Commentary of Parts of Mark 12

from Doug Perry - - (Click here for printable PDF file)

What I do is look at Scripture and ask the Lord to show me some application (or “spiral”) of it that I have never seen before. Sometimes He shows me things that maybe nobody else has seen before. He has been POUNDING on me with Mark 12 over and over for weeks. I doubt that I've sucked all the application out, but finally I'm getting a release to write about it. I hope it blesses you. Don't take my word for anything, ask the Lord to confirm it or explain it to you.

Over the course of several weeks, the Lord showed me multiple applications for this first parable about the Tenants of the Vineyard. They have application to the individual, to the Church, to America, to Israel and to the whole world (and others that aren't within my scope at this time).

What you need to understand is God's Law of Multiple Applications – which is what I mean when I talk about “spirals”. History repeats itself, but it isn't circular, it's spiral. There are always more of us making the same mistakes than last time.  When things come back around again to where we started, you can figure He's going to react pretty much like He did last time (although He's very creative so it may manifest differently).

He recycles everything in His Word. Since He doesn't change, when circumstances start to line up with something that He has reacted to before, you can be sure He is going to react again in a similar manner. If you do certain things that irritate Him, He will respond a certain way. The more of it you do, the more of it He will do. If you obey Him, He will bless you. If you obey a lot, He will bless you a lot.
Commentary on Parts of Mark 12
Mark 12:1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

The Lord showed me multiple applications to this:

For the Individual, when He purchases a person by the Blood of Jesus and they become His because of the seed He planted that has begun to grow and because He has redeemed the Land. He knows it to be fertile and valuable because things start to sprout and He has an assurance that it's worth protecting so He puts a hedge of protection around them, that is He places a guard all around them that can keep the enemies out. He digs a place for a winevat, which is like a cistern to catch the pressings of the oil and the grapes. He showed me that this is the “cup” that He gives us into which He pours His Spirit (Read “Fill My Cup, Lord” article on the website).  He builds a watchtower that keeps a lookout for enemies infiltrating the wall, but also for changing weather conditions and even the approach of the Master. This is the Holy Spirit in us that stands on the wall and by conviction or revelation from the still, small voice inside makes us aware of the presence of dangers and of movement in the spirit. At that point, everything is in place and operating efficiently. Then He turns it over to husbandmen, that is, caretakers, renters, servants. It's still HIS vineyard, He bought it and built it, but He allows them free will to see how they will manage it. If they need help, they can call, but He's going to give them their head for awhile and see what happens.

For the Church, the Master planted a vineyard by taking cuttings from the True Vine and established them in fertile soil. Those who plant are the Evangelists. Then He set a hedge of protection around the Church through the Prophets and Apostles. These are the trusted servants of God that will stand on the wall, that can call down angelic help, that can speak forth the words that will protect against enemies –  internal or external.  He dug them a winevat to catch the pressings of the vineyard, this is the reservoir of the fruit when it is all mashed together. Individual grapes come and are stomped on and squished and lose all their individuality by becoming part of a greater whole. No individual grape alone could produce a bottle of wine. They have to be melded and blended and fermented together before something greater than themselves can result. The Church is the winevat that catches the result of the pressing on each individual. If you refuse to be pressed, then you can't make juice and you can't be wine together.  Then the Master establishes a watchtower from which the Prophets and Apostles can call out the news of the times and seasons and the dangers, or the coming of the Master. Then He turns it over the husbandmen to manage it. These are the Pastors and Teachers, the elders and deacons of the local church who are responsible for the management and operation and to see to it that the vines are tended, defended, harvested and properly and sufficiently squished.  The size of the harvest and the return on investment is dependent on the husbandmen.

For America, the Master planted a vineyard in fertile soil when He established this as a Christian nation. He put a hedge around it and protected it repeatedly from outside enemies. He made it a “melting pot” to collect the varied fruit of all the different kinds of grapes He planted in it. He set the Church as a watchtower over it. Then He let the husbandmen take responsibility for it and left them alone to see how they would do.

