Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 2, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Mark 12:1-12 (NKJV)
12:1 Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. 2 Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent them another servant, and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. 5 And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating some and killing some.
6 “Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
7 “But those vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.
9 “Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture:
‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. 11 This was the LORD’S doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
12 And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.
In the parable the owner of the vineyard sends one servant after another, only to have each of them flogged, beaten, or killed. In real life, what landowner would do such a thing? Nobody! After the very first servant came back beaten and bloody and empty-handed, that owner would have had police or military troops come and make short work of those tenant farmers. But this landowner was God. And this unreal patience and perseverance with these tenant farmers shows us the unearthly love and mercy of our God.
God let the Jews, and especially their leaders, fill up the measure of their guilt to the very top, to overflowing. And finally, when the limit had been reached, nothing could stay the hand of God’s wrath against them. After killing the Son God had sent, these wicked Pharisees and Sadducees watched the new kingdom of God, the Church, grow like wildfire before their very eyes. God allowed these wicked men to see their own failure before He sent the Roman army to destroy them.
Luke wraps up the book of Acts with this statement by the Apostle Paul, “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers [that is, the forefathers of the Jews] when he said through Isaiah the prophet: ‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”‘ Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”
We pray: Lord, may we always listen to Your Word and Spirit. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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