Mark Chapter 12 Part 2

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Shalom, and welcome to [Hebrew 00:00:07], a Hebrew phrase which means you shall love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch, shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the Senior Lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at loveisrael.org. That’s one word, loveisrael.org. Now, here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.

Dr. Baruch:

The Bible is very clear, God does not change. The word of God teaches us that He is the same today, tomorrow, and forever. And because God does not change His word is reliable. The covenants that He has established He will maintain and He will fulfill, especially those with His chosen people, the Jewish people. Last week, we began a study of a very important parable known as the Parable of the Vineyard Workers. And I mentioned to you that many people see this as especially relevant today and they use this passage as a way of saying that God is finished with the Jewish people, that the land of Israel is not important, that this covenant has been rendered null and void.

Dr. Baruch:

And we talked about that there was a preference of these individuals which I call spiritually anti-Semitic. There’s a preference among them to use the passage from Matthew, we’re in the Book of Mark, but this parallel passage from Matthew because of an additional verse, which they claim proof that God is finished with the Jewish people according to what He had promised them so long ago.

Dr. Baruch:

So with that said, look with me to that passage before turning back to Mark, let’s look in Matthew 21:43. Matthew 21:43, the same parable but there’s a couple additional verses. And these verses did not paint the picture that those spiritually anti-Semitic people would have us to conclude, it paints a very different one. Verse 43 says, “On account of this,” now who’s speaking? Messiah. On account of what? Well, this whole parable, but especially what Messiah quoted at the end of this parable. This passage from the Book of Psalm 118 where He says, “The stone which the builders have rejected.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now, there’s no debate among the famed rabbinical scholars, the Christian scholars, people who are liberal, people who are conservative in their theological beliefs, everyone agrees that this passage where it says, “The builders have rejected the stone,” the builders are Israel’s leadership. But throughout history, no, during the time of Messiah solely. Look again, it says something else, “On account of this I say to you.” Now, here again, we need to be very precise. It is a very sinful thing to do to lump people all together to say because this person or these few individuals did this act, then everyone that’s like them is guilty as well, we don’t behave that way. That is wrong.

Dr. Baruch:

And what do we see here? Well, Messiah, He says, “On account of this I say to you,” and the first thing we have to do is to ask, “Who is the you?” And to answer that question it’s very simple, just drop down to verse 45 and we have undeniably the right answer. “And hearing,” who heard this? The high priests and the Pharisees. Now, all the high priests, can we lump together all the Pharisees? And the answer is no, we cannot. Why? Well, in the Book of Acts, in Acts 6:7, it says there that a great member of a priests came to faith.

Dr. Baruch:

Likewise, in the Book of Acts 15:5, during the study of the Jerusalem Council we know that they were Pharisees, many Pharisees that were also believers that Yeshua was the Messiah. Now, they had some theological problems but they were believers that Yeshua was the Messiah. And likewise, we need to remember something. It tells us in this passage that these individuals who Messiah spoke this parable to they when they heard this, what did we learn last week in verse 12 of Mark 12? That they desired to seize Messiah and the intent is to seize Him and put Him to death, but because of the fear of the crowd, and let me ask you, who was this crowd of people? They were Jewish individuals.

Dr. Baruch:

So as we learn, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to say that this passage can be used to say that God has replaced the Jewish people when the vast majority of Jewish people who were there that day agreed with Messiah. They sided with His interpretation, His words. They were followers of Him at that time. And to say that that incident because of the minority of those individuals, those high priests and those Pharisees, well, it’s simply wrong.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, look again at verse 43, on account of this Messiah speaking, “I say to you that the Kingdom of God will be uprooted from you.” Now, these spiritually anti-Semitic individuals they say, “There it is,” you, meaning the Jewish people, but it is impossible to arrive at that conclusion. He’s talking about the Pharisees and the high priests, all of it? No, those that were there that day. To extend it beyond that is unwarranted, it’s inaccurate, it is labeling all people for the sins of a few.