For Israel, the Master restored them to their original vineyard, set a hedge of protection around them (the Archangel Michael) that has kept them from being defeated over and over by external forces. He dug a winevat to catch the fruit of all the amazing variety of grapes He planted there. He set a watchtower to guard them – the true Church. Then He turned it over the husbandmen to produce good fruit and manage and protect.

For the World, the Master created fertile ground then planted His True Vine by sending Jesus. He set the Holy Spirit as a restrainer and a hedge about the whole of the planet to protect it from the forces of the King of the Air that want to corrupt and destroy all the creation of God. He dug a winevat, a giant cup to collect all the fruit of the Bride for the wedding feast of the Lamb. He set a watchtower over it through His Prophets and Apostles and the righteous remnant that calls out the dangers of the times and the movements of the Master. Then He turned it over to us to manage.

Mark 12:2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.

At some point, God wants to see what return He has received on His investment. He comes back(just as in all the Parables in Matthew 25) to see how well they have done with what was entrusted to them.  For the Individual, the Church, America, Israel and the World, this should be a sober warning that there will be an accounting to see how much we have produced for Him. .

Mark 12:3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. 

The Master has been sending people repeatedly to call people to account and to show the balance sheet and to produce forth the Master's share of the harvest. Individually we do this when the Holy Spirit speaks convicts us of some enemy inside the hedge and we ignore Him and refuse to repent of letting it in. The Church beats and casts out the prophets and apostles that are sent to speak a word of correction. Many of the pastors and teachers deny that there even IS such a thing as prophets and apostles anymore! America and the Church and Israel refuse to listen to the voices crying out that the Lord expects His share of the harvest.  They refuse to release that which was entrusted to them, or even the just, agreed upon rent due to the Master. The World does not acknowledge who the true owner of the vineyard is, and insists on going its own way.  Mark 12:4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. Those that He sends are the Prophets and Apostles, or sometimes He Himself comes in the form of the poor, hungry, lost or naked and is turned away (Matt. 25:40).  If you have missed an opportunity to feed, clothe, care for one of the least of the brethren, that was probably Jesus you wounded and shamefully handled.

Mark 12:5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. How many have we killed? How many times have I individually grieved the Holy Spirit by refusing to listen to the conviction in my own heart or the insistence to walk in the calling He has for me? How many lives depended on me that are now lost to the Master because I beat and killed those messengers that were sent to me? How many times has the Church, America, Israel or the World beaten and killed those messengers speaking forth the Truth of the Master – that the vineyard is His and all the fruit thereof? Mark 12:6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. Personally, I didn't turn until I had a close encounter with the Son Himself. But many don't turn. I believe that this parable is saying that God has sent servant after servant, but they have ignored them all, so He's going to send the Son. Not just that He already did. I'm looking forward. The Son is the vine that was planted, but the Son is also the one that is going to come again. To the Church, to America, to Israel and to the World, at different times and in different ways, the Master is going to send the Son in a clear, unmistakable way and see what they do.Mark 12:7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.' They schemed, they conspired, they ganged up together and collectively killed the Son. So that they could keep the vineyard that wasn't their's to begin with. They are only caretakers, but they believe that they can be the heir by killing the Heir. They are mistaken. When the Master sends the Son to you personally and individually, if you reject Him and insist that it's YOUR vineyard, things are going to go very badly for you. There are those in the Church who will conspire together to deny that they are husbandmen and insist that they are heirs. They will join forces and kill the Son when He is sent to them to demand the just, agreed upon fruit due to the Master and Owner of the Vineyard. There are those in America and Israel and the World that are already anticipating this and already galvanizing to respond with violence to the appearance of the Son and the army of which He is the Head. Mark 12:8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. In the face of one who speaks clearly on behalf of the Master and carries all of His authority, they will commit this final act of outrage because of their rebellion and pride and greed. They set themselves in the place of the Master and become a law unto themselves. They have no fear of the Master and they believe that the hedge around them was built by their own hands. They are wrong. Mark 12:9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. For the Individual, the Master will come and strip the husbandmen of all that they have and give the land to another. I believe that for the individual, all the Master has to do is take down the hedge of protection for a moment and let whatever come in and kill, steal and destroy those husbandmen. It's His hedge, He built it and He can drop it – then they get turned over to a different kind of ruler that will torture them endlessly. That vineyard, that piece of dirt from which they were made, will be taken away and they will be cast out of it into outer darkness.

