We are in the Christ Stream and reading from the New International Version this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord Jesus, just as you ARE the revelation of God, your words are revelation to us. You just simply tell us what we need to know. As you told your disciples in John, “i call you friends”, we are assured that there is no truer friend than you. We are grateful. Amen.
12 – The parable of the vineyard, wherein the tenants who were entrusted to care for it, figures prominently since Matthew/Mark/Luke all include this parable. When the Son comes on behalf of the owner and they kill Him too, it’s a “dead” giveaway that Jesus is talking about the leaders of Jerusalem who have been entrusted to be the ones to spiritually care for Israel and her people. For the Israeli Nation were the Light to the Gentiles. This “vineyard” figures in religious history to heal and refresh the nations. The leaders are in charge and they are derelict and they know it and this story hits them in the heart; “ka-zing!” and they don’t like it. If it was false, they wouldn’t care, but since it’s true, they want Him arrested. Notice that they don’t arrest Him however because, like Saul 1000 years ago, they care about public opinion – and this is their chief concern.
-Know that the question about paying taxes to Caesar is coming from people who detest Caesar. Again, it was another trick question. They forget who they are fooling with, don’t they? He throws it right back at them and they at least have the courtesy to be amazed with everyone else. A subtle hint that reflects to today in a not so gentle manner is the clear insinuation that the government is not to be making dictates about religion, religious activity, or the religious convictions of people.
-The “Marriage at the Resurrection” question serves a few purposes in Jesus’ bloc of teaching here. There are a few “faiths gone awry” in this world that have man made ideas about family on earth and what family in heaven is and they project the lust-driven opinions of earth onto what life in heaven is going to be. This is wrong. When Jesus replies that we will be like the angels in heaven, it is a comment that eternally echoes both forward and backward in time. The Sadducees asked this question about marriage in the resurrection when they flatly did not believe in the resurrection!! The construction of the question is absurd to begin with: A widow marrying the next brother and then the next brother working through a whole family of seven brothers … come on guys, eeeesh! They needed to get their act together and try following Jesus instead of trying to frustrate Jesus. They were in GREAT error.
-Just a tip here: when someone asks “which commandment is the greatest?” it’s a clear clue that they likely aren’t obeying the commandments nor do they care to. Though this particular inquisitor may have asked with a clear conscience. But in general, it’s as dumb as asking which holes in the boat should we patch before we launch? the ones in the front or the rear?…or portside? which? Either ALL the holes are patched or the boat is going to the ocean floor, ding-bat! What kind of question is this? Jesus constructed a rather cordial and pertinent reply and after that –> no one d a r e d ask him any more questions. Their plans were revealing their bleak hearts and not getting Jesus in any trouble like they had hoped.
-the remainder of ch. 12 was further revelation of the teachers of the law and their dubious agenda, their hypocrisy, their arrogance, selfishness, crime and cruelty. Jesus nailed them. And He was telling this to the whole crowd. Pretty gutsy of Jesus.
13 – Jesus gave signs and told us what was going to happen: imminently in Jerusalem and eschatalogically [End Times matters] for the earth and in history. Jesus warns of deceivers, false messiahs, wars, earthquakes, famines, persecution, worldwide evangelism along with family strife, distress like the world has never known, there will be signs in the skies, and the Return of Christ Jesus will be a giant event. Amid all the cataclysmic events, know that the Word of the Lord will stand fast and hold true. And finally be reminded that no one knows or even can know the day or hour that Christ will return. So pay attention. And like the occupation of a watchman whose job is to WATCH. We too must watch for the Return of Christ. Come Lord Jesus.