Today is the fifth Monday in Lent, and we are beginning Mark chapter 12. Jesus has come into Jerusalem like a king, has acted with authority in the temple, and has been challenged by the temple leaders. Now he will tell us a story to help us understand what is going to happen to him.
In this story that Jesus has told, I wonder why the people renting the farm refuse to share any of the fruit with the owner? I wonder why they think they can just keep it all for themselves?
I wonder why the renters keep treating each of the messengers so badly? They refuse to give the farm owner some of his own fruit, and they also beat up and even kill the servants that he sends. I wonder why they are so violent against people who serve their farm's owner?
I wonder what the farm owner expects will happen when he sends his son?
The renters know that the farm they are living on will someday be given to the owner's son, as his inheritance. I wonder what they think will happen when they kill the son?
Mark tells us that the chief priests and the teachers of the law know that this story is about them. I wonder how they are like the renters in this story? How are the prophets in the Old Testament like the servants who come to collect the fruit? And where is God in this story?
At his baptism, God's Holy Spirit came down on Jesus and everyone heard these words: "You are my Son, and I love you." Jesus has come into Jerusalem like a king, and acted like he has authority there: almost like the place belongs to him! I wonder why they chief priests and the teachers of the law are so unwilling to follow him?
The Son in this story is killed. I wonder how Jesus's friends felt, as they heard him tell it? I wonder if they really believed Jesus would be killed too, or if they still hoped he could become King of Israel without suffering or rejection?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day?
Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.