Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "Killing the Owner's Son"


Mark chapter 11 concluded with an interaction between Jesus and the religious leaders on the topic of authority. Chapter 12 begins during the same interaction, but now Jesus moves from a discussion on authority to the telling of a confrontational parable. From the very moment that he enters Jerusalem, Jesus’ approach toward opposition changes. He is now on the offensive, decisively moving forward God’s eternal plan for salvation. With one short story, Jesus propels the drama forward and takes a definitive step towards the cross.

1. The parable characters

  • The Owner—God the Father
  • The Owner—God the Father
  • The Tenants—Religious Leaders
  • The Vineyard—Israel
  • The Servants—Prophets
  • The Son—Jesus

2. The Uncommon Actions

  • The Owner takes great care with the Vineyard
  • The Owner shows unusual forbearance with the Tenants
  • The Owner only has one beloved Son, the dearly loved One.

3. The Owner’s Response

  • What will the Owner do in response to the murder of His only Son? He will execute justice on the Tenants and give the vineyard to others (the disciples)

The religious leaders perceived that Jesus was talking about them. They recognized themselves in the parable. In a simple parable, Jesus not only revealed the truth to them, but also provoked the climax of the story, for this story was all planned and orchestrated by God the Father. The schemes of the religious leaders would not, could not, succeed. Yet even with the truth revealed to them, the religious leaders were even more determined to kill Jesus. In an instant, Jesus moved one step closer to the cross—and He knew it.

How does this apply to our lives?

  • Non-Christian: This is a gracious reminder of God’s love for sinners and His holy and righteous wrath toward sin. The Owner sent his one and only beloved Son to die for our sins! Recognize God’s love. Recognize God’s patience. Recognize God’s mercy. Holy and righteous wrath is coming. Cry out and receive His saving mercy.
  • Christians: See the love of the Father and the sacrifice of the Son, for you. This is a personal, particular love for you. Jesus told this parable in order to provoke His own death, for you. Wonder and worship at the plan and purpose of God! Be convinced, be completely assured of His love!


Discussion Questions:

  1. How does this parable convince you of the Father’s love for you?
  2. “What farmer in his right mind would surrender his son to such tenants? It is a question worth asking, for it suggests the indefatigable love of God.” James Edwards
  3. How does this parable convince you of Jesus love for you?
  4. In what ways are we vulnerable to look within for a reason for God to love us?
  5. How does this parable direct our attention outside ourselves to God’s uncaused love for those who are unlovely?