June 20, 2009

The Landlord

Mark 12:1-12

“They will respect my son.”
Mark 12:6


We can’t help wondering about the landlord in this story. What landlord in his right mind would act this way? His tenants hadn’t simply fallen behind in paying their rent. They had beaten up the landlord’s servants, one after another, when they had come to collect payments. Why did the landlord let the tenants get away with that? Was he timid, or weak? Was he unbelievably foolish?

When the landlord finally sent his own son to collect what was due him, the tenants made things even worse by killing the son.

As we think about this story, we need to bear in mind that it’s a parable. Jesus’ parables are attention-grabbing, often surprising stories about the kingdom of God. This particular parable is about God and his mercy, patience, and justice toward sinful human beings.

Look back at the Old Testament and consider the history of God’s people. They often fell into periods of rebellion and evil against God. God sent prophets to call them to repent and honor him, but the people often mistreated and even killed those prophets. Finally, God sent his Son, Jesus, and they rejected and killed him too.

God is patient and merciful—and also just. The message is clear: Now is the time to turn back to God! Repent and receive Jesus before God’s judgment falls.

Thank you, Father, for your mercy and grace, and for sending us your Son. Keep us from ignoring your patience, and move us to turn back to you today. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

About the author — R. Scott Greenway

R. Scott Greenway was born in Mexico City in 1964, the fourth child of missionary parents. He graduated from Calvin College in 1986, Calvin Theological Seminary in 1991, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2002. He and his wife, Kelly, have four children. He pastored the Irving Park Christian Reformed Church in Midland Park, New Jersey, and currently serves as pastor of Caledonia Christian Reformed Church in Michigan. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!