“But those vinedressers said among themselves, ‘this is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ ” Mark 12:7
Our focus text is not the first passage in which Jesus prophecies his death. Three times he’s already warned his disciples of his coming passion but this time is different in that the revelation is made not to his followers but to his enemies.
And the Jewish leaders clearly understand Jesus’ meaning and their response is to renew their efforts as they plan to take the life of Jesus.
This prophecy doesn’t merely reveal the homicidal intentions of the rabbis it also reveals their motivations.
“Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” These words spoken by the villainous vinedressers in the parable tell us that mere monetary gain is not the aim of the leadership. They want the inheritance of the Son of God.
The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah ascribe a similar motivation to Lucifer when he waged his war against Son of God in heaven. The Genesis account of the fall of Adam and Eve records that Eve was deceived into adopting similar motivations for her disobedience, for her desire was to become like God.
Here in is the ultimate goal of every person that chooses a life of sin over submission to the claims of our Savior. We may deceive ourselves, as many do in this present age, that we’re just doing what we want to do and we don’t want to take anything from anyone else. Live and let live. But this is a lie. It may only be a lie you’re repeating. It may be a lie you sincerely believe. But it is still a lie. Sin is warfare against everything God is. It’s dark; he’s light. It’s life; he’s death. It’s slavery; he’s freedom.
In telling the parable Jesus warns his enemies, one more time, away from the path of destruction they’re following. Jesus would warn us all away from destruction. His desire is that we would live and not die.