Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Lent Devotional April 16, 2014

Scripture

Mark 12:1-11

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 watchtower; 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'?"

Devotional

We’ve already seen how fascinating the parables are, and how they defy our attempts to systematize them. This parable in particular is tempting to view as an allegory. Rather than give into the temptation to identify each character with a specific group, I’d like for us to just take away one key theme today. The theme of the tenacious vineyard owner. Regardless of how you interpret the specific characters, this parable shows us people who receive chance after chance to do the right thing, and the reality that their decisions will have consequences. 

It’s also important to highlight the somber tone of this parable as we look to the events on the horizon.

Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.