Mark 12:1 Then Jesus began teaching them with stories: “A man planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country.2 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop.3 But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed.4 The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head.5 The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed,6 until there was only one left—his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’
7 “But the tenant farmers said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’8 So they grabbed him and murdered him and threw his body out of the vineyard.
9 “What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do?” Jesus asked. “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.10 Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
11 This is the LORD’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.’*”
12 The religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers.
13 One of the religious leaders said, “You know, it really irritates me that he tells stories that make us look bad.
14 And another said, “It’s really not right. He’s just trying to irritate us. I think he’s very passive aggressive.
15 And a third said, “He’s just like that. When something bothers him he has to vent.”
16 So they went to Jesus, and they said “Jesus, your story hurt our feelings. It was too personal and now people are going to blame us for things we didn’t do. Very manipulative.”
17 And Jesus said, “Do you think I went too far? I thought it was pretty creative.”
18 And the one who was the most irritated said, “I think when you are teaching general religious truths, you do a good job, but these specific applications really just amount to you trying to be provocative. I think it’s really immature. It’s your lack of a seminary education.”
19 Jesus said, “So you’ve had a lot of complaints?”
20 “Oh my email box will be full. It will take a week to answer them all.”
21 Another said, “I think your stories are fine when they entertain, but I don’t think we need you insinuating that the current religious leadership isn’t on your side.”
22 And Jesus said, “Gee. I never really thought about how this might hurt your feelings. I’m sorry. Can I take this back? Make a statement or something to give it some context?”