If you want to break it down a different way, when that within you that rebels against God and believes it is in charge is killed and fully  purged out THEN that little righteous remnant within you that obeys and produces good fruit will be GIVEN the land. THEN you become a joint heir and inherit the rights of Sonship.For the Church, those husbandmen that have rejected and killed the Master's messengers and even rejected his own Son will be destroyed and the vineyard given to others who have proven their loyalty – probably the messengers that were beaten, but survived. A reward for what they suffered and a just vengeance on the wicked husbandmen.  It doesn't say the vineyard will be rented to them as it was to the first husbandmen, it will be GIVEN to them. A free gift, not rented out. He repeats this also in the Matthew version of this parable (Matt. 2:33-46) where the people hearing it expect that the Master will rent it out to different people, but Jesus says, “No, He will GIVE it to a people who WILL produce its fruit.”  THESE will be the ones who become joint heirs with the Son and sit with Him on His throne!For America, Israel and the World, those who reject and kill the Son when He is sent to them (in whatever form) will be punished severely and all that they have will be taken away and given to those that have been loyal to the Master. This is the message of the Book of Revelation. The Master will send an army that looks just like Jesus to bring in the final harvest and many will persecute and kill them. The enemy that has infiltrated the vineyard and taken control of their minds will whisper to them that the will be like the Master if they kill the Heir. The consequences Biblically are that two-thirds of the world dies and the Master dramatically purges the vineyard and gives it over to those who can be trusted. The consequences to America vary depending on whether you believe her to be the Babylon in Revelation 18 (in which case it's total destruction). The consequences to Israel are described prophetically through the Scriptures and they are pretty scary. Many will be cast into outer darkness for their prideful, stubborn refusal to see that they were not owners of the land, but renters only.  And yet a righteous remnant will remain. The vineyard will be GIVEN to those who can be trusted to produce fruit.Mark 12:10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: 11 This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Our nature wants to go our own way, but the stumbling stone is the Son. All those throw themselves ON that Rock will be broken into pieces – the obedient pieces and the rebellious pieces will separate and God can eliminate the chaff, the dross, the tares, the rebellious husbandmen. Those UPON WHOM that Rock falls will be crushed to powder, back to the dirt from which they were made. (Matt. 21:44)He doesn't do things the way we do. He uses the foolish things to confound the wise. He uses the base things to shame the precious. He crushes the proud and exalts the humble.

Following this (v. 12-27) is the discussion of paying taxes to Caesar and the issue of marriage at the Resurrection which I'm not going to comment on at the  moment. (Except to say that the Lord showed me that one application of the latter passage is that the seven churches in Revelation are all the bride and yet none the bride. The seven ages of the Church are all the bride and yet none the bride. I know. Chew on that for awhile.)

The remaining three parables illustrate the kind of servant that is going to be given the vineyard when the Master destroys the wicked renters. These can be used to diagnose who is and who isn't going to be left standing the the Master of the Vineyard returns.

Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 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. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:38 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, 39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: 40 Which devour widows' houses, and for a presence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

Mark 12:41 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. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 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: 44 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.

If that doesn't put a little fear of the Lord in you, you might want to pray for Him to teach you some more. He is clear that those who are meek and humble and obedient and sacrificial, even unto the last that they have, are those who He loves. Jesus doesn't preach the tithe, He preaches ALL – all the time of all that you have in every possible area, body, soul and spirit. That's setting the bar pretty high up there. That's why we're to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.


Use freely, but without changes or removing links. -

Previous page: Bible Studies  Next page: City Church