The parable of the wicked tenants

Date: Tuesday, February 26

ScriptureMark 12:1-12

Verse: So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. (Mark 12:8)

Have you ever heard a sermon and thought, “Oh, I wish my friend was here today. She/He really needs to hear this.”? Sometimes, I don’t doubt that is valid. Other times though, I wonder if we are not missing a message God has for us, by focusing so much on the other person. Before you go on, re-read today’s passage and listen for what God has to say to you.

When I read this passage this way, I’m convicted by the parable. How often my confession and life do not match. I say with my lips all kinds of great things about God – about how life is better because of him, about how faith in Jesus can change lives and change the world – but live a life that looks just like everyone else’s. I can say over and over again how the world is God’s, how everything I have is a gift from him, and how he deserves all honor and glory, but then act as if I have earned everything and it is mine to use as I wish.

It would be much more comfortable to read today’s parable and decide it applies only to those leaders Jesus was confronting during The Last Week, and the leaders of Israel who made mistake after mistake in their relationship with God. I have read their stories in the Old Testament though, and know I have done much the same thing. I too have pushed Jesus to the margins, not given him his due, not recognized God as the Lord of my life and the world. I too have lived as if my life was all about me and not about him. How often I have put up walls to keep him out of my “vineyard.”

Prayer: God, I am deeply sorry for all the times I have relegated you to the margins of my life and lived as though it was all about me. Change my heart, O God. Amen.

Action: Use what God has given you in service to him by serving someone else. Give something away – stuff, money, time, gifts – for the good of another.

Respond: Share a time you almost missed a word from God because you thought it was directed to someone else. Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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