The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Twelve: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/12?lang=eng
J J Tissot
The Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen: Read Mark 12: 1-12.
Heavenly Father had this beautiful world created for us. We are privileged to live, grow, and learn here; and to enjoy the beauties of the earth, the bounties of the soil, and the richness of the land. We are here to develop loving relationships with one another.
We are to be stewards in this beautiful vineyard where Father has given us a work to do, in enlarging our souls through learning of Him and serving others. Sometimes we forget the focus of our mission, concentrating more on the riches of the earth than the treasures of the kingdom.
Heavenly Father, from the beginning, sent angels to teach Adam and Eve the gospel of Jesus Christ; to both bless them in their stewardships as husband and wife, parents and teachers, and to point to them the way to travel in order to make it back home to Him.
As their family grew, some listened and became good stewards of the covenant and the vineyard; others scoffed and plotted how they could obtain all the riches for themselves in the here and now.
So Heavenly Father sent prophets to His children to remind them of their purpose and of His purposes; to teach them to believe on His Son and to repent; to teach them to live in love and harmony, and that one day they could all be made rich and posses all that He has.
But many were jealous of Him and His Son, and they were greedy for instantaneous wealth and power. They believed that they already had control of the vineyard, so they didn’t see why they should give an accounting to a humble messenger. Since, in their own eyes, they were in charge, they abused the power with which they were entrusted and exercised unrighteous dominion. Instead of understanding the rewards that are offered to good, faithful, and valiant servants, they believed than any submissiveness on their part would be a relinquishment of their power. So they beat and wounded, stoned, and killed the prophets.
On another level, the elders, scribes and Pharisees were the husbandmen. They had been entrusted as the keepers of the Law and the teachers of the people. But they had broken the covenant and were leading the people astray. They were in a severe state of apostasy.
They had studied the prophecies and new that the Messiah would come to bring redemption to the world; but when He came, they would not be redeemed, and they hindered others as well. And for jealousy, they killed the Son of God (See Matt 27:18).
‘Having yet therefore one son, his well beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying,
“They will reverence my son.”
‘But those husbandmen said among themselves,
“This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.”
‘And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard’ (vs. 6-8).
Heavenly Father still loved all of His children so He sent His Son; not in judgment, but to rectify the many wrongs committed.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16,17).
“What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
“And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”
‘And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way’ (vs. 9-12).
First the gospel was delivered to Israel and the Jews, but when Jesus was rejected by them, it was then taken to the Gentiles.
Pharisee Trap Fails: Read Mark 12:13-17:
‘And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. And when they were come, they say unto him,
“Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Cæsar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give?”
‘But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them,
“Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.”
‘And they brought it. And he saith unto them,
“Whose is this image and superscription?”
‘And they said unto him,
‘And Jesus answering said unto them,
“Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
‘And they marvelled at him’ (vs. 13-17).
They wanted to catch Him in a trap. He indeed was true; but, they were not.
Sadducee Trap Fails: Read Mark 12:18-27:
‘Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,
“Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.”
‘And Jesus answering said unto them,
“Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God” (vs. 18-24)?
They didn’t understand “the scriptures, neither the power of God.” God who has all power can bind those things in heaven which were first bound on earth. And those things which were not bound through God’s power, or the power of His priesthood, will be loosed in heaven. And certainly, God who created man and gave us life in the first place, has the power to raise us once again to life everlasting in the resurrection.
‘”For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
“And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err” (vs. 25-27).
The First Commandment and the Second: Read Mark 12:28-34:
‘And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him,
“Which is the first commandment of all?”
‘And Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is,
“Hear, O Israel;
“The Lord our God is one Lord:
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (vs. 28-30).
“Here, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” Jesus and His Father are One in purpose and glory. If we say we love One of Them, we must love the other. If we reject the Son, we also reject the Father who sent Him.
‘And the second is like, namely this,
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
‘And the scribe said unto him,
“Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
‘And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him,
“Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.”
‘And no man after that durst ask him any question (vs. 31-34).
It must have been refreshing to see that there were a few who were still pure in heart.
Jesus Further Declares that He is the Lord. I Am was before David: Read Mark 12: 35-37:
‘And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple,
“How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son?”
‘And the common people heard him gladly.’
Watch Out for Pretense: Read Mark 12:38-40:
‘And he said unto them in his doctrine,
“Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.”
Widow’s Mite: Read Mark 12:41-44:
‘And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
‘And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them,
“Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”