Jesus draws to a close his disputations with the religious elites by presenting his own three-fold rebuttal. Our Lord asks whether or not his opponents recognize the true Messiah, understand true righteousness, or model true sacrifice. The lesson we learn from these questions and answers affects the church as she wrestles to understand humility and hypocrisy.
Jesus continues his engagement in debate and defense of the Gospel, only this time his interlocutor is someone who has some grasp of Jesus’ teaching. In light of that understanding, Jesus is asked about the commandments, giving to us the very famous (and sometimes misunderstood) summary of the Moral Law. The lesson we learn from this episode affects the church as she discerns what is true, Godly love.
Tuesday of Holy Week has been nothing but a barrage of questions from Jesus most vocal opponents. In this instance, He is confronted by the most powerful party in all of Jerusalem: the Sadducees. They seek to trap Jesus with an absurd hypothetical, which actually serves to reveal their false teaching. The lesson we learn from this encounter affects the church of today as she is beset by false teachers on all sides.
In the course of his Jerusalem ministry, Jesus is confronted by every group who opposes him. In this scene, Jesus is confronted by a bipartisan faction of Herodians and Pharisees who attempt to trap him with an overtly political question. The teaching in this incident has implications for the church of the 21st Century.
Jesus evades answering his interlocutors’ directly, but He does not leave them without a response. To answer their question, Jesus offers a parable about a vineyard owner and some hired tenants. While the cursing of the fig tree was a prophetic charge against fruitlessness, this parable is a direct accusation against the leaders of the Temple. It is also a direct call to fruitfulness to the Church today.
About the Series
The Gospel of Mark was composed to the glory of God and for the Church as a witness to the selfless, sinless life of the Son of Man.