Musings on Mark: Mary Ann Beavis on the Parable of the Tenants

Mary Ann Beavis, Mark, Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament (Baker Academic, 2011), 175.

In Mark, then, the parable [i.e. of the tenants; Mark 12:1-12] is a sort of Passion prediction in expanded, allegorical form. For the evangelist, any God-given authority that the Jewish leaders may have had has been forfeited by their neglect of their sacred obligations and by their failure to heed the warnings of the prophets; worst of all, they are about to kill the beloved son/messiah sent by God. The meaning of the parable is so apparent that there is no need for a detailed explanation of the allegory (cf. 4:14-20. However, in good Jewish style, the parable-proper (māšāl) is followed by a nimshal (application), in this case a proof text, Ps. 118:22-23 LXX (Mark 12:10-11)…. In its original context, the psalm refers to an Israelite military victory against all odds; Israel, a small nation among mighty empires, has triumphed with the help of God….Elsewhere in the NT, the psalm is often interpreted christologically, associating the “rejected stone” with Christ….The “rejected stone” is God’s ultimate agent, Jesus, who will be elevated above the failed leadership of Israel. The architectural imagery points to the replacement of the temple and its failed leadership by the rule of God.

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