Can You Take a Hint?
". . . they perceived that He spoke the parable against them. . . ." Mark 12:12
Jesus never stopped trying to lead His adversaries to accept the truth. He dialogued, witnessed, scolded and invited them to accept Him, His message and His saving work. Here Jesus tells the leaders they have failed in their stewardship, they had betrayed their trust. Jesus alluded to a passage they knew well ". . . the vineyard . . . is the house of Israel . . . He looked for justice, but behold, oppression . . ." Isaiah 5:7
Jesus’ words are for us as well. In our affluence, we tend to reject our status as trustees of God’s blessing and think of ourselves as outright owners. His stuff becomes "my stuff." Such distortion can push God into a darkened background. The warning links to the deceitfulness of riches and the decay of responsibility. The only way to recover from the amnesia caused by affluence is to be awakened to remembrance, that all things come from the Lord.
The picture of a rejected trust should remind us of our responsibility in every area of life. We are trustees of the land, we are trustees of power, we are trustees of blessings, we did not create or earn. We are trustees of family. We will pass that spirit along to the next generation. Jesus points out that we, like the religious leaders, think in terms of "our" stuff and have lost touch with the source of all things.
The scribes and elders knew they had been hit by the words of Jesus. They had been struck like an arrow hitting the chest. But we should give them credit for at least recognizing Jesus’ marksmanship. They could take a hint. We should give them that much credit. Especially, given our own amazing skill for dodging the truth. It’s a skill that might rank as one of the wonders of the world. The talent we show for deflecting messages that literally shout directly at us.
Our attention should be given to some soul-searching. Are you stewarding your stuff? Are there any areas where you are acting like an owner rather than a trustee?