"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Parable of the Tenants (or Taxes to Caesar)
Mark 12:1-12 or Mark 12:13-17 Commentary
by N. Clayton Croy
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is traditionally called “triumphal” and deservedly so.
He is hailed as the Lord’s representative, a kingly figure whose pathway is strewn with cloaks and palm branches. But the accolades are not universal. After Jesus cleanses the temple, the chief priests and scribes begin looking for a way to kill him. This initiates a series of tense encounters between Jesus and the Jewish leadership, sometimes called interrogation stories because several of them begin with a question posed to Jesus. The texts for today cover the second and third such encounters.
Mark 12:1-12 is not strictly an interrogation story, although it does display the hostility between Jesus and the Jerusalem leadership seen in those stories. Instead, it takes the familiar form of a parable, in this case, an agrarian tale with a violent twist. A man plants a vineyard, fences it, builds a wine press and a watchtower, and leases it to tenants.
This simple, matter-of-fact description has both economic and intertextual significance. Economically, it indicates that the landowner ...
| Bible Text
Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL214: Parable of the Tenants (or Taxes to Caesar)
February 28, 2016
This podcast discusses Mark 12:1-12 [13-17], the Narrative Lectionary reading for Feb. 28, 2016.