Read Mark 12:1-44
Handing the keys to my rookie renter, he said, “It must be hard to entrust your property to someone else.”
This kid gave his landlord worries and hope. Maybe he would appreciate and care for this cute little house after all?
It’s hard to sum up a whole chapter of the Bible into one theme, but could we try?
Would anyone argue that the theme ‘It all belongs to God’ winds through these stories like a vein of pure gold? Anyone else feeling the need to admit that in Him we live, and move, and have our being? Anyone being reminded that God is the Master of the universe? He is the Creator. The One who plans, plants, protects, and pours out His strength and energy, all resulting in the perfect vineyard, start to finish? He is the only One with every ounce of ‘skin’ in the game. We are merely borrowers. Recipient’s. Stewards of His grace.
But we act like owner’s, don’t we? At least until something needs fixed. Or someone needs paid. Or someone won’t listen to us. Or a thief robs us. Then we run to Him for help.
But when there’s plenty of ‘wine’ we get a little full of ourselves. We think we hold all the cards. We think we’re the ones making it all happen.
Jesus is inviting us to remember our poverty. To remember where we come from. To remember our Creator – our source for everything. He wants us to submit to earthly authority. He wants us to cling more to the life to come than to the temporary. To look forward to an intimacy with Him that far surpasses any human relationship we’ve ever known. He invites us to fall onto His mercy and grace and respond obediently with a love that consumes our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. And to take care of our neighbors like we take care of ourselves.
He is God’s messenger. Will we listen? Will we acknowledge him and surrender all?
“…but in these last days he (God) has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word…” – Hebrews 1:2-3
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” – John 3:36
Our Savior is not fooled by an outward appearance of submission and reverence.
He knows our hearts.
I love how Mark 12:43-44 is worded in the Message:
“The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all of others put together. All others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford – she gave her all.”
And God gave her a ‘vineyard.’
What are you gripping today that the Spirit is directing you to release? Maybe it’s time to trust Him with the cost and look ahead to your reward!