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June 15, 2008 PM

MK 12:1-12

INTRO: The parable which is recorded in our text for this evening is certainly different from most of the parables of Jesus. It suggests numerous details relating to the history of the Jews. In fact, one writer refers to it as a "historical parable" which he believes sets for the history of Israel from the exodus to the destruction of Jerusalem. The parable is most assuredly pointed ... so pointed, in fact, that those to whom it is spoken have no difficulty in applying it! Because this parable is so significant to the time in which Jesus was living and teaching, we need to consider it in some detail. And while the details may seem somewhat irrelevant to you and me and our time, there is a great lesson to be found here. I want to begin our thoughts by reading verse 12. And I ask that you keep this verse in mind as we proceed with our thoughts.

    1. The vineyard is clearly Israel
      1. see Isa 5:1-7 - "For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is ... Israel"
      2. people hearing this parable would immediately make this connection
      3. in the Isa 5 description are some very similar, well known pictures
      4. my point is that these people knew without doubt Jesus' subject
    2. The husbandmen are clearly Israel's religious leaders
      1. the idea of leasing a vineyard by an absentee owner was well known
      2. wealthy Jews often owned such properties - lived elsewhere
      3. the landlord had given every advantage to his vineyard - should produce
      4. this distant ownership opened the way for irresponsibility, corruption!
    3. The servants were the prophets whom God repeatedly sent to Israel
      1. they were sent to collect the lease price from the husbandmen
      2. notice how they were treated - "shamefully handled" ... "killing some"
      3. Mt 23:37 - Jesus laments the history of Israel's treatment of prophets
      4. Acts 7:52 - Stephen asks a pointed question concerning Israel's treatment of the prophets - the truth hurts...and rather than to be well affected by the truth, his hearers finally killed him
    4. The repeated sending of servants speaks of God's mercy
      1. the landowner had legal rights and could have exercised them!
      2. God could most assuredly have ended His relationship with ungrateful Israel ... and have been justified in doing so
      3. 2 Chron 36:14-16 - "...because he had compassion on his people..."
      4. one of the lessons here must be the longsuffering nature of God
    5. The one, well beloved son is Jesus
      1. owner's son would certainly speak with greater authority - they'd listen!?
      2. Heb 1:1-3 - the "Heir" has come to deliver Father's commandment
      3. and He received no more respect than did the prophets before Him
      4. Mk 12:8 - here is another clear indication of Jesus' death by enemies
      5. the husbandmen thought they'd "inherit" if they killed the Heir ... the priests, scribes, Pharisees, etc. were jealous of their power, their place among in Israel ... see Jno 11:47,48
    6. Giving the vineyard to others referred to the Gentiles
      1. Jno 10:16 - Jesus never shied from reference to the Gentiles
      2. see Hos 2:23 (Rom 9:23-25) - inclusion of Gentiles was prophesied
      3. my guess is that the listeners were not thrilled by this comment of Jesus
      4. in Jewish thought Gentile spiritual equality with Jews did not "compute"
    1. Mk 12:12 - There was no change for the better!
      1. Jesus had clearly taught, challenged well know historical facts
      2. "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes"
      3. they knew he had "spoken the parable against them"
      4. but they would not learn; they would not change
    2. Why cling obstinately to sin?
      1. do people just think of God as so distant ... so uninvolved? (Ps 94:4-7)
      2. do people just think God will not punish? (Eccl 8:11-13)
      3. do people value their ways so highly that they minimize God? (Ps 10:4)
      4. do people not want to admit wrong? mistakes? (Rom 2:1-5)
      5. do people enjoy their role, their position over relation to God? (Gal 1:10)

CLOSE: Many are the reasons so many people cling obstinately to sin. And not one of those reasons is worth the consequence of doing so. Will we repeat the mistakes of those stubborn, obstinate people who wanted their way no matter what?

Cecil A. Hutson

15 June 2008

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)