“Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.”
Today’s verse passage is part of a parable Jesus told in order to illustrate profound truths regarding His covenant nation, Israel. In the parable, a certain landowner let his vineyard out to others to tend and keep it. As was common in those days, the landowner was entitled to a certain agreed upon portion of the profits made from the sale of the land’s produce. In the Lord’s parable, the landowner sent servants to the tenants to receive what was due him. In each case, the tenants treated his servants with contempt, beating some and killing others (Mark 12:2-5). Finally, as our verse indicates, the landowner decided to send his only son. Surely, he thought, these people will reverence him. Here the story takes a tragic turn. “But those husbandmen said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.’ And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard” (Mark 12:7-8). The landowner in the parable represents God, who “planted” national-ethnic Israel. The “fruits” he was entitled to were gratitude, love, and obedience. Over the centuries He had sent His people a host of prophets to confront and instruct them, to encourage faithfulness to the God who loved them first (Deuteronomy 7:6-9). Tragically, God’s messengers were largely rejected and abused.(Matthew 23:31-37; Luke 11:47-51; 13:34). Finally, God sent His only Begotten Son, Who is the very radiance of God’s glory and the express image of His Person (Hebrews 1:3). The Word made flesh (John 1:14) became God’s ultimate self-disclosure; God was revealed maximally in the Person of His dear Son (John 12:45; 14:9; Colossians 1:15). Just as God’s wisdom, power, and love came to maximal expression in the Son of God incarnate, man’s abject wickedness and depravity came to maximal expression in their rejection of Him. “He is despised and rejected of men” wrote the prophet, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3). Where the father in the parable sent his son believing he would be respected, God the Father sent His Son on His redemptive mission knowing He would be despised and rejected. As our Savior bore our sins in His body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24), man appeared at his very worst, God at His very best. For those of us who have believed to the saving of our souls, Christ our Lord has become the very wisdom of God, and the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). Hallelujah to the Father Who sent His Son to be the Savior of the world (1 John 4:14), and hallelujah to the Son in Whom we are complete (Colossians 2:10)!
God bless you,