Bible Reading Day 68

by markburlinson

Day 68 – Mark 12:1-27

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Good morning!
As Jesus moves purposefully toward HIs crucifixion, the religious leaders raise the stakes. Jesus gets clearer in His exposure of their hypocrisy too!

First Jesus tells the parable of the evil farmers. Remember a parable is a story relevant to the hearers that is tossed alongside their everyday lives to make them think about a truth. Here Jesus uses a farming story about dishonest tenant farmers who get brought to justice. It is clear to everyone that this story refers to the religious leaders who are supposed to be tending God’s children like vines and bringing good fruit to God as a result. Instead they treat the people of God as their own property, and kill the Son sent to restore order. The end result is that God will step in and hand over the task of caring for His people to others.

After the resurrection, God entrusted the Church with the task of caring for His children. As long as we do this for Him, not ourselves, there is good fruit!

Next, the angry religious leaders try to trap Jesus with another question about money. Although they themselves despise paying taxes to Caesar, and keep all the money they can for themselves, they try to get Jesus to say money belongs to God alone. In His reply, Jesus not only refutes their aim of getting more money for the religious system at Caesar’s expense, He also challenges them (and us) to give to God what is rightly God’s – the tithe (10% of our income). 

If a church, or a Christian ministry, is pressuring you to give, you are right to be suspicious and hold back. But don’t use the excuse of greedy religion to stop you giving to God by giving to a church you can trust! We all need to give back to God what is rightly His. The first tenth that releases the other nine tenths for blessing and fruitfulness.

Our third section gives a challenge from the other side of the religious spectrum. The Sadducees were the religious group who did not believe in resurrection. They were the humanists of the time – living by the belief that “this is all there is.” Jesus not only punctures their balloon of a story about a woman who is married to seven brothers sequentially, He also shows them clearly that God has always been the God of the living (i.e. of resurrection). 

How privileged we are to follow a God who is full of love, full of wisdom, and full of life. So full that even the dead are alive in Him!