Do You Follow Him? Mark 11:27-12:12
The chief priests, scribes and elders, who had earlier stood by helplessly while Jesus cleansed the temple for the second time (c.f., John 2:13-16), began to question Jesus’ authority to do all these in an attempt to put an end to His popularity and power.
Evidences which accredited Jesus’ authority were plenty. One of the early and primary witnesses to the identity and authority of Jesus was John the Baptist who declared that Jesus is Son of God (John 1:29-34). Jesus answered their question with a question of his own: "Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men?" There were other clear evidence of Jesus’ authority (e.g., John 10:25, 37-38) but these seemingly were inadequate for the Pharisees and scribes. The truth was that they refused to accept these testimonies.
The parable of the vine-growers dramatically depicts the willful rejection of Jesus as Messiah by the religious leaders of Israel. The characters in the story are representative of real people - the landowner represents God; the vine-growers represent Israel’s religious leaders; the servants represent God’s prophets who were sent time and again with the message of repentance; and the son represents Christ.
The vine-growers knew this was the landowner’s son. Yet they rejected and killed him because they wanted his inheritance. Likewise, the religious leaders knew who Jesus was; they plotted to kill Jesus because they wanted to retain their authority over the multitudes (John 11:46-48). They refused to submit to Jesus’ authority.
Jesus asked, “When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?” By their own answer, the Pharisees and scribes condemned themselves (see Matthew 21:41). They knew that Jesus used the parable to speak against them but they were not repentant. Therefore, the vineyard would be given to others. The religious leaders and Israel who followed them, rejected the Messiah, would be replaced, and the kingdom would be given to others who believed that Jesus is the Messiah.
Spiritual Exercise: Write down your thoughts on the following questions: Are you a leader? What is your motivation as a leader? As you lead others, who are you following? Is Jesus your leader?
Do not abuse the leadership privileges that God has given us. Do not be proud that we are included; if we get cocky, He might cut us off (Romans 11:19-22) and replace us with others who will produce fruit.
Thank you, LORD for entrusting your people to me.
Give me, your servant, a discerning heart to lead them.
Help me to distinguish between right and wrong and
Guide me to shepherd your people.