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19: Confronting the Opposition (1) (Mk 11:27-12:27)
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I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Jesus was stirring up much attention from the rulers. One after another, every faction that opposed Jesus came to attack Him with difficult questions. In response, Jesus amazed them all with His wise answers.

B.     Key Verse

            “Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (12:10-11).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.      Elders (11:27): Non-clergy members of the Sanhedrin (Jewish high court).

2.      Vineyard (12:1): A vineyard’s preparation was the most costly and troublesome of all the agricultural operations in Palestine.

3.      Wine vat/winepress (12:1): The Greek word refers to a winepress’s receiving vat, which was used to hold the rapidly fermenting juice. After about a week, the wine was transferred to wineskins for storage (cf. Lesson 5, Did You Know 4).

4.      Tower (12:1): Used for shelter, storage, and security.

5.      Wealthy landowners leased their large estates to vinedressers (tenant farmers). The tenants were allowed to cultivate the land and to care for the vineyards. In return, at harvest time, they paid a portion of the crop as rent.

6.      According to Jewish law, a piece of property unclaimed by an heir was declared ownerless and could be claimed by anyone.

7.      Chief cornerstone/capstone (12:10): The most important stone of a building. It held together the corner of two adjoining walls, which might otherwise fall apart.

8.      Herodians (12:13): See Lesson 5, Did You Know 8 and Lesson 10, Did You Know 8-10 for a description of the Herodians and the behaviors they condoned.

9.      Caesar (12:14): A title of Roman emperors, analogous to Pharaoh in Egypt.

10.  Taxes (12:14): Jews in Judea were required to pay tribute money to the emperor. The tax was highly unpopular; some refused to pay it.The Pharisees (cf. Lesson 4, Did You Know 5) privately objected to the tax for religious reasons, while the Herodians favored the tax for political reasons.3/161

11.      Denarius (12:15): A Roman silver coin worth a laborer’s daily wage.It was used for paying tax to Caesar.7/1471 The coin probably had an image of Tiberius Caesar. Its inscription described the emperor as divine, which to the Jews was a repulsive claim.

12.  Sadducees (12:18): A Jewish political party composed of mostly priests and the upper class. Though smaller and less popular than the Pharisees, they occupied influential positions on the Sanhedrin and generally cooperated with the Roman authorities. Because they accepted the authority of only the five books of Moses, they rejected the Pharisees’ oral traditions (cf. Lesson 4, Did You Know 5) as well as the doctrines of the resurrection, future judgment, and angels and spirits.

II.    Observation

A.     Outline












B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. General Analysis

1a. List the parties who came to question Jesus.

1b. Considering the conflicting beliefs among these parties, what does their alliance tell you about the enemies of the gospel?

1c. Contrast the alliance of the chief priests, scribes, etc. to the unity of the twelve disciples. What does this tell you about standing up for the gospel?

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     11:27-33

1. How was the question on Jesus’ authority a trap?

2. Why did Jesus ask about John’s baptism? What does His response (11:33) tell you about His wisdom?

3. What does the discussion among the chief priests, scribes, and elders (11:31-32) tell you about their values? What does their answer tell you about their wisdom, or lack thereof?

4. Why did Jesus refuse to answer their question?

5. When someone questions the church’s authority and doctrines, how should you answer?

B.     12:1-12

6. List the landowner’s actions. What do they tell you about the vineyard’s importance?

7. List the tenants’ actions. What do they tell you about the tenants’ intentions?

8. Why did the tenants kill the son? (cf. Did You Know 6).

9. What does each of the following represent?

9a. Vineyard (Isa 3:14; 27:2)

9b. Landowner (Mt 20:1; 25:14)

9c. Tenants (Mk 10:12)

9d. Servants sent to collect (Acts 7:51-52)

9e. Landowner’s son (Acts 7:52)

9f. Others who are given the vineyard (Acts 13:46; Rom 11:11)

10. Read 12:10-11. How is Jesus like the stone? How has the Lord done this? How is it marvelous in our eyes? (cf. Zech 10:4; Acts 4:11-12; 1Pet 2:4-8).

C.     12:13-17

11a. Why did the Pharisees and Herodians praise Jesus?

11b. What is the biblical attitude toward praises?

12. How was the question on paying taxes to Caesar a trap? (cf. Did You Know 9).

13. What does Jesus’ reply (12:17) tell you about His wisdom?

14. What is the biblical teaching on paying taxes?

D.     12:18-27

15. How was the question on resurrection a trap?

16. How were the Sadducees “greatly mistaken” (12:24, 27)?

17. How is Exodus 3:6 (quoted in 12:26) a proof of resurrection?

18. What does Jesus’ reply (12:24) tell you about His wisdom?

19. List examples of puzzles intended to disprove our faith. What is the biblical view to these?

20. When someone presents a puzzle to question your faith, how should you answer?

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