05/07/Th – The City of God

Numbers 3:11-51; Mark 11:1-17; Psalms 48:1-8; Proverbs 14:28-29

NT: “He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug out a pit for a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went away. At harvest time he sent a servant to the farmers to collect some of the fruit of the vineyard from them. But they took him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent another servant to them, and they hit him on the head and treated him shamefully. Then he sent another, and they killed that one. He also sent many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He still had one to send, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenant farmers said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill the farmers and give the vineyard to others. Haven’t you read this Scripture: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came about from the Lord and is wonderful in our eyes?”” (‭‭Mark‬ ‭12:1-11‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Challenging Jesus, the Pharisees asked Him where and from whom had He received the authority to preach. Instead of answering their question, He told this parable. The earth belongs to the Lord. He created it and gave it life. Genesis even talks about a garden that God planted where life began. Israel was chosen by God to be His “tenant farmers.” They were to be His holy people, a nation of priests, representing God on the earth. They were to be fruitful in righteous and fill the earth with God’s glory. Instead of fulfilling their God-given destiny, they went their own way and forsook the will and ways of God. Time after time, God would send His servants the prophets to speak to Israel and bring them back to their calling and task. Time after time, Israel rejected the prophets and rejected God. Finally, God sent His Son. Jesus was the Son. In response to the Pharisees question – God the Father had sent Him. His authority came from the fact that He was God’s Son, the rightful ruler of the earth. Instead of receiving the Son with gladness, the ruling authorities of Israel rejected Him and killed Him. Because of that, the privilege that was once unique to Israel has now been given to those who place their faith and allegiance in The Son. The church, made up of every nation and tribe (faithful Jews included), are now the holy people of God – a kingdom of priests. How will we, the church respond to our commission?

Psalms: “The Lord is great and highly praised in the city of our God. His holy mountain, rising splendidly, is the joy of the whole earth. Mount Zion — the summit of Zaphon — is the city of the great King. God is known as a stronghold in its citadels… Just as we heard, so we have seen in the city of the Lord of Armies, in the city of our God; God will establish it forever. Selah” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭48:1-3, 8‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

This is how we, the faithful followers of the Lord, the Church, the City of God should be described. God should be exalted and highly praised among us. We should be a splendid and shining light… a city on a hill beaming brightly with the life we receive from God. We should be full of God’s gospel of the Kingdom and thus be the joy of the whole earth. As we are faithful to God through faith and allegiance to His Son, He will establish us as His people and establish His kingdom in us and through us forever.

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