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Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Thirty)




Day Thirty



Scripture: Mark 12:1-12

1 Then he began to speak to them in parables. ‘A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watch-tower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. 5 Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” 7 But those tenants said to one another, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” 8 So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this scripture:

“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes”?’

12 When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.



Observation:



“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This famous quote is attributed to a Spanish writer and philosopher named George Santayana. It is hard to disagree with him when we see the current wars and conflicts around the world. Why can’t we prevent international wars and domestic conflicts even though we have countless historical lessons that show the most vulnerable suffer most when war occurs? Why do people still choose violence despite the myriad historical examples that show it never solves any problem but only exacerbates it?


In Jesus’ parable, he is talking about how the people of Israel had been repeating the history of ignoring and even killing the prophets who came to deliver the message from God. In particular, he is referring to the words of the prophet Isaiah, who used the metaphor of a vineyard to address how the people of Israel, who were supposed to produce justice and righteousness, instead produced wild grapes of wickedness and violence (Isaiah 5:7).


Again, they didn’t get it. The religious leaders knew exactly what Jesus was talking about. Yet, they wanted to arrest him. The history of killing the prophet because the people didn’t want to hear the words of justice was about to repeat itself. This time, the victim was going to be the Son of God.


May we have the courage to listen and repent. Instead of ignoring, silencing, or suppressing the words that come to us again and again, may we let them shock, challenge, and transform us so that we may become true disciples of Jesus.


Application:

  1. Has God’s words been coming to you repeatedly?

  2. Is there a God’s message that we’ve been ignoring collectively as a society?



Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: Goodness of God
















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