Dr. Baruch:

Secondly, if we keep reading, we see that He’s not talking about a role or a calling, the context now in verse 43 is the Kingdom of God. And it’s very clear we could keep reading in the same passage in Matthew 21 about the stone that is Messiah and those that stumble upon Him, they will be crushed by Him, who? Jewish people? All people. Anyone who rejects Messiah, they’re not going to have a part in the Kingdom of God. Who is, well, notice what He says. Look again, that same verse, verse 43, “On account of this I say to you that the Kingdom of God will be uprooted from you and be given to,” what does your Bible say? “A nation.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now, it’s very interesting that word. Now, the New Testament was written in Greek, but we also know going back back to the 4th century BC, there was a Greek translation of the Torah. And we call that the Septuagint, and this word that we translate as nation is literally the Greek word for what we would call a people. It first appears in the Book of Genesis and it translates oftentimes as nation but it appears in Genesis 12:2. Why is that significant? Because there God makes a covenant with Abraham. He tells Abraham that He is going to make him a great goy.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, oftentimes today we hear the term goy we think of a Gentile. But the term goy simply means a people in this context, a people who are like Abraham, who have a spiritual connection with him and that is faith. There’s an inherent relationship between faith and the Kingdom. So he says in this passage that the Kingdom of God is going to be uprooted, it’s not talking about losing your salvation, it’s talking about, even though there was a call for the Jewish people to be part of the Kingdom, to be the people who proclaimed the Kingdom, who demonstrated the Kingdom, doesn’t mean they were saved, it was a call.

Dr. Baruch:

But in actuality that entrance into the Kingdom are going to be upon those who are what? Who are a great goy, that is who are a people like Abraham who walk in faith. And how do we know that they’re walking faith? Well, notice what He says at the end, “Those who are doing the fruit, who are producing the fruit of the Kingdom.” And you can’t produce the fruit of the Kingdom, unless you are believers in the Kingdom and the King of that King Messiah. So it’s very simple what He’s saying.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, move on. Look at another passage of scripture. It says in verse 45, and we alluded to it, “And hearing,” who was hearing this? The high priests and the Pharisees, this parable, they knew that concerning them He spoke. So it’s not concerning the Jewish people only then. Now, let’s go back to our passage from the Book of Mark 12. Right after there’s that verse which says, “They wanted to seize Him,” and the implication is to put Him to death. But because of the fear of the crowd they did nothing at that moment. But it doesn’t say they ceased to do anything. Verse 13, “And sending to him,” who? Well, these individuals.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, it’s interesting because in the Book of Mark in its accounts it doesn’t say who these people were. It’s just those who Messiah spoke this parable to and because they were convicted and because they didn’t fall under conviction and repent, but that conviction brought anger, what did they do? Verse 13, “And they sent to Him certain ones of the Pharisees and the Herodians. Now, we’ve mentioned a lot about the Pharisees. The Pharisees were a religious party. Remember, back in Israel there wasn’t a separation between the temple and the state. It was all lumped together because religious law governed social norms, social law.

Dr. Baruch:

But there were another group of people, the Herodians, and they were a party but not a religious party but solely a political one. And their name says it all, they were supporters of King Herod. Now remember, Herod was placed in power by who? The Roman government. And let’s talk a little bit about the Roman government. Now, when they came and took over a land, a nation, a country, they spoke this way. They said, “We’re going to provide security for you. If any other people should want to conquer we’re going to be here to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Secondly, they said, “We’re going to expand the roads, the commerce, we’re going to do many things. But in doing so you’re going to have to pay a tax.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now, no one likes paying taxes, especially high taxes that the Romans levied upon the Jewish people. So because they conquered the Jewish people, they were ruling the land against the purposes of God, what happens? Well, obviously there was great animosity from the Jewish people towards the Roman Empire especially in regard to taxes. Now, if you pay taxes, well, you had great freedom to live your life how you wanted to as long as that you did not hamper or hinder the Roman rule in that land.

Dr. Baruch:

So what happens? Well, they wanted to seize Him, in verse 12, but because of fear they didn’t. So first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And that’s what they did in sending certain Pharisees, very important ones according to the commentators and certain from the party of the Herodians who were loyal to Herod and the Roman empire. And it says in verse 13 that they did so in order to catch Him at His words, that is to entrap him with a speech in order that what? That he would be marginalized and who would be discredited among His people, or perhaps arrested and put to death against the Romans.

