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Church of the Good Shepherd

The Parable of the Tenants

1. The Authority Over the Vineyard was being Challenged

 Question from tenants: “What does the landlord have to do with me?”

A. Setting

Mark 11:27-33 – The Authority of Jesus Challenged

v.28 “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”

(These things = cleanse the temple, entering Jerusalem as a King)

v.29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.  Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?  Answer me.”

-          This stumped them

-          Afraid of the crowds

  • The people all thought John the Baptist was a prophet
  • But the religious people disagreed with John

-          In essence Jesus was saying:

  • There is a real God who is in charge of life
    • God gave authority to John the Baptist, and you rebelled against God by not listening to John.
    • God has given authority to me (to Jesus) and by not listening to me, you are rebelling against God.

B. What is Jesus’ Authority?  Who Put Him In Charge?

Long-Standing symbol of Israel as a Vineyard, especially in Isaiah 5

Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes … the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting” (Isaiah 5:1–7, ESV)

Driving home the point:

-          God is in charge of the world

-          Especially Israel

-          And since this belongs to Him, it is fitting for him to have some authority here.

  • Authority = Rightful Power Over Someone or Something

C. Levels of Authority in This Story

Direct Authority of the Landlord

Normal landlords took ¼ to ½ of produce as “rent”

We should not imagine that the owner expects the servant to return with wagons loaded with grapes or barrels of wine. Rather, the servant is to return with money from the sale of the grapes and wine. καρποί, “fruit” or “fruits,” is often understood as money

Some had hired assassins on staff to deal with unruly tenants

Delegated Authority of servants (v.2-5)

  • The first was beaten and sent away empty-handed (v 3)
  • The second was grossly dishonored (v 4)
  • The third was murdered (v 5a).

These Servants = The Prophets of God

One immediately thinks of Elijah’s complaining prayer:  

For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” ” (1 Kings 19:10, ESV)

Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you!” (Matt 23:37a = Luke 13:34a).

Entitled Authority of the Heir

v.6 – “He had still one other, a beloved son.  Finally he sent him to them saying, “They will respect my son.”

“BELOVED SON”

  • We think of this in terms of Jesus, Jesus’ audience would have thought of Abraham & Isaac

It was not through their failure to recognize the Son that they killed him; that would have been pardonable. It was, as in the parable, precisely because they recognized him for who he was (verse 7): they said, in essence, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours’ (see verse 7). We reject the claims of Christ not because we misunderstand them, but because we understand them only too well, in spite of all our protestations to the contrary.

2.  Do we resist God’s Authority?

 

Why?

Idol of Self-Rule  (Illusion of Self-Rule)

M. Scott Peck’s story of counseling a woman.

She says about Christianity:

“There’s no room for me in that.  That would be my death!  I don’t want to live for God.  I will not.  I want to live for … my own sake.”

Some Bible Ideas Cut Against The Grain

-          How To Handle Pre-Marital Sex

  • Living together before marriage

-          Homosexuality

-          Who Should Be In Leadership

-          COEXIST Mindset

Idea of Judgment Is Hard To Think

Loving God and Eternal Judgment?

Mark’s judgment in v.9 is “nice”

Matthew 21:41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

3.  How Do We Find Joy under God’s Authority?

#1 To Love Anything Is To Be Under Authority

We lose our freedom when we love anything.

We don’t overcome objections to authority, we just find ourselves doing things that cut against the grain of self-rule.

If you fall in love with playing the piano, you give up some freedom.

-          You can’t dedicate the same time and discipline to learning computer code

-          To develop your piano skills, you willingly give up freedom to engage in some other things

-          By doing this, you release yourself into the greater freedom, the richer freedom you find in your music.

Loving another human means giving up even more freedom.

  • Marriage does not make you happy, it makes you holy.
  • You lose the freedom to be with whoever you want
  • You lose the freedom to constantly eat only your favorite foods, watch only your favorite TV shows
  • There is always someone else’s tastes, time, feelings and heart to consider.
    • Add kids and you lose more freedom

C.S. Lewis:

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.

We willing come under the authority of Love when we fall in love.

At least if we want to really love the person we do.

-          Those who don’t do this…

  • Cheat on husbands
  • Put own feelings first
  • Never looks after the kids

-          Would you say this person really “Loves” the other???

The Best Description of “Following Jesus” Is to LOVE HIM.

The sort of love that makes us willing to give up what can be confused as Freedom so that we can be loved instead.

