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“This Is about Us!”

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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October 22, 2020 4:00 am

“This Is about Us!”

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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October 22, 2020 4:00 am

Jesus told stories not to entertain His audience but to clarify His teaching. Join us on Truth For Life as Alistair Begg helps us understand Christ’s parable about a landlord who mistreated his tenants—and the resulting perilous judgment.


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Imagine listening as Jesus tells a captivating story. It's a parable about a landlord who missed treated his tenants and midway through the story, you realize the accusation is actually directed at you today on Truth for Life. Alistair Begg begins volume 6 in his verse by verse study through the gospel of Mark is titled today's message. This is about us inviting you to turn with me to the gospel of Mark and to chapter 12. While one phrase at the end of the reading that we had that is in verse 12 provides.

I think four is the key both to understanding and applying this parable. If it were not for this final phrase we wouldn't be able to deal as directly and successfully with it in the phrase to which I'm referring will find their for they perceived that he had told the parable against them against them.

Who is there, then it is that they of the ruling Council of the Jews that they who have murder in mind as we noted in verse 18 of chapter 11, and the chief priests and the scribes heard and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching Jesus. He had come into Jerusalem with great aplomb. Remember we saw how in his procession towards Jerusalem.

There was a tremendous acclimation on the part of many of the people at this and disturbed the ruling authorities. They didn't like this. They were disappointed that they themselves were not the beneficiaries of such acclimation and Jesus had followed his arrival by going into the temple and cleansing and casting the people out. He had subsequently cursed the fig tree and as a result of this the rulers all the Jews decided that it was more than time for them to go to him and to challenge him in relationship to his authority. It wasn't simply a sort of intellectual quest on their part.

They had already decided that they wanted nothing to do with they were the ones who had the right credentials.

They were the ones with the proper back ground and this individual. This Galilean carpenter really had nothing of worth to see for himself. But as we saw the end of chapter 11 there challenge to the authority of Jesus was pretty hopeless and it had collapsed like a bad deck chair and they were left as we saw the end of chapter 11 that just sort of shamefacedly looking at one another and realizing what a dreadful mess they had made of things.

Then Mark tells us that Jesus immediately went on the offensive. They had come to challenge him and as he has them in that posture. He then proceeds to tell them a story to tell them a parable he is telling this story because he recognizes the importance of people coming to understand so what I like to do in the time that we have is to look first of all, at the parable, consider then the punchline. And then make a note of what I were to refer to as the postscript. This may seem strange to us on first reading because it seems so far removed from the environment in which we live our life's technical world that is framed by everything really that is, other than a kind of agrarian culture, but for the people of the time they were very familiar with this kind of scenario historians tell us that large tracts of land both in Judea and in Galilee were owned by foreigners so that there were these foreign landowners, absentee landowners who would lease out there property.

In this instance.

In this parable who they would lease out their vineyard to tenant's who then agreed to work it in the absence of the owner. The owner then had a legitimate right to payment, and often the payment was given to the owner in the form of the produce of the property, not in its totality for the tenants had to make something as well, but certainly a significant amount of in verse two. When you read the phrase when the season came, he sent a servant that is attributable to what I'm saying that the time came when the product would be available, and so in that season of time. He the owner sends a servant to have for him. What is required by the contract, but instead of that taking place these tenant farmers resist the claim of the owner and they do so by insulting the sermon that he sends and assaulting the servant that he sends note in terms of background to the parable that is not simply the understanding societally. If you like. But there is also the understanding which lies behind it in terms of the Scriptures and it is for this reason primarily that the religious leaders perceive the parable is about, then it is it is because of this that they're able to say you know he's telling this again starts out without belaboring the point, let me turn you to Isaiah chapter 5 and in Isaiah 5 we discover that the prophet of God is addressing the people of God as the vineyard of God and you have it just in a phrase in verse seven. If you turn to it for the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, so the picture becomes clear.

The vineyard is Israel. The owner is God. The servants are the prophets and the sun is Jesus. You see, it is because these fellows know they are Bible, it is because they understand the Scriptures that they are able to realize very quickly that what Jesus is doing here is not simply telling a story out of the blue, but he is actually employing a parable in order to confront them directly with what it is they're doing and so in telling this story with them present he is actually looking into the faces of the people he is describing so that what is obvious to us as the reader now is becoming apparent to them in the immediacy of the telling of the story. What he's doing here is he saying to these fellas, you know that that history of of Israel and you know that what is happened that God has sent again and again his profits to his people. They have revolted against and the people of God had done these things, the drama, and this is is unmistakable. Here is the place.

