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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Mark 12

 

 

Verses 1-12

The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers ( Matthew 21:23-46, Luke 20:9-19) - Mark 12:1-12 gives us the account of Jesus teaching the Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers to those who were in the Temple.

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.

Mark 12:1Comments - Mark 12:1 provides a description of the ideal farm. The grapevines have been planted. A hedge, perhaps of stone, has been built around the vineyard to protect it from unwanted wildlife The wine vat has been built to press the grapes into juice. The tower has been built for the watchman to look over the vineyard for unwanted intruders.

Mark 12:12Comments - The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers describes the Jews rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so God allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed by Titus in A.D 70. He sent the Gospel far to the Gentiles, who embraced the Messiah as God's Son and the Church grew and spread over the earth.


Verses 13-17

— The Pharisees and Herodians Tempt Jesus with a Question ( Matthew 22:15-22, Luke 20:20-26) - In Mark 12:13 we have the account of the Pharisees and Herodians tempting Jesus with a question about paying taxes.

Mark 12:14Comments - The Jews were hoping Jesus would give a simple answer of yes or no. If He agreed with paying taxes to Caesar, He would lose His popularity with the people, who were opposed to Roman taxation. If He spoke against taxation, the Jewish leaders could report Him to local authorities for inciting rebellion against Rome and imprison Him.

Mark 12:15Comments - The hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the Herodians can be seen in the fact that their question to Jesus Christ was sugar-coated with flattery, as they first complimented Jesus before asking Him a question that was intended on getting Him in trouble.


Verses 18-27

The Sadducees Tempt Jesus with a Question ( Matthew 22:23-33, Luke 20:27-40) - In Mark 12:18-27 we have the account of Jesus being tempted by the Sadducees with a question on the resurrection.

Mark 12:19Comments - The statute of the Mosaic Law requiring a man to take his brother's wife is found in Deuteronomy 25:5-6, "If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband"s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband"s brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel."

Mark 12:24Comments - "because ye know not the scriptures" - When Jesus told the Sadducees that they did not know the Scriptures, He was not saying that there are biblical Scriptures on marriage in Heaven. He was referring to the passages of Scripture on marriage as God originally intended it on this earth, which He discussed earlier in Mark 10:1-12. When a man and a woman join themselves together in marriage in this life, it becomes a sacred covenant that God will not allow to be broken, even in Heaven. In contrast, Jesus will explain that second marriages are not carried over into Heaven as are the first marriages. This is why Bathsheba is called the wife of Uriah in Matthew 1:6. This is also why a brother is required to raise offspring in the name of his brother under the Law, and not in his own name ( Deuteronomy 25:5-6). For those who remarry in this life, they are like the angels when they rise from the dead in that they are unmarried in Heaven ( Mark 12:25).

Matthew 1:6, "And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;"

Deuteronomy 25:5-6, "If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband"s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband"s brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel."

"neither the power of God" - When Jesus told the Sadducees that they did not know the power of God, He was referring to God's power to resurrect men from the dead.

Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

Mark 12:25 — "For when they shall rise from the dead" - Comments - Jesus now refers to the fate of the seven brothers and the one women.

"they neither marry" - Comments - This phrase refers to the seven brothers.

"nor are given in marriage" - Comments - This phrase refers to the one wife.

"but are as the angels which are in heaven" - Comments - When the seven brothers and one wife rise from the dead, who entered into second marriages, they will be like the angels in the aspect that they will be unmarried in Heaven.

Mark 12:26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

Mark 12:26Comments- Jesus said, "Have ye not read" as if it were apparent that there is a resurrection by reading this passage.

Mark 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.


Verses 28-34

The Scribes Tempt Jesus with a Question ( Matthew 22:34-40, Luke 10:25-28) - In Mark 12:28-34 we have the account of the scribes tempting Jesus with a question about which is the greatest commandment. The scribes ask Jesus which is the greatest commandment. He answers by referring to the Ten Commandments, which he grouped into two sections. The first four commandments refer to our relationship to God, while the last six refer to our relationships with men. Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy 6:4-5, which was a very famous passage of Scripture referred to by the Jews as "The Shema."

Deuteronomy 6:4-5, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

The Shema was a passage of Scripture that every scribe knew by heart. Jesus was summarizing the first four commandments when He told the scribe to love the Lord thy God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. The first commandment refers to serving the Lord with our heart. The second commandment refers to serving the Lord with all of our soul, where our emotions, feelings and will exist. The third commandment refers to serving the Lord with all of our mind, and deals with the words of our mouth. The fourth commandment refers to serving the Lord with all of our strength, or bodies. He then summarized the last six commandments when He said to love our neighbour as ourselves. Perhaps the difference between the soul and the mind would be that one emphasizes our thoughts and attitudes, while the other emphasizes our words that we speak. Thus, our soulish realm has a two-fold aspect of thoughts and confession.

Mark 12:30Comments- The Gospel of Mark describes a four-fold manner in which we are to love the Lord our God. Although man is a three-fold creature (spirit, soul, body), as is indicated in a number of Scriptures ( Deuteronomy 6:4-5, 1 Thessalonians 5:23), the soulish realm, or mind, is two-fold. The man's mind can think and it can speak. This four-fold description of man follows the first four commandments of the Decalogue ( Exodus 20:1-17). The first commandment to have no other gods before Him speaks to man's devotion from the heart. The second commandment tells us not to make a graven image of creation. This commandment addresses man's devotion with his thoughts and the images in his mind of what God looks like. The third commandment tells us not to take the Lord's name in vain. This commandment speaks to man's devotion with words that come from his mouth. The fourth commandment to keep the Sabbath speaks to man's devotion from his physical body. Thus, man can be accurately be described from a four-fold perspective, as Jesus does in Mark 12:30.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

1 Thessalonians 5:23, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."


Verses 35-40

Jesus Teaches the People in the Temple ( Matthew 22:41-46; Matthew 23:1-36, Luke 20:41-47) - In Mark 12:35-40 we have a record of Jesus teaching the people in the Temple and warning them about the hypocrisy of the scribes.

Mark 12:36Scripture Reference- Note:

2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"


Verses 41-44

Jesus Teaches on the Widow's Mites ( Luke 21:1-4) - In Mark 12:41-44 we have the account of Jesus teaching in the Temple about the widow's two mites, which she gave sacrificially.

Mark 12:41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

Mark 12:41Comments- Just as Jesus watched how people cast money in the treasury, we can also observe how people do things in the name of the Lord. The Holy Spirit can Scripturally give us insight into people's true motives. God searches man's heart.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Mark 12:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/mark-12.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, September 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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