Friday, April 15, 2011

Lent Day 32 Mark 12:1-12

Jesus and more images of judgment? Jesus tells a parable of a vineyard owner that echoes Isaiah 5. His audience no doubt caught this. There is no follow up questions by the Pharisees to this parable or explanation to the disciples because it needed none. In Isaiah 5 God speaks of His people as a lush vineyard that God does all He can to make it "fruitful." But when the fruit expected is not produced, God's response is to destroy the vineyard. Though we may like a Jesus that is all compassion and mercy, this compassion and mercy has the flipside of judgment.
Jesus goes on to quote from Psalm 118, the same used just earlier by the crowds when they shouted their hosannas. Here however, Jesus' use is directed against those who are missing the "marvelous" works of God right in front of them!
How does God's judgment and compassion go together? Why is it necessary that they go together?
Why does Jesus speak this parable against the religious leaders? What is their response to Jesus' parable?
How would you explain the necessary attribute of God's judgment to an inquiring friend?
Where do you see God's marvelous works today?

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