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Playing Hard To Get

In Mark 12, a man built a vineyard and leased it to several tenants while he was gone. The tenants’ disregard for their owner’s authority perfectly illustrated the arrogance of religious leaders in Jesus’s day. But this story also points to a pitfall every Christians must be wary of.

Jesus trusts us with His salvation message the same way the man trusted the tenants with his vineyard. While the servants were responsible for planting seeds and tending vines, we’re responsible for spreading the gospel. As we live like Jesus and tell others about Him, our vineyard—the church—becomes fruitful as well. Instead of growing grapes or some other fruit, we get to see the growth of a generation Christ followers.

In the church, there’s often a desire to remain clandestine, to shirk evangelism and shame those who do not know Jesus. In the parable, the man sends many servants to obtain his share of fruit. The men are disrespected, beaten and in some instances killed. The tenants’ greed was overwhelming. They mistreated the servants out of fear of losing a crop that didn’t belong to them. Despite the way the tenants mistreated the servants, the man finally sent one last person, his beloved son. The tenants thought if they killed the son, the vineyard would be theirs. However, the man destroyed the tenants and gave the vineyard to others. As Proverbs 10:24 says, “What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.” 

Sometimes Christians can become so caught up in preserving things as they are that they, too, will reject the son. How often are we like the tenants, ignoring or disrespecting God, even though He who owns everything? Thankfully, God is persistent in His pursuing us and, like the man in the parable, He sends countless opportunities of grace into our lives. God, too, went as far as to send His Son. Jesus came to Earth and died for our sins so that we could experience eternal life. 

Examine your life today. Where is God sending a message that is being ignored? Where can you seize the opportunity to bear fruit and, as result, bring Him glory?

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