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  • Writer's picturePastor Tony Pierce


Updated: Feb 25, 2022


Our reading today begins Jesus’ passion week. It starts with Jesus’ entrance into the city. Jesus had been to Jerusalem many times…but this time is different. The Spirit of God is at work, and there are things happening according to God’s plan to prepare all creation for the ultimate sacrifice, and the ultimate victory over death and hell. Jesus was with His disciples the next day coming from Bethany, a small town outside of Jerusalem. He is hungry and sees a fig tree, and though it was out of season, He was hoping to find at least some remnant figs on it. It was bare, and Jesus cursed the tree…we are told later in our readings that the tree died. This is a picture of what was about to happen to Israel…sadly there was no spiritual life, and no spiritual fruit to be found…so it would die. Jesus used this to speak of faith to His disciples.

Jesus goes to the Temple and finds corrupt people exchanging money, and cheating people. He becomes angry and turns over the tables and chases the corrupt merchants away with a home-made whip. His righteous indignation was expressed by declaring that the Temple was to be a place of prayer, not a place where people were ripping people off who were coming to worship the Lord. Jesus tells the people to be willing to forgive one another…for if we refuse to forgive others, how can we expect God to forgive us. Finally, the religious leaders approached Jesus and asked Him by what authority did He do what He was doing. Jesus turned the question around by asking them about John the baptizer…where did his authority come from? Because they had rejected John and His message, which would have led them to Jesus, they refused to answer. Jesus then told them that neither would He tell them about His authority.

Mark 12 is filled with much from Jesus, and the continued attempt by the Jewish religious leaders to catch Him in error…and fulfill their demonic plan to kill Jesus. Jesus uses the parable of the vineyard owner to teach about the reality that His followers were about to see played out before them. The owner represents God the Father…as the owner sent messengers to those who were to be stewards of his vineyards, God has sent messengers (prophets) to the people of Israel who had been made stewards of the word and way of the Lord. Each of the messengers from the owner was either beaten or killed…in the same way the prophets of God were treated. Finally, the owner sends his son, thinking that surely they would respond to him, but they killed him believing they could take his place…in the same way God sent His Son, but these evil religious leaders would kill God’s Son, believing they were right and could take His place. Jesus quotes the Psalms that this was the stone that the builders had reject…but God has made Jesus the chief cornerstone. They knew Jesus was speaking about them, so they became enraged, and sought to kill Him.

From that point they sent groups after groups to try and trap Jesus with their loaded questions. The first group try to trap Him concerning taxes and whether they should be payed to Rome. Jesus turned their question back on them by taking a coin and asking about the image the was on it. When they responded that Caesar’s image was on it…Jesus told them to give to Caesar what belongs to him, and give to God that which belongs to God. The next group was the Sadducees, who did not believe in a resurrection, came to Jesus and making up a wild scenario about marriage in heaven. Jesus then turned their inane question back on them by telling them that they did not even know Scripture concerning heaven, or the state of marriage in heaven. The scribes, then tried to trap Jesus with the law…surely these “lawyers” could trap Him with this and their great wisdom, but Jesus clearly and directly answer with wisdom being their understanding. Then Jesus begins to question the religious leaders from the Old Testament. They were stumped and Jesus then condemns them in their spiritual ignorance, and corruption of God’s prophetic Word.

Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.

Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.


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