Here is the focus of the purposes and power of God in the city of Jerusalem. Here is the place to which the tribes go up here is where they have all gone in the Psalms of Ascent as they made their way up to Jerusalem now, Jesus the son looks over Jerusalem. He says oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent well. You will notice the phrase that is used. He still had one other beloved son. This phrase would be missed on these people either remembering his in his baptism of the voice of the father had come from heaven. This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. And in the parable, the unthinkable is done, the owner said, let me send my beloved to and in sending the beloved. They kill him.

While I can imagine just how uncomfortable it was.

If ever there was a case of if the if the Fits where it this is it. They all must've stood there looking at one another. Unable to talk to one another except by means of their eyes first and blends his quizzical expressions and by means of the rise identifying for each other. The fact he's on to us. He knows exactly what we plan to do this parable is about eyes are suggesting that's the key to understanding if we if we misplace that key and we very quickly can go wrong, but what then is the punchline in this what the punchline is essentially in the second half of verse nine, Jesus says, what will the owner of the vineyard. Do let me tell you what he will do. He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.

I wish you think would be the most staggering aspect of this execution of judgment for these individuals. I don't think that it would be the notion of capital punishment. They had a significant enough sense of justice. They knew the 10 Commandments. If these characters are been killing people and there is no doubt about the fact the owner then is every legitimate right to bring the full weight of the law down upon.

He will then come and destroy these tenants. But here's the real and give the vineyard to others that they couldn't handle because they had such an understanding of God's purposes for Israel.

Such an understanding of their place in the process of things are we to assume the must've been seeing in their minds are we to assume that this parable carries all the way through in its application to was that the catastrophic response of the owner. In this parable is representative of what is going to happen to wise as a nation, are we going to put two and two together and begin to understand that he is actually good, he will destroy this temple and in three days. It will be raised in the beginning to put all these pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together and they don't like and in Matthew's account. It reads as follows.

Therefore I tell you the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. There's the rub. This is ours and can be taken from us.

Well, Jesus says it's going to be taken from you, and they too came in through a modem reading Matthew now just to make sure it's there for myself and they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. And when therefore the owner of the vineyard comes what will he do to those tenants, and in Matthew, the crowd come out of it is a rhetorical question on the part of Jesus. He has the answer. It's almost as if it becomes antiphonal. Jesus is out and they say are they join in unison with one another. They said to him, this is the response of the crowd. He will put those wretches to a miserable death and laid out the vineyard to other tenants who will give them the fruit in their season. This is the drama in this they couldn't stand it will be taken from then and given to others. What is this mean what it means that God now will bring to bear upon the unfolding story of redemption.

The creation of a new Israel that will comprise both those from a Jewish background who believe in Jesus as Messiah and those from a Gentile background who believe in Jesus as Messiah. In other words, the people of God that are now going to unfold will be those that Peter references and you can turn to this to see for yourself because interestingly the quotes from the same Old Testament story in first Peter chapter 2. Here you go. Verse 10 once you were not a people, but now you are God's people. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. So the authors, to whom he's going to give his vineyard consists then of the church of all who have repented and believe the good news and if you want to really think that through. Go home and read Romans chapter 9, 10 and 11 and ponder all Paul has to say there about the find that the rejection of the Jews has meant salvation for the Gentile.

The Gentile has been grafted in, and the day will come when there will be a great resurgence of Jewish people who then are embraced within the unfolding drama of God's purpose. It is a wonderful story so it's not so my cities and I rejected the Jews not going with a Gentile what he saying is I rejected those who stumble over my son. Those who come to trust in him from every background from every nation tried language and tone are the others to whom I am giving this vineyard to get that me to see this and I guess I don't have a chance to.

The prophets had gone to the people of God again and again and again instead of them responding in large measure the beat them, treated them shamefully stoned him and killed Jesus has now come as the sun to his people. What is John Telus in the prologue. He came to his own, but his own did not receive but to as many as received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the power to become the children of God to get that's when the pursuit of God in the pleadings and the promptings of his spirit are not responded to in faith.

