Devotion for Tuesday after Lent 1

a young father with a small daughter reading the Bible

And He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and put a wall around it, and dug a vat under the wine press and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others. He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those vine-growers said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others.
Have you not even read this Scripture:
‘The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone;
This came about from the Lord,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
And they were seeking to seize Him, and yet they feared the people, for they understood that He spoke the parable against them. And so they left Him and went away. ~ Mark 12:1-12

As the vineyard sent servants and his son to collect payment from his tenant vinedressers, God sent His prophets over and over and over again to warn His people to give up iniquity and turn to him and to announce the coming of the Messiah. Few listened, and many treated the prophets shamefully. Finally, God His only Son—and God’s chosen people killed him in the most horrific way. We look back at the Israelites and wonder how they could have ignored God’s Word spoken through His prophets and through His Son. How could people have killed the Son of God? But we are in no position to point fingers and condemn the Jewish leaders who had him arrested and condemned or the Roman soldiers who put Him to death. Even with the benefit of Jesus’ sacrifice and Resurrection, we neglect God’s Word. We go our own ways, “do our own thing,” try to run our lives without the Lord.

Holy, Everlasting God, I come to You in sorrow at how often I have tried to live my life the way I want rather than the way You want. Make the desires of my heart, Lord, the same as the desires of Your heart, and give me the desires of my heart. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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