Read Mark 12:1-11
Once again Jesus speaks to a crowd which has gathered around Him. “And he began to speak to them in parables.” This time, though, it is not a teaching lesson, rather an illustration for the Jewish leaders of the deception under which they are living and ruling. The scope of the parable is enlightening for those who were schooled in the Old Covenant. Isaiah laid the foundation for understanding this parable in the fifth chapter of his book of prophecy, and that would not have been missed by the elders. For Isaiah, “the vineyard…is the house of Israel,” and Jesus borrows that image for His parable. There is a hedge, a pit for the wine press, and a tower, just like in Isaiah’s song. And the Lord says that the owner (God) “let it out to tenants.”
When the Lord sent servants—the faithful judges and righteous kings, the prophets and John the Baptist—looking for the fruits of righteousness and repentance, they were beaten and killed. Last of all God has sent His beloved Son. “He came to His own, but His own would not receive Him” (John 1:11). Sadly, Jesus points out, they mistakenly believe that the inheritance of the kingdom will be theirs if they kill the Son. By this, our Lord foreshadows His death.
Even ifthey were blind and deaf to the meaning of the parable, Jesus quotes from a Messianic Psalm: “Have you not read this scripture: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? (118:22)” Though the Son may be rejected by His own people, the Father will exalt Him to the place of glory at His right hand. And that will be “marvelous in our eyes.”
It is the very next night that this prophetic parable began to be fulfilled. Let us look to this Cornerstone, for upon Him the Kingdom rests. He is our Rock and our Salvation.