Title: God's Vineyard

Focus: God has given stewardship of his resources to his people and expects a return. When God sends his servants and son to receive the proceeds, and the people reject them, thinking they do not need God so they can spend the proceeds selfishly on their own desires, then God himself will come and destroy the owners of the vineyard, giving it to others.

Function: To motivate the hearers to bear fruit and offer it to God by being a house of prayer for all the nations, and by pouring themselves out through selfless discipleship.

Text: Mark 11:27 - 12:12

1.  v.27-33 - The leaders wanted to know Jesus’ authority
	a.  This not an inquiry, but a challenge
	b.  Knowing this, Jesus skillfully deals with him
2.  12:1-12 - He goes on to give an allegory

I.  God hires vinegrowers to tend his vineyard (v.1-8)
	A.  (Jer 7:25-26) - God sent his “servants” who were the prophets
		1.  Jer 20:2 - Jeremiah beaten put into stocks
		2.  Jer 38:6 - Left in well to die, saved by Eved-melek
		3.  Other prophets
			a.  Amos was threatened and told to go to Judah
			b.  2 Chr 24:20, Zechariah son of Jehoida stoned
			c.  Jer 26:20 Uriah stoned
	B.  He finally sends his son
		1.  He thinks they will respect him
		2.  He gives them multiple opportunities to pay their rent
		3.  As expected, they treat the son the worst of all 
	C.  What is the point?
		1.  v. 27-33 - Leaders implicated, they rejected John and Jesus
		2.  Clearly, they are implicated by the parable
		3.  God expects us to listen up
		4.  What does he want?

II.  Isaiah 5 serves as backdrop for this parable (Isa 5:1-7)
	A.  The vineyard is a symbol of God’s relationship with his people
	B.  Some differences between this and Jesus’ allegory
		1.  Jesus adds the details about the servants and the son
		2.  This serves to heighten the guilt of the leaders
			a.  They not just fruitless fig tree
			b.  Persecuted ones who called them to fruitfulness
	C.  What did God do in Isaiah?  Remove the hedge, it be destroyed
		1.  (Isa 5:13, 26-30) - They will go into exile
		2.  The temple and city were destroyed
	D.  So they know the answer to Jesus’ questions in Mk 12:9
		1.  God is going to destroy the vinegrowers
		2.  Notice, this time he won’t destroy the vineyard
		3.  Someone else will get it

III.  Fruitfulness involves accepting the capstone/cornerstone (v.10-11)
	A.  What is the cornerstone that became the corner/capstone
	B.  (Psalm 118:22-23) -  What does this mean?
		1.  Background 8th century threat of Assyrian Invasion
			a.  Isa 7:1-12 - Ahaz refused to “test” Yahweh
			b.  2 Chr 28:16-27 - In reality, Ahaz did not trust Yahweh
		2.  (Isa 28:14-17)
			a.  A tested stone.  What is it?  It is Yahweh
			b.  He who believes will not be distrubed
		3.  So, did they trust Yahweh?
			a.  Isa 30:1-2, 15 - Later, they trusted Egypt
			b.  But God warned that Egypt not reliable Isa 31:3
		4.  But time after time, they rejected the stone in Zion
			a.  The “builders” didn’t accept God as rock of salvation
			b.  It was shown in 2 ways
				1) Their insistence on treaties for safety (treaties 
				   usually involved acceptance of each other’s god’s)
				2) They way they treated each other
					- Ahaz offered up human sacrifice
					- People oppressed poor and helpless
					- They no different than the nations
					- Ezek 20 - Israel profaned Yahweh’s name 
					  among the nations by their actions
			c.  So God destroyed his house, his vineyard
			d.  He later rebuilds it, and becomes the cornerstone
	C.  It seems that in Jesus day, they still have not learned from this
		1.  They are repeating the mistakes of their forefathers
		2.  They rejected Jesus as their fathers rejected the prophets
	D.  Later, Jesus says one stone not left upon another in the temple
		1.  This implies that God will once again destroy and rebuild
		2.  Jesus will be the cheif cornerstone (capstone)

IV.  What does this have to do with you and I?
	A.  It is too easy to read story, and distance self from bad guys
		1.  Typically read stories like this and apply it to others
		2.  We surely would not stand in shoes of these Jews
		3.  This allegory preserved for a reason
	B.  The Vinegrowers
		1.  They killed the son for selfish reasons
			a.  They thought they could gain ownership
			b.  They thought they could seize control of vineyard
			c.  But they were never the “owners”, but were stewards
			d.  They rejected the cornerstone, so their house fell
		2.  God is the tested stone, how to build?  (Isa 28:17)
			a.  God has to be the cornerstone
			b.  Justice has to be the measuring/plumb line
			c.  Righteousness has to be the level
		3.  In order to withstand day of the Lord
			a.  Have to be built on faithfulness to God
			b.  Have to be built on justice to one another
	C.  The Owner’s return
		1.  The owner was gone for a long time (absentee landlord)
		2.  He sent messengers, and finally came in judgement himself
			a.  He did in 722 A.D. with Assyria
			b.  He did in 587 A.D. with Babylon
			c.  He did in 70 A.D. with Rome
			d.  He came in judgement
	D.  He will come again one last time
		1.  He is not going to just destroy a building
		2.  The whole earth will be destroyed 2 Pet 3:12
		3.  The will be the coming to end all comings

1.  He is coming looking for fruit in his vineyard
	a.  Jesus said the branch that does not bear fruit is burned Jn 15
	b.  What will God find if he were to come right now?
2.  What fruit is the Lord looking for?  (See the context leading up to this)
	a.  He is looking for us to be as children to receive kingdom - Humility
	b.  The greatest to become servants - Are we serving others?
	c.  His house to be a house of prayer for all the nations
		- Are we reaching out to the lost?
	d.  Be forgiving to one another
3.  So take inventory
	a.  Who and what can I do to humbly serve this week?
	b.  Who can I share the Gospel with this week
	c.  Is there someone I need to forgive?

5.  Invitation
	a.  God has sent Jesus to show you how to bear fruit
	b.  It begins with a seed - The Gospel
	c.  Will you obey the Gospel today?