The parable of the Wicked Tenants (Mark 12:1-12) is a masterful weaving together of Old Testament passages.
Jesus directs this message towards the religious leaders - the priests and the teachers of the law.
With Psalm 2 as a backdrop, Jesus integrates Isaiah 5 and Psalm 118 in a way that conveys two things:
1. Jesus' identity as the Messiah (the Christ).
2. the actions of the religious leaders in opposing him.
By the reaction of the religious leaders, they knew the parable concerned them.
The confrontation in Mark 12 takes place here at the temple mount in Jerusalem.
A Faith Lesson from this parable is that religious leaders everywhere should be wary of themselves turning into the "tenant farmers" and restricting the fruit of the kingdom through their own actions.
Let us all - especially those in leadership - take this message to heart.
Parable of the Wicked Tenants Lesson Plan
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The first book is by Kenneth E. Bailey. If you want to understand more about Jesus and the Eastern Culture as well as a number of his parables, this book is a must-read.
Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels
The second book is by Brad Young and explores many of Jesus' parables through a Rabbinic perspective: The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation
See also: Jesus the Jewish Theologian by Brad Young
The final book is best if you're further down the road in your studies. The book is a compilation of Rabbinic Parables, but the authors do not spend time going through Jesus' parables.
They Also Taught in Parables: Rabbinic Parables from the First Centuries of the Christian Era by McArthur and Johnston.
Scott Broberg - I have a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Bethel Seminary - San Diego - Biblical Studies with and emphasis on the Old Testament.
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