#2God’s Authority Is Practical and Good

From Ray Ortland

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

How can I tell if my trust in the Lord is wholehearted?  One way is this.  Do I let the Bible overrule my own thinking?  It says, “Do not lean on your own understanding.”  So, do I agree with the Bible, or do I obey the Bible?  My dog sometimes agrees with me, but she never obeys me.  If I merely agree with the Bible, then my positive response to it is not obedience but coincidence.  The Bible just happens to line up with the prejudices I’ve soaked up from my culture.  But what do I do when the Bible contradicts what I want to be true?  If I’m looking in the Bible for excuses for what I want anyway, my heart has already drifted from the Lord.  But if I trust him wholeheartedly, I will let the Bible challenge my most cherished thoughts and feelings.

The wonderful thing is, the Lord loves to be consulted.  He cares about my questions and problems, and yours.  He wants to speak into our lives in ways that really help.  -  Ray Ortlund

Challenging Topics Where God is the Authority:

-          How To Handle Pre-Marital Sex

  • Living together before marriage

-          Homosexuality

-          Who Should Be In Leadership

-          COEXIST Mindset

Children Obey Your Parents … First Commandment with a Promise

We obey parents / earthly authority to train our hearts to obey our Heavenly Father.

Tim Keller: "Sometimes God seems to be killing us when he's actually saving us."

The Bible is Our Ultimate Authority

The Word of God gives Life

‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” ” (Matthew 4:4)

The Word of God gives Faith

“but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. ” (John 20:31)

The Word of God gives Hope

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. ” (Romans 15:4)

Luther:

Since then Your Majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God.

I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen

#3 We Live Under God In Our Nation

v.13-17 (esp v.17) – Paying Taxes to Caesar

Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. ” (Mark 12:17)

#4 CGS’s Is Under Authority

Reporting:

Me to Classis & Elders

Church to Classis

We are all under authority.

Conclusion

Jesus is Under Authority and is Our Authority

v.10 Jesus is the stone the builders rejected

Gospel – He was rejected so that we could be accepted

Today … not what will God’s authority tell you to do

But … WILL YOU ACCEPT HIS AUTHORITY OVER YOUR LIFE?

 

The Parable of the Tenants Mark 12:1-12

Introduction: Memorial day

Soldiers die following orders

Our freedom was bought by the lives of many who gave up their personal opinions, personal safety and committed to being under authority for the greater good.

STORY:

 

 

 

1. The Authority Over the Vineyard was being Challenged

 Question from tenants: “What does the landlord have to do with me?”

A. Setting

Mark 11:27-33 – The Authority of Jesus Challenged

v.28 “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”

(These things = cleanse the temple, entering Jerusalem as a King)

v.29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.  Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?  Answer me.”

-          This stumped them

-          Afraid of the crowds

o   The people all thought John the Baptist was a prophet

o   But the religious people disagreed with John

-          In essence Jesus was saying:

o   There is a real God who is in charge of life

§  God gave authority to John the Baptist, and you rebelled against God by not listening to John.

§  God has given authority to me (to Jesus) and by not listening to me, you are rebelling against God.

B. What is Jesus’ Authority?  Who Put Him In Charge?

Long-Standing symbol of Israel as a Vineyard, especially in Isaiah 5

Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes … the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting” (Isaiah 5:1–7, ESV)

Driving home the point:

-          God is in charge of the world

-          Especially Israel

-          And since this belongs to Him, it is fitting for him to have some authority here.

o   Authority = Rightful Power Over Someone or Something

o   ILL – Youth Group Talk – That’s Not Your Donut


 

C. Levels of Authority in This Story

Direct Authority of the Landlord

Normal landlords took ¼ to ½ of produce as “rent”

We should not imagine that the owner expects the servant to return with wagons loaded with grapes or barrels of wine. Rather, the servant is to return with money from the sale of the grapes and wine. καρποί, “fruit” or “fruits,” is often understood as money

Some had hired assassins on staff to deal with unruly tenants

Delegated Authority of servants (v.2-5)

·         The first was beaten and sent away empty-handed (v 3)

·         The second was grossly dishonored (v 4)

·         The third was murdered (v 5a).

These Servants = The Prophets of God

One immediately thinks of Elijah’s complaining prayer:  

For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” ” (1 Kings 19:10, ESV)

Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you!” (Matt 23:37a = Luke 13:34a).

Entitled Authority of the Heir

v.6 – “He had still one other, a beloved son.  Finally he sent him to them saying, “They will respect my son.”

