Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.

Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.

These teaching notes are from a series of studies about the Gospel of Mark.

[These notes are from a study prepared 45 years ago.]

Personal Interpretation of Mark 12

The parable of chapter 12 is rather easy to understand. In fact, verse 12 tells us that the chief priests, scribes and elders knew He was talking about them in the parable.

“A certain man” in verse 1 is God the Father. The vineyard is the nation of Israel. The tenants were the religious leaders of the nation. The servants in verses 2-5 were the Old Testament prophets. The “well-beloved” son of verses 6-8 was Jesus Christ. The destruction of the tenants in verse 9 was speaking of Jerusalem’s defeat and fall to the Romans in 70 AD. The “others” of verse 9 were the Gentiles who possessed Israel until 1948. The “stone” and “head of the corner” in here 10 speaks of Christ. (1-12)

The Pharisees and Herodians buttered up Christ in their first statement, but in truth they hated Him. Christ could see right through their hypocrisy and answered their question from His superior wisdom. They thought that if Christ answered yes to their question the people would rise up against Him because they hated paying taxes to Rome. If Jesus answered no they could have had Him arrested for defiance of Roman law. But they weren’t ready for His answer. The denarius had a picture of Caesar on it and therefore belonged to Caesar. People have the stamp of God’s creation on them and therefore belong to God. Jesus was pointing to the necessity of giving one’s life to God. (13-17)

The Sadducees threw a trick question to Christ about the resurrection when they didn’t even believe in a resurrection. Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief and error in doctrine and then pointed to the truth of relationships after the resurrection. (18-27)

Christ gave the correct answers to the scribes’ question in verse 28. Then the scribe jumped at it to put down Christ’s claim to be God. (32-33)

Jesus then pointed out how close the scribe was to understanding God’s plan, but still missing it. (28-34)

Jesus then reaffirmed from the Psalms that He in truth was the Lord and Christ. The common people believed Him immediately. Then Jesus went on to warn the people of the fake teachings of the scribes and the true motives of their actions and piety. (35-40)

Then the Lord used the giving of tithes and offerings in the Temple to illustrate the correct and incorrect ways to give. (41-44)

Practical Usage of Mark 12

Professional application:

In presenting the truth of giving to a church board of trustees, I would use Mark 12:41-44 to demonstrate what pleases the Lord in the area of giving. Many times trustees are impressed with large gifts and donations and forget about the smaller gifts from God’s people. I would remind them to appreciate gifts based on heart motive and true sacrifice, rather than the amount. Many a church leader’s head is turned by deceiving gifts of wicked men.

Next Time

We will look at thoughts about Mark Chapters 11-13 in the next part of our special series.

[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from 45 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your ministry.]

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