Mark 12 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-12 - Once again, Jesus teaches in parables, which are sort of riddles designed so His followers would understand, but others left wondering.

  • Jesus tells of a land developer who builds a vineyard then leases it out.

  • Unfortunately, not only do the tenants not pay rent, but they beat or kill all who come to collect.

  • Ultimately, the owner's beloved son is sent, but is also killed.

  • Finally, the owner has had enough and forcefully evicts the tenants.

  • The establishment doesn't miss the meaning of this parable.

  • They know it's a metaphor in which they (and all other sinners) are the tenants about to be evicted.

  • Yet they're hamstrung and unable to respond because they're afraid of the crowd.

  • v13-17 - It's often said that politics makes strange bedfellows, and that an enemy of an enemy is a friend. So it is now with the 'establishment.' The Pharisees (who hate Rome) team up with the Herodians (who've sold out to Rome), because the only thing they have in common is their fear that Jesus is a threat to their future.

  • They once again try to trap Jesus, but once again Jesus deftly dodges their attempt and makes them look silly.

  • Ironically, these members of the establishment end up joining the very diverse list of people who are 'amazed' by Jesus (v17).

  • v18-27 - The next to join the establishment's cavalcade are the Sadducees, a relatively unknown group who were part of the Jewish ruling council (the Sanhedrin), but disagreed on nearly every issue with the Pharisees... except for their fear of Jesus.