Mark 12

Before Reading.

  • Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.

Reading.

  • Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
  • Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
  • Take a note if you have question, inspiration.

Commentary.

The parable of the wicked tenants (1-12) — Parable is one of lesson forms in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) to make the point.  The owner of the vineyard is God. Vineyard is Israel. Tenants are religious leaders. “Them” in verse 1 refers to the chief priests, scribes and elders. Servants are prophets. Son is Jesus. Jesus taught in this parable impending judgement of God for the wickedness of Israel, patience of God, and calling for repentance.

Paying tax (13-17) — under the ruling of Roman Empire, there were three groups among Jews who acted differently on tax. The Herodian’s (political ruling group) said, yes. The Pharisees (religious group) said, yes, but reluctantly. The Zealots (nationalist group) said, no.  “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” was a trapping question and answering either way would fall Jesus into trouble. What Jesus made clear in his answer was that our primary obligation to God includes and transcends every other civil duty.  God is therefore due the highest loyalty and ultimate obedience of persons, who are God’s own creation.

On resurrection (18-27) — The question from Sadducees, who did not believe the resurrection of the dead, came from Mosaic Law of levirate marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5). “What does it look like living in resurrected body?” we may ask. “They will be like the angels in heaven, (v.25)” Jesus answered. It will be changed into a spiritual body, imperishable (2 Corinthians 15:35-52). Jesus taught another lesson that God is not the God of the dead but of the living.”(27). Therefore, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob died long ago, but they were alive.

The Great Commandment (28-34) —- Jesus answered quoting Deuteronomy 6:4 (Shema: Hear), and Leviticus 19:18.  Three object of love are God, neighbor, and self.

Whose Son is the Christ? (35-37) —- As human side, Jesus was born as a descendant of King David, recorded in Matthew 1, his lineage. As divine, Jesus is Christ, the Lord of all. As God-Man, Jesus is both human and divine, worthy of King David’s honor as Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1.

The Widow’s offering (38-44) —- Hypocrisy, desiring for the position of honor, showing off outwardly with no heart inwardly were warning that Jesus taught. “Small copper coin,” refers to Greek coin called “lepton,” the smallest denomination of money in Greek world, not enough money to buy a crumb of bread to eat. The poor widow’s giving was praiseworthy because out of her poverty and without reservation, she gave her whole living to God.

After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.

  • Ask yourself, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?”
  • How do you say you love God, your neighbor, and your self
  • Pray God that the God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth.
  • Live it out through the day.

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