Sunday, June 28, 2015

ARE We CRUSADING for HIM or CRUCIFYING HIM ANEW?: SCS No. 52



Sunday, June 28, 2015, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 52


PRAYER for Today:
Father, we know You are able to heal the sick and to heal the hearts of a broken nation.  All we ask is that Your will be done and whatever that is to give us the strength and wisdom to live Your will till Your Son comes back.  It is in His name we pray. Amen.


SCRIPTURE for Today: Mark 12:1-12  New International Version (NIV)


12 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
6 “He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
7 “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
9 “What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone;
11 the Lord has done this,
   and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.


SERMON for Today:


There have been and still are tenant farmers.  Books have been written about them.  John Steinbeck may be one of the most famous authors writing about the lives of tenant farmers, but one must remember it is not just fiction or parables. Real people have lived and still do live the lives brought alive in these books, stories, poems and parables.  


However, this parable is not about tenant farmers even though that is the title most modern translations give this parable.  They call it the Parable of the Tenants.   It should be called the Parable of the Plot.


If you look at verse 12, you see that the chief priests and elders knew that Jesus was talking about them.  They wanted to kill him on the spot.  Only his popularity with the people prevented them from doing so.


The idea of being a Christian or a Jesus person is more popular today than living what he taught.  The families in Charleston brought forgiveness to the attention of the world by following the example of Jesus when he said “34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 KJV)  I do not find it as easy as it seemed Jesus did or the families in Charleston.


Hebrews 6:6 New International Version (NIV)
6" and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."


This verse in Hebrews reminds us not to get too smug.  We may be crucifying Jesus all over again by the way we live our lives.  We may think we are better than the ones who plotted against him in the parable and who eventually got him put to death, but Hebrews 6:6 should make us all think. Are we crusading for Him or crucifying Him anew?


© Ed Cooper, June 28, 2015, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
  All rights reserved


(Ed Cooper is an ordained Elder and minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ which are a part of the Restoration Movement started in Appalachia in the early 1800’s.  Ed started preaching as a teenager in the village churches around Mashoko Mission, Zimbabwe, Africa when he was there with his parents in the early 1960’s.)

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