Tuesday was a busy day for Jesus. I can imagine what his disciples were feeling when Jesus told them they would be returning to the temple. It had to be nothing short of sheer terror. And then, sure enough, as soon as they walked through the gates, the chief priests were on his case with the typical questions any leader who feels threatened will ask: “Who do you think you are?” “What gives you the right to do what you’re doing?” Not taking the bait, Jesus calmly used the execution of John the Baptist as a springboard into the Parable of the Tenants, which ultimately conveyed the answer to their question. Jesus used the image of the vineyard and landowner and then essentially expanded upon the bloodshed and distress in verses 7-8.
Mark described the remainder of that Tuesday in the following chapter. As Jesus spoke, his vocal critics were silenced. By the end of the day, Jesus had thoroughly demonstrated that the spiritual landscape (and traditions of the Jewish priests) would change. Now, through the doctrine of substitution, Jesus would reign forever as the High Priest, from the order of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-24 & Psalm 110). As our High Priest, Jesus intercedes on our behalf and is “able to save completely those who come to God through him” (Hebrews 7:25).
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