They put the individual who rejects the pleadings and the promptings in a far more different and dangerous position. That is why the pleadings and the promptings and the warnings and the winnings and the sending of his messengers messengers that have come to you. Your mother at your pet when you were a child that her knee that uncle who gave you the Bible on your graduation girl in the office who said to you. Have you ever really thought about who Jesus is and is rulings in these pleadings and these promptings of come again and again to listen, my dear friend if they do not soften your heart and bring you to faith.

They will harden your heart and these characters were irritated and hardened. They were not impressed and converted they wanted just to be told you're in an exclusive club you're okay because you've come from the right background and so on.

Jesus is no. Here's the story. The owner send his son.

They killed him to and here's what's going to happen while the postscript is there is that in the. The quote from Psalm, 118 Jesus has begun his parable by making sure that it is grounded in the Bible every good preacher should hence Isaiah 5 and now he directs his listeners as he comes to a conclusion once again to the Bible and there you have the quote.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone any system. Have you not read this scripture course they read the Scripture might be some gentle irony in it insofar as it is from this very Scripture that the people were singing and chanting when Jesus had made his way into Jerusalem, so he's able to say I know you've heard it recently, but I wonder if you read it recently and when you read did you get to really say you rejected Jesus that stone was absolutely crucial in the construction of the temple and Jesus, whom you despise and reject is actually the one in whom everything holds together, and then in any cause the balance of any says and this was the Lord's doing and is marvelous in our eyes.

We been reading Mark's gospel having wind for me think about the Lord's doing. Think about all the things that we've learned of God doing in and through Jesus there marvelous. Think about what we've learned about the values of the kingdom, turning human evaluation upside down city materialism in its place over the prophet Amanda began the whole world lost his own soul. The amazement of the inscrutable ways of God, not least of all in the fact that he hasn't come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

What makes it so chilling. I think to me is the fact that these religious leaders with all of their knowledge of the Bible.

The Old Testament Scriptures, they find themselves within touching distance of God's final messenger, but you will notice in verse 12 that they go on their cowardly way blinded by their animosity to the truth. Jesus is going to die for his conviction. These characters are unprepared to die for their conviction, their cowardice in the parable they killed the tenants killed the son because they recognized because they failed to, and I find in talking with people that people reject the claims of Christ, not because they misunderstand, but because they understand them too well. You mean to tell me that's what they always say you mean to tell me that Jesus Christ is the only Savior.

Yes, because he is the only one qualified to say you know of anyone else who died for sins and was raised for your justification.

No do you mean to tell me that Jesus is the judge of all the earth, and he will do the right yes that he has set a day when he will judge the world that day is fixed that day will be a fair day and that day will be a final day. So I I'm I'm sorry but I just flat out cannot accept that a tall, do you mean to tell me that I have to give up myself and my life in order to become his disciple.

If anyone wants to be my disciple. Let them take up his cross die to himself every day, and follow me. I'm sorry I'm sorry there is just far too much for anybody to ask, and so the sun is rejected not because the claims are misunderstood, but because the claims are so clearly understood how well you I will you have to be a convicting moment for the ruling Council of the Jews and the implication of Jesus story applies to us as well listing to Truth for Life. Today's message from Alastair Bragg's title.

This is about us earlier we heard Alastair say that Jesus told parables not to confuse his listeners, but to clarify his point.

As we continue our study in Mark's gospel will see this truth repeat itself over and over again.

This is consistent with our mission to Truth for Life, which is to teach the Bible with clarity in hopes that unbelievers will be converted. Believers will be established in local churches will be strengthened were able to accomplish this mission, thanks to truth partners who give generously each month and thanks to one-time donations that come from westerners like you who valued the clear Bible teaching they hear every day on Truth for Life today. If you're able to make a donation. Would love to say thanks by offering a fascinating documentary about the Puritans. The apostle Paul taught that we are to do everything we do, to the glory of God and perhaps no group of Christians took this command more seriously than the Puritans. Their story of devout commitment to God and the contributions they made are beautifully portrayed in this impressive documentary asked for the film called Puritan all of life, to the glory of God. It comes on two DVDs, one has the full length documentary, the other contains special features including helpful commentary from Sinclair Ferguson and there's a link in the DVD kit to screen the documentary if you prefer to give a donation and request the documentary call 888-588-7884 or go to Truth for Life.are believers required to pay taxes tomorrow. Alastair Bragg describes a moment when the Pharisees cornered Jesus with this tricky question. I hope you can join us tomorrow about Lapine's daily program features the Bible teaching of Alastair Bragg and it's furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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