"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
Mark 12:1-12 Commentary
by Ronald J. Allen
Mark's theology is apocalyptic: Mark believes that history is divided into two ages: (1) the present evil age that God will destroy and replace with (2) a new world in which all things manifest God's purposes (the realm of God).
While the ministry of Jesus signals that the transition between the ages is underway, Mark believes that the complete transformation takes place only at the apocalypse at which Jesus returns.
Mark wrote about 70 CE when the Romans captured Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. As we note in connection with Mark 13 (March 25), Mark regards the destruction of the temple as a sign that the final apocalypse is near.
The Markan Jesus told the parable of the wicked servants in the temple in the presence of Jewish leadership (represented by chief priests, scribes and elders) (Mark 11:27). According to Mark 13:9-13, members of the Markan community were in tension with traditional Jewish leadership in both formal settings (e.g. synagogue actions) and within their own households (e.g. siblings betray siblings).
Mark believed that many Jewish leaders had allied themselves with Satan by resisting the notion that the ministry of Jesus signaled that the final manifestation of the Realm is underway. The ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 028: Parable of the tenants.
March 04, 2012
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's reading is Parable of the tenants: Mark 12:1-12.