What does Mark 12:3 mean?
ESV: And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
NIV: But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
NASB: And they took him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed.
CSB: But they took him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed.
NLT: But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed.
KJV: And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.
Verse Commentary:
In the parable of the tenants, the landowner sends his servants to the vineyard to gather the fruit the tenants owe him. In Jewish history, God sent prophets to the people to gather what the Jews owed God. In return for the blessings God gave the Israelites, He expected worship, sacrifice, obedience, and devotion.

The Jews' treatment of the prophets showed directly how the people felt about God. The prophets came in God's name, with His commission and His authority. In response, the prophets were beaten (Jeremiah 20:2–4), thrown into a cistern (Jeremiah 38), and killed (1 Kings 18:4; 2 Chronicles 24:20–22; Jeremiah 26:20–23; Hebrews 11:32–38). The last Old Testament-style prophet is John the Baptist. After a hostile relationship with the Jewish leaders and a public fight with the Tetrarch, John was killed for doing his job: telling the truth and calling people to do what they know is right (Mark 6:14–29).

The prophets' job was merely to call the people to give God His due. This parallels how the messenger of this parable has come to gather some of the fruit of the vineyard for the owner. A vineyard takes four years to grow, and the owner has been away since he planted the vines. The tenants may think that because the owner is far away, he won't retaliate for the mistreatment of his servant. Eventually they believe that if they kill all the landowner's representatives, they can lay claim to the vineyard as legal squatters.

Seeing the parallel to the Old Testament, it's understandable why removal from the land—exile—was a consequence of Israel's disobedience.
Verse Context:
Mark 12:1–12 takes place days before the crucifixion, while Jesus is in the temple courtyard, teaching. Chief priests, elders, and scribes—representatives of the Sanhedrin—have demanded to know the source of Jesus' authority to cleanse the Temple (Mark 11:27–28, 15–19). After exposing their hypocrisy, Jesus tells at least three additional stories that show how God will replace falsely-pious religious leaders with sinners who truly follow Him (Matthew 21:28—22:14). The second of these three stories is recorded here, in Matthew 21:33–46, and in Luke 20:9–19.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter contains lessons taught by Jesus in various circumstances. He explains the eventual destruction of traditional Judaism, the relationship between secular and sacred obligations, the nature of the resurrection, and the most important of God's commandments. Jesus also expounds on Messianic statements in the Old Testament. Jesus also condemns the glory-seeking shallowness of the scribes, and extolls the virtues of sincere, faith-based giving.
Chapter Context:
Days before, Jesus has entered Jerusalem, hailed as a hero by the people (Mark 11:1–11). While teaching in the temple courtyard, Jesus shows superior understanding of Scripture over the chief priests, scribes, and elders (Mark 12:27–33), the Pharisees and Herodians (Mark 12:13), the Sadducees (Mark 12:18), and the scribes again (Mark 12:35, 38). Sadly, even in the instance where a scribe does understand Scripture, that is no guarantee he will follow it to its logical conclusion: Jesus (Mark 12:28–34). In contrast, a humble widow exemplifies the faithfulness and piety the leaders lack (Mark 12:41–44). Jesus leaves the temple for the last time to teach the disciples on the Mount of Olives (Mark 13). In Mark 14, He prepares for the crucifixion.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 3/1/2024 10:42:46 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com