Grasping for Power
Mark 12:1-12 (ESV)


12 And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 

•The master has an expectation for the tenants, they are to watch over and protect the property and the crop.
•There is a season where the tenants are put in charge for a time, and then they will need to pay the master his portion, give him what he is due.

3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. 

•They think they own something; they are possessive. By their actions they do not recognize the master as the rightful owner of the vineyard. 
•The patience of the master is wild!

“Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.”
Ezekiel 34:2-5

Jesus has been calling them hypocrites his entire ministries. Jesus called the people sheep without a shepherd. And just now when Jesus cleared out the temple, these are all indicators that the religious leaders have failed badly. 

6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 

9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this Scripture:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone; 
11 this was the Lord’s doing,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

•God is not a military leader who can be overthrown through a political coup, their mission is in vanity and destined to fail.

12 And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.

•they get that the story is about them but they don’t react accordingly. They still act the part of the tenants, trying to get him arrested and killed. 
•There is a disconnect between how they see themselves and reality. They think they are preserving the faith from a rouge blasphemer. But their actions betray them


Obey the master
•Listen to those who God sends
        •God speaks and directs us through others. Are you paying attention?
•Produce the fruit and give him the glory
        •we are to produce the fruit. Are you? 
        •We are to take care of that which God has entrusted to us. 
        •What has God placed in your care? Are you caring for it?

Keep an eye on the return of the master
•Would you rather he not return because you want to do things your way?

Make Jesus the cornerstone
•Is he the center piece of all that you do?
•We are called to set aside our ambitions and agenda. It’s not about us, it never has been. We are only fooling if we think we can control the situation ourselves

God’s patience had been misunderstood to be aloofness. 

Exodus 34
 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”