Mark 12- 16
- From what I’m getting from this parable. God raised up His people, created a special place for them and built a fortress/stronghold around them. He then ‘left’ His people, in the hands of the teachers (vinedressers) to look after them, whilst He was away, looking to other nations. ~I don‘t think it shows that God isn‘t omnipresent(everywhere) or omniscience(all-knowing). I think it means that He trusted, His people that had followed Him before, to raise up His nation in a righteous. It was a test, to see if they would follow His way or not. God has given us free will, to decide whether we will abide with Him or not.~ ~We also have God going ‘into a far country.’ This could mean that God was looking at other nations which didn’t have the same opportunity as the Israelites, and was willing to adopt them as His own as well. I mean Paul was chosen to speak to the Gentiles~ Continuing the parable, God sends His servants (prophets) to the people, but they do not respond to His call. They do not bring back the harvest (the people/nation) back to God. Instead they kill the prophets that God has chosen to speak to them. We’ve seen this repeatedly with the Israelites, denying God’s truth. Then God finally sends His beloved Son, Jesus, in hopes that they will receive Him, but they kill Him. The teachers/vinedressers kill Jesus, in hopes that they will still control the nations and lead them astray with their own techniques and thoughts. Eventually, Jesus states that God will come and show justice, by destroying the teachers/vinedressers who have lead His people away, and place His people in those that are capable to led His people righteously.
- Jesus is the stone in which these people rejected, but they don’t understand that He is the foundation that we need.
- Sometimes you have to sit down and just think whilst reading the bible. I mean like really really think. If you think that nothing is there in that verse, ask yourself ‘why out of all the things that occurred in Jesus’ life, was that mentioned in the bible?’
- For example, we already know that Jesus is a wise person, I mean He is God. So why mention the question about paying taxes to Caesar?! Jesus says in Verse 17 – ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s’ – I feel like Jesus not only handled the situation correctly, but He may have been emphasising on the situation, where He was telling off the elders for keeping their tradition but dishonouring God/breaking God’s commandment to honour their parents – Mark 7:8-11. We should give God what He requires from us and what the world requires from us, but still standing on God’s righteousness.
- You won’t be able to ask the right questions., if you have no knowledge to base your question on. If you don’t read the Word constantly, how can you build your faith, if you don’t know what miracles small or large God has performed and could perform in your life? If you don’t read the Word, you won’t know when to pray for certain things. Daniel read the book of Jeremiah, and saw that it was time to pray for an event, and he did such – Daniel 9
- If you noticed, Jesus treated one of the scribes differently – the one that asked Him what the greatest commandment was. Jesus perceived him as wise and said ‘you are not far from the kingdom of God.’ I think he was treated differently, because of his heart behind the question. The scribe didn’t accept Jesus away, but he tested Jesus’ spirit, whether His works were truly from God and if His mindset was. I think that the scribe wasn’t far from the kingdom of God, because he understood the heart of God or His plans. He may not yet be in the kingdom of God, because He hasn’t accepted Jesus yet. Remember Jesus said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ – John 14:6
- Don’t worry about how much you give in your offering, but the heart in which you give your offering. An offering is like a gift, given freely/willing. Nobody forces you to give an offering. It should show gratitude and joy.
- Opening Mark 13, we have one of Jesus’ disciples telling Him, how amazing this temple is, and then we have Jesus telling that same disciple, that this temple will be destroyed and that not one stone will remain upright. It’s like the disciple was showing off how amazing the temple looked on the outside and how ‘great’ it was, and here we have Jesus, so indifferent to it, that He tells the disciple of its destruction. It shows that Jesus isn’t fooled by the beauty outside, but what is happening on the inside. This is the same Jesus that went into a temple, after riding a donkey, to throw out thieves and turnover tables (trouble maker lol).
- Random – but when did Andrew infiltrate the inner circle of Jesus, Peter, John and James. Maybe it’s because his brother was there? You know, that sibling love?! I’m your brother/sister, so you get to come along with me this time.
- When you read the bible, you aren’t just reading simple tales or fantasy or a book on self-help. It’s more than that. It is someone’s life. It is your life. God warns us that being a Christian won’t always be rosy and we have to acknowledge that. The people will bring to Christ need to acknowledge that, but also see how the benefits outweighs the risk. The love that engulfs us, is more than what the world plans to do to us.
- We’ve got to keep watching. We need to be prepared at all times.
- Passover is the celebration of the Israelites liberation from slavery, in Ancient Egypt, by the hand of God. Then we have the sacrificial lamb which represents, when God passed over the houses of the Israelites, which had blood covered over their door, so that their first-borns would not be killed. ~Exodus 12. Now Jesus is known as the lion of Judah and also the lamb of God… here we have Jesus’ blood spilt out for us, covering us from God’s wrath. Aren’t we lucky?! To receive salvation by grace and mercy.
- Jesus says in Verse 21, ‘… but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.’ – God said previously (to Jeremiah, but I feel like it’s for all of us) ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.’ – Jeremiah 1:5 and in Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ NOW, we have Judas, who was born, who God knew before he was formed in the womb and probably did have good thoughts/plans for him. God probably knew what Judas was capable of doing, but still had hope for him. It is all determined by the steps which Judas decided to take.
- If Pilate knew that the chief priests were jealous of Jesus, then why did he call Jesus, ‘the King of the Jews’ in front of them? Why egg on jealous, which you know is going to make the situation worse? I just don’t get it.
- As we come to the two last chapter, it becomes less of an interpretation and more your senses being overwhelmed by a very sad but uplifting situation. Can you imagine how Jesus felt to see these people chant for a criminal for release, rather than your own release? Remember, Jesus is described as a compassionate person, who took pity on people and went about healing all sorts of physical and mental sickness, as well as proclaiming the Gospel. And then, we have Barabbas, a murderer. Jesus who loved people, who did not love Him back. This is truly a sad feeling. It’s like unrequited love, if you think about it.
- I really love Tye Tribbett’s Beauty for Ashes. I think the biggest situation were God has shown that He can turn our sorrows into joy, is where Jesus is mocked as the ‘king of the Jews.’ They spat, tortured and laughed at Him, but Jesus rose from the dead, seating at the right hand of God, being exalted and called Lord! So, yes, beauty for ashes.
- These chief priests are so envious. So they knew Jesus was performing miracles saving people and they blatantly reveal it.
- Even if they saw, would they still believe? Their jealously would make them blind to who Jesus really was and they would just find another way to kill Him.
Mark 16:? (suggest that you take time and read it yourself, :P)