The Ministry to Seafarers (M2S)

Mark 12 Conversation

Thank you for joining us in listening to Mark 12! If you haven't listened to it yet, you can do so here. Access a written copy of Mark 12 in the NLT here.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this passage of scripture. Below are some questions that made us think. Feel free to answer one or all of them! You can also comment with any other questions or thoughts about the chapter.

Discussion Questions

1. Jesus told a parable (a story used to teach a spiritual lesson) about the owner of a vineyard who rented it out to some evil farmers. The owner sent servants to collect what the farmers owed him. The farmers beat some of the servants and killed others, including the owner's son.

Most people agree each "character" in the story represents the following:
  • Planter/Builder/Owner of the Vineyard = God
  • Vineyard = People of Israel
  • Farmers working in the vineyard = Religious leaders of the time
  • Servants sent by the owner to collect the money owed = Prophets sent by God
  • Owner's Son= Jesus
-Take a minute to read or listen to the story again (verses 1-12) with this in mind. What do you think was/is Jesus' main lesson in this parable?
2. Through this story, Jesus communicates that most of the religious leaders of the time were not following God or listening to His prophets. In fact, this parable itself is also part prophesy. The last servant the owner sends is his son. The son is put to death by the farmers just as Jesus will be put to death by the corrupt religious leaders. We also see that that the evil farmers will be put to death. Indeed, the religious leaders of the time will remain spiritually dead if they do not repent.

Later in the chapter (verses 38-40), Jesus clearly addressed the religious leaders' evil actions and hypocrisy. Jesus told the people to watch out for the religious leaders because they were honoring themselves, not God. He said they were even cheating widows out of their property while pretending to be holy. He repeats the truth communicated in the parable: They will be seriously punished.
- How do you see hypocrisy in the lives of Christians today? What does this scripture show you about what God thinks of their actions.?

- What does hypocrisy look like in your own life? Why is it tempting to be hypocritical?

- The owner of the vineyard sends multiple servants to the farmers and then his very own son. What does this show you about God's character?

-Tell about a time God gracious gave you a second (or third or fourth!) chance to do the right thing.
3. Some religious leaders asked Jesus about paying taxes to Caesar. He said, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God."
- What is the government like in your country? What do you believe "belongs" to your government?

-What do you believe belongs to God? What does it look like for us to give God what belongs to Him?

- In what situations do you think it is okay to no obey the law?
4. When some Sadducees (religious leaders who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead) questioned Jesus about marriage after the resurrection of the dead, Jesus made two points clear in His answer: 1) There will be no marriage 2) The dead WILL be resurrected. 
- Why do you think there won't be marriage after the resurrection of the dead? How does this passage influence the way you view marriage (if at all)?

- What is the purpose of marriage?

- Why do you believe or not believe in the resurrection of the dead?
5. A wise religious leader asked Jesus which of the commandments was/is most important. Jesus said,  “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” 
- How can you love God with all your heart today? Your soul? Your mind? Your strength? Pray and ask God to help you!

-How can you love your neighbor as yourself today?
6. Jesus sat at the temple and watched people give money. Many people gave large amounts. A widow dropped in two coins. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” 
- What do you learn from this scripture about how God views giving? How is it similar or different to the way you view your giving?

- Why do you think the widow gave all she had?

-What does it look like to trust God with our money?
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