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The 60: Rejection NOT-Unexpected | Mark 12:1-12

Rejection NOT-Unexpected: Mark 12:1-12


Debrief offers an abridged outline of the Sunday sermon for individuals or Community Groups alike, to re-engage the content of the Sunday sermon. This outline is far from complete, but serves to give a track or road map to walk through the content of Sunday in another context during the week

Parable = Small Story with a BIG Meaning

Parable = Everyday Story with ENORMOUS Implications

This is what Jesus is doing in Mark 12:1-12. He’s taking the parable of the Vineyard from Isaiah 5:1-7, that every Jewish boy heard when he was growing up, and He’s telling it in contemporary form, with cutting focus.

Why does Jesus begin to speak to them in parables again at this point? This is the only major parable outside chapter four (4). What is He trying to accomplish that wouldn’t be accomplished without the parables?

The teaching of a parable either instructs (Mk.4:1-20) or hardens (Mk.4:10-12) those who hear it. Jesus is looking to instruct and harden. He’s looking to widen the gap between those who trust Him and those who don’t and wont’.

The response to a parable is either Realization and Repentance, OR Resistance and Rejection.

What’s the BIG IDEA About What God’s Like? (12:1-2;6)

God Is The Gracious Owner Who Deserves His Glory

All the way back in the beginning, in Genesis 1, we see God revealed as the Divine Entrepreneur. He goes into business for Himself to (1) create a perfect environment for people, (2) so that He can get glory through His relationship with them, and (3) that they can share in it with Him for their joy. He goes into business for His glory and for their joy. God gets glory from lives that are devoted to Him, and those lives get their ultimate joy from it.

Because Patience is part of God’s offer, He sends His servants (bondservants, His Prophets, to call His people back to the gracious offer He made to them. So He sends, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Amos, Nahum…….and eventually John… continually call His people back. But for the most part, they wouldn’t receive His invitation, but reject it. (Jer.7:25-26)

What Owner in his right mind would send his son when his servants had been treated that way? This shows the obvious longsuffering love of God.

What’s The BIG IDEA About What We Are Like? (12:3-5; 7-8)

We Are Greedy Stewards Who Want The Glory of The Owner

We Rebel to Get GloryWe Idolize to Get GloryWe Become Religious to Get Glory

Religion is just a pretty way of wanting to be an owner, while maintaining the appearance of a steward. (Isaiah 29:13)

If humanity can dispense with God, or even kill God, then humanity can become God. What is human history if not the attempt to rid the universe of God.

What’s The BIG IDEA About What God Will Do About It? (12:9-11)

God Will Take From The Greedy Stewards And Graciously Grant It To Greatful Stewards

God will accomplish His purpose of gaining glory through transformed lives. Just like in the parable of the sower, where bad conditions could not thwart the production of a fruit, bad stewardship cannot thwart the production of spiritual fruit through transformed lives.

If God did not spare the natural branches, will He spare the grafted branches if they eventually show the same hardness of heart? (Rom.11:19-21)

Diving In
Diving In offers a few questions to help you re-engage the concepts from Sunday. Feel the freedom to use all of the questions, or to simply camp out on just one. These questions aren’t intended to answer all the issues that surface through the thrust of this weeks’ message, but to simply raise them and allow you time and space to process them, ideally in the context of your Community Group.

  1. Do you sense this parable pushed you to realization and repentance, or resistance and rejection, in any way and to any degree? If repentance, what is that one thing you know He is calling you to repent of? If resistance, what is it specifically that you are resisting?
  2. How have you seen God to be the Gracious Owner? How has He shown Himself to you as such? Do you truly see Him this way?
  3. In what areas of your life do you see yourself tending to operate more like an owner than a steward? What do you sense leads to your desire to be an owner instead of a steward in this area of life?
  4. Can you point to something in your life that you sense you have stewarded well, by God’s grace, for His glory and your joy? How would you describe life living in this kind of joy?
  5. Is there something specific you sense Jesus is calling you to steward better, for His glory and your joy?

Deep End
The Deep End is a short and simple formation exercise you can use to dive deep into your heart before God. Feel the freedom to divert from the directions if that makes it easier for you to connect with Jesus in this exercise.

  1. First, quiet your heart before the Lord. If you find yourself distracted by various thoughts (things on your “To Do” list, etc.), don’t “fight” the distractions, but rather spend some time praying over those things. Hopefully soon your heart will quieted down and you will be able to hear the Lord speaking to you.
  2. After this, take 5-10 minutes to read and meditate on Psalm 118:22-23.
  3. After you do, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if Jesus is indeed the cornerstone of your life. Have you built your life around Him? Is there anywhere you have not build upon Jesus, but have asked Jesus to “fit in” to the life you’ve already constructed? What is the Spirit revealing to you here?
  4. Next, take some time to acknowledge any areas where you have built without Jesus. Confess that to Him. Repent of that before Him. Then ask Him to show you by His Spirit what it would look like practically for you to build your life around Him as the Cornerstone of your life.
  5. End your time by journaling some thoughts about this, and making a commitment to share what He is revealing to you with someone you trust.


Our digest section is all about helping you to memorize and meditate on God’s Word so you’ll be able to better digest it. Take some time to commit these short verses to memory this week:

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. – Psalm 118:22-23

My hope is that these simple exercises in The 60 will help what we discovered during this week be distilled, and deepened in your heart and life with Jesus.


For The Elders