“BELOVED SON”

·         We think of this in terms of Jesus, Jesus’ audience would have thought of Abraham & Isaac

It was not through their failure to recognize the Son that they killed him; that would have been pardonable. It was, as in the parable, precisely because they recognized him for who he was (verse 7): they said, in essence, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours’ (see verse 7). We reject the claims of Christ not because we misunderstand them, but because we understand them only too well, in spite of all our protestations to the contrary.

2.  Do we resist God’s Authority?

 

Why?

Idol of Self-Rule  (Illusion of Self-Rule)

M. Scott Peck’s story of counseling a woman.

She says about Christianity:

“There’s no room for me in that.  That would be my death!  I don’t want to live for God.  I will not.  I want to live for … my own sake.”

Some Bible Ideas Cut Against The Grain

-          How To Handle Pre-Marital Sex

o   Living together before marriage

-          Homosexuality

-          Who Should Be In Leadership

-          COEXIST Mindset

Idea of Judgment Is Hard To Think

Loving God and Eternal Judgment?

Mark’s judgment in v.9 is “nice”

Matthew 21:41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

3.  How Do We Find Joy under God’s Authority?

#1 To Love Anything Is To Be Under Authority

We lose our freedom when we love anything.

We don’t overcome objections to authority, we just find ourselves doing things that cut against the grain of self-rule.

If you fall in love with playing the piano, you give up some freedom.

-          You can’t dedicate the same time and discipline to learning computer code

-          To develop your piano skills, you willingly give up freedom to engage in some other things

-          By doing this, you release yourself into the greater freedom, the richer freedom you find in your music.

Loving another human means giving up even more freedom.

·         Marriage does not make you happy, it makes you holy.

·         You lose the freedom to be with whoever you want

·         You lose the freedom to constantly eat only your favorite foods, watch only your favorite TV shows

·         There is always someone else’s tastes, time, feelings and heart to consider.

o   Add kids and you lose more freedom

 

 

C.S. Lewis:

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.

We willing come under the authority of Love when we fall in love.

At least if we want to really love the person we do.

-          Those who don’t do this…

o   Cheat on husbands

o   Put own feelings first

o   Never looks after the kids

-          Would you say this person really “Loves” the other???

The Best Description of “Following Jesus” Is to LOVE HIM.

The sort of love that makes us willing to give up what can be confused as Freedom so that we can be loved instead.


 

#2God’s Authority Is Practical and Good

From Ray Ortland

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

How can I tell if my trust in the Lord is wholehearted?  One way is this.  Do I let the Bible overrule my own thinking?  It says, “Do not lean on your own understanding.”  So, do I agree with the Bible, or do I obey the Bible?  My dog sometimes agrees with me, but she never obeys me.  If I merely agree with the Bible, then my positive response to it is not obedience but coincidence.  The Bible just happens to line up with the prejudices I’ve soaked up from my culture.  But what do I do when the Bible contradicts what I want to be true?  If I’m looking in the Bible for excuses for what I want anyway, my heart has already drifted from the Lord.  But if I trust him wholeheartedly, I will let the Bible challenge my most cherished thoughts and feelings.

The wonderful thing is, the Lord loves to be consulted.  He cares about my questions and problems, and yours.  He wants to speak into our lives in ways that really help.  -  Ray Ortlund

Challenging Topics Where God is the Authority:

-          How To Handle Pre-Marital Sex

o   Living together before marriage

-          Homosexuality

-          Who Should Be In Leadership

-          COEXIST Mindset

Children Obey Your Parents … First Commandment with a Promise

We obey parents / earthly authority to train our hearts to obey our Heavenly Father.

 

Tim Keller: "Sometimes God seems to be killing us when he's actually saving us."

The Bible is Our Ultimate Authority

The Word of God gives Life

‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” ” (Matthew 4:4)

The Word of God gives Faith

“but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. ” (John 20:31)

The Word of God gives Hope

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. ” (Romans 15:4)

Luther:

Since then Your Majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God.

I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.


 

#3 We Live Under God In Our Nation

v.13-17 (esp v.17) – Paying Taxes to Caesar

Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. ” (Mark 12:17)

 

 

 

#4 CGS’s Is Under Authority

Reporting:

Me to Classis & Elders

Church to Classis

We are all under authority.

Conclusion

Jesus is Under Authority and is Our Authority

v.10 Jesus is the stone the builders rejected

Gospel – He was rejected so that we could be accepted

Today … not what will God’s authority tell you to do

But … WILL YOU ACCEPT HIS AUTHORITY OVER YOUR LIFE?

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