Wisdom Incarnate

Mark 12

The Parable of the Vineyard
Jesus told a parable about a man who rented his vineyard to vine-growers and went on a journey. At harvest time he sent a succession of servants to receive some of the produce but the vine-growers beat and killed those whom the vineyard owner sent; last of all he sent his beloved son but the vine-grows killed the vineyard owners son and threw him out of the vineyard. The parable concludes with a statement that the vineyard owner will come and destroy the vine-growers and give the vineyard to others. The vineyard owner is God, the vine-growers are the Sanhedrin (Jewish leaders), the Son is Jesus Christ and the others are the church. This parable is evidence of whom Jesus believed himself to be and is evidence of what he thought about the Jewish leadership.

Attempts to Outwit Wisdom
The different groups of Jewish leaders attempted to out wit Jesus. First, some Pharisees and Herodians tried to trick Jesus with worldly wisdom by attempting to make him pick between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. The trick that they used was regarding paying taxes. Jesus asked for the coin used for paying taxes and asked whose likeness and inscription is on the coin. When they answered “Caesar’s” Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Thus Jesus acknowledged the existence of two kingdoms: the kingdom of man and the kingdom of God. The kingdom of man is temporal and the kingdom of God is eternal. Some Sadducees tried to out wit Jesus regarding the resurrection of the dead but he demonstrated that their logic was based in the kingdom of man and not the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of man death is the end but in the kingdom of God all are all are living. Finally, one of the scribes asked Jesus a legitimate question and did not attempt to trick him with worldly logic. The scribe asked Jesus, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered that the foremost is that the Lord our God is one Lord and you shall love the Lord your God with your entire being. Jesus added that the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. The scribe was pleased with the answer that Jesus gave and he added that the love of God and one’s neighbor is much more than all burnt offerings an sacrifices. When Jesus heard the scribes reply he was pleased. After this, the Jewish leaders gave up attempting to out wit the wisdom of Jesus. 

Honor Given to a Widow
Jesus watched the people giving into the treasury of the temple. The majority gave what they could afford to give but a widow gave all that she had to live on. There was no wrong spoken of the money that the others gave but there was no honor given to them either; however, Jesus did honor the widows gift.