Mark 12 Reflection by Jo E
Parable of the Tenants (Mark 12:1-11)
When someone rents a field they make an agreement with the owner- that they will look after the land and pay rent as agreed. In the parable the tenants, the tenants fail to respect the agreement, so the owner repeatedly sends his servants remind them. The servants are repeatedly ignored, beaten up and sent away. I feel like most landlords in this situation would be looking to evict the tenants and send them to prison but instead the owner gives them another chance, by sending his son. Each time someone goes to collect the rent they remind the tenants of their relationship agreement, the covenant God made with Abraham- something they’ve agreed to, bought into and are receiving the benefits of. I’m really amazed by the Landlords faithfulness to the tenants here- he doesn’t give up on them, repeatedly giving them chance after chance to come back into their agreement. And even though the tenants’ treatment of the servants gets worse, there is no mention of a demand for increased payments as reparation. As God’s servants I think this points to his call for us to be persistent in sharing who God is with the young people we work with and to continue being loving no matter the response we get.
The landlord gives the tenants one final chance, sending his son. This is an obvious nod to Jesus as God’s son and what will happen to him. In the context of a landlord’s son going to collect rent, this is a horrific story, shocking, violent and brutal! I think it also clarifies, some people will ultimately still reject God even if they have had his message shared with them in the most generous and loving way. Having said that, we can’t know what the end result will be for any of our young people, so we’re still called to that persistence I mentioned earlier. I think it’s also a warning that we may also face pain, suffering and rejection for sharing God’s message. Even though this section of the story is brutal, Jesus still points to goodness ultimately coming out of this situation, nodding again to his death and resurrection by quoting Psalm 118.22-23 in vs 9-11.
Paying Taxes (Mark 12:13-17)
Like the Pharisees and Herodians trying to claim taxes for Jesus, are there things we are trying to claim for God that he doesn’t want or need?
I’m not sure but worth thinking about.
Marriage and Resurrection (Mark 12:18-24)
There will be resurrection! AND our God is also the living God! Both these truths are so exciting! Our God promises to provide for us now and forever more. And he promises to have thought of everything so we can trust in him and know his plans are awesome.
Something to remember when considering if there’s anything God might be calling us to let go of…
Life living under the living God (Mark 12:28-44)
What does life look like under the living God, you ask? It looks like love above all else. Meeting people where they’re at, rather than trying to fit a legalistic mould. I love that this is the heart of Eden and hearing all your stories about practically doing this on the ground are incredibly inspiring. Thank you all for taking this commandment seriously and being amazing inspirations.
We might not be honoured or recognised for what we do, but that’s not what matters. Jesus is the God who is down to earth with the down trodden, vulnerable and lowly. He shows them respect and love as his priority.
Jesus challenges us to give all we have, and this is also part of God’s message and truth for those we want to meet him. Not just that they would give all they have to God, but that they can- Because Jesus is more than enough and he provides of our every need. Are there ways we can model this more clearly? New ways God is calling us to give? Maybe even talents and gifts we are developing or recently discovered.