The lion of St Mark


The Tenants of the Vineyard: Mk 12,1-12

The background reading for this parable is Isaiah chapter 5. Look also at Is 1,8; Is 3,14; Ezekiel 19,10; Hosea 10,1.
When we read the fig tree incident (11,13) we saw that the image of the fig tree and the vineyard are found together in the Old Testament, for example Micah 4,4.

To whom does "them" refer in verse 1? Note their reaction in verse 12.

The description of planting the vineyard in 12,1 echoes Is 5,1-2. What then happens to the vineyard, how does Jesus change the imagery? Try to recognise the various characters in the story.

For verse 2 and the servant, look at Jeremiah 7,25-26; 25,4 or Amos 3,7 and also Nehemiah 9,26. What then happens in verses 4-5?

For the Son in verse 6, see 1,11 and 9,7. Consider also Genesis 22,2.

Note how the logic of verse 7 is overturned in verse 9. Who answers the question? (See Mt 21,41).

Jesus continues in verse 10 by quoting Ps 118, with echoes of Is 28,16. This is an quote used elsewhere in the New Testament: Acts 4,11; 1 Peter 2,7. What is the implication of the quote here?

Compare verse 12 with 6,52. What is missing in Mt 21,45?

Look now at my response.

We can continue with the encounters first with the Pharisees and Herodians and then with the Sadducees, 12,13-27.