Keepers of the Vineyard
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.
Parables usually were for those who could not see spiritual truth; a story understood on two levels. Who was Jesus speaking too? The Chief priests, elders, Scribes and Pharisees, all who were responsible to God to bring his truth to a lost world. The center of their activity was the Temple in Jerusalem. This is where they were speaking from.
God planted a vineyard, a place of fruit in Jerusalem. He placed a hedge around it. There was a wall around Jerusalem, but most importantly there was a spiritual hedge of protection supplied by God. Listen America, the protective hedge protects God's people. The wall is to protect those who serve him. If you wish to remove God from your public life, he will remove the hedge of protection. All manner of evil may come in, illegal aliens and terrorists, storms and earthquakes, disease and pestilence. These come to a nation that has lost it's protective hedge from God.
There was a place for the grapes to be placed, the winefat, grapes for pressing. There was to be fruit in the temple, spiritual fruit and converts; people pressing in to receive of God's word of truth. The Jews were not open to other people coming into their faith. The courtyards of the Gentiles were places of moneychangers and thievery.
He built a tower, a temple, a place where the watchman looked out, a place to see danger and warn the people and a place to hear from God. Who will be the lookout? Who will guard the vineyard? Who will warn the people? Usually God would send a prophet to give his message if he has not heard from the stewards. The vineyard, the temple was given to certain keepers to care for it for the ruler, who was in a far country; God was in heaven.
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.
The LORD's servant was his spokesman, a prophet, inquiring of the fruit harvest. He would speak to their hearts from the master and ask them to give an account of their labors; the fruit of the vineyard.
Mark 12:3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.
Instead of honoring him and showing hospitality, giving him the increase from the fruit, they treated him as an intruder. They caught him, beat him, and would not hear him sending him away without any gain from their harvest to show the Master.
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.
Mark 12:5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.
It appeared that instead of just stewards, that theives and murderers were in charge of the vineyard. They would not heed the prophets of God, but destroyed them.
Mat 23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
Mat 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Mat 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
Mat 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Mat 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
Next he would send his son, his very likeness. In whom he is well pleased, listen to him.