor-able people. They had it coming.

4. Why Did Hotel Owners Stop Putting Bibles In Hotel Rooms?

The reason they stopped is because we are becoming an increasingly more secular society. We are not losing anything important, only the pointless formalities of religious culture. Here’s the reason Google gave:

“In 2006, almost every single hotel (95 percent) put a Bible in their bedside drawer. … When Marriott opened its new Moxy and Edition hotels, they decided they wouldn’t put religious books in the room because the “books don’t fit the personality of the brands,” a spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.”

5. What’s The Most Historically Accurate Writing In The Bible?

This is a difficult question to answer because the proven historicity of the Bible is throughout its pages. I really want you to trust the Bible from Genesis to Revelation because it is all equally true and accurate. Not only has it been proven several times by archaeology, but it is the most attested document in antiquity. Once you start digging into the evidence, it is very compelling! As far as your question, I want you to know that the Biblical writers have a similar attitude as Luke did:

“Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:1–4).

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By Michael Furlonger

I am an author and the founder of CWB is designed to help and showcase the work of Christian authors and bloggers and podcasters.

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