Best of Daily Reflections: The Foolishness of the Father?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Others he sent were either beaten or killed, until there was only one left—his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, “Surely they will respect my son.”

Mark 12:5-7

Jesus told the so-called Parable of the Wicked Tenants to indict those among the Jewish people who had persistently rejected God’s redemptive agents. They had spurned the prophets and soon would do the same with God’s own Son. Thus, it’s not surprising to see that many Jewish religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus. He was undermining their authority and besmirching their honor.

As I read this parable, I’m struck by the persistence of the vineyard owner. Time and again he sent one of his servants to collect what the tenants owed him. Yet when he ran out of servants and had only his son left, the owner decided to send his son, thinking, “Surely they will respect my son” (12:6).

At this point, part of me wants to say, “Oh yeah? You think so?” Given the behavior of the tenants, and given the fact that the death of the owner’s son just might allow the tenants to gain ownership of the property, their mistreatment of the son was surely predictable. Shouldn’t the father have foreseen what was about to happen with his beloved son? Was the father a fool?

More to the point, was our Heavenly Father a fool to send his beloved Son to save the world?

If the Father thought that the people would respond favorably to Jesus and his ministry of the kingdom, then he was a fool. But if the Father knew how his Son would be treated, and if the Father knew that the death of his Son was necessary for the salvation of the world and the establishment of his kingdom, then what looks like folly is, indeed, a demonstration of God’s matchless love and grace. Indeed, as Scripture makes clear elsewhere, God loves us so much that he sent his own Son to die, so that we might have life in all of its fullness.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How do you respond to the messengers of God? How are you responding to the Son of God? How might you welcome Jesus into your life more consistently and faithfully?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, how I marvel at your grace. You knew full well what would happen to your Son, but chose to send him, nevertheless. So great was your love for the world. So great is your love for me!

Even though I have received your Son, dear Father, it is still tempting for me to reject him, not in the big picture, but in countless choices I make each day. Forgive me for my selfishness and sin. Help me, by your Spirit, to welcome your Son as my Lord and Savior each and every day. May I live for him in every facet of my life.

All praise be to you, Heavenly Father, for your amazing, surprising love! Amen.


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