Dr. Baruch:

Verse 14. “And after coming they said to Him,” and here’s a group of people made up of the Pharisees and Herodians, they come to Messiah and they say to him, “Teacher.” And that term is one of a great honor. It is what we might say, flattering words. Now they didn’t mean it but they were trying to entrap Him so they say, look again, verse 14, “Teacher, we know that you are of truth and you do not care about anything.” That word can mean anything or anyone. Furthermore, it says, “For you do not look upon the face of a man.” Now that’s a Greek idiom. It means that you don’t show any favoritism. It doesn’t matter if that man comes from an important family, a wealthy family, that he’s a leader in the government, you say exactly the truth. Furthermore, they conclude by saying, “And you teach the true way of God.”

Dr. Baruch:

So they say all these things, and by the way, all of them are true. He is of truth. He is not a respecter of man, He does teach accurately the way of God. All these things are true but they didn’t mean it. They simply said that, why? They were trying to set Him up saying, “You don’t care about others, you don’t care about any individual, you only care about them truth.” And therefore they had a question. They thought that they had a winning hand with this question they wanted to ask. And what was it? Well, look, if you would in the middle of verse 14. They say, “Is it lawful?” Now, they meant that because who’s asking the question? Well, Pharisees. They would mean it in a religious sense but the Herodians they would mean it in a governmental sense, in a legal sense.

Dr. Baruch:

So what happens? Well, here’s the issue. The question is, is it lawful to give to Caesar tribute, that is his tax? To pay taxes, is it right or wrong? Should we do so or should we not? Now, they didn’t really care how He answered. I mean, it’s a yes or no question. And if He says, yes, we should pay taxes that would make Messiah Yeshua very unpopular among the Jewish people. They would turn away from following Him and that’s what these Pharisees wanted. Likewise, if He said, “No, we ought not pay taxes to Caesar,” well there the Herodians are there and they can take that message back to Herod, to the Roman authority and arrest Him for insurrection, and put Him to death for leading others against the Roman law.

Dr. Baruch:

So they thought they had Him. No matter what He answered, yay or nay, it was going to be to His demise. They thought they had that perfect hand. Verse 15, very important word, the Greek word [Greek 00:17:17] meaning but. We’ve talked about this much, it means in contrast. He was going to answer in a way that was in contrast to what they thought, yay, or nay. Verse 15, “But looking at their hypocrisy,” now that’s important. And that means this, they didn’t come seeking truth, they didn’t come wanting to have a true answer to their question. They were simply doing this, why? To cause another problems. And therefore they were indeed hypocrites. So he says, “Why are you testing me or tempting me? Why are you putting me in this position?” And it was wrong according to Jewish law, at least for the Pharisees, to endanger one limitlessly. So what happens? He says middle of verse 15, “Bring to me a denarius in order that I might look,” verse 16.

Dr. Baruch:

“And they brought to Him and He said to them, ‘Whose image is it? Whose inscription is written upon it?’ And they said, ‘Well, Caesar.'” Verse 17. “And Yeshua said to them, ‘The things of Caesar render to Caesar and the things of God.'” What? “Render to God.” And here’s what I like. Look at the end of verse four 17. It says, “And they marveled at His word.” Now, who was marveling? Not the crowd, we don’t know about any crowd in this passage. What’s been emphasized is this group of Pharisees and Herodians. And they heard how He answered, and how He avoided this condemnation from the Jewish population and from the Roman authority and they were amazed at His ability to avoid being entrapped by their word. Well, we’ve already talked about, if first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Dr. Baruch:

So move on. What happens next? Well, we’ve talked about the Pharisees and the high priests and the Herodians but another, another political religious party. And who are they? We’ll look if you will down to verse 18. “And coming the Sadducees to Him.” Now, the Sadducees had also with Messiah because He talked about a Kingdom and the Sadducees didn’t believe in a Kingdom. Messiah talked about the power, the supernatural power of God, and the Sadducees believed that God created things and then stepped away. They did not believe in a Kingdom, in an afterlife and something supernatural, they only believed in the physical realm, and they believed that it was our call to live a obedient life to the Torah, but not for any future blessing but simply because it was the right thing to do.

Dr. Baruch:

So look again, verse 17, “The Sadducees came to Him. Those who said there was not a resurrection.” And remember, biblically speaking whenever there is a reference to the resurrection, what should enter into your mind? Kingdom. And they were against the Kingdom but there’s an inherent relationship between the Kingdom of God and the power of God and we’ll see that in a moment. Verse 18, “And asking Him they said, ‘Teacher, Moses,'” and that was their scripture, only the five books of Moses. “Moses wrote to us that if a certain brother died and had taken a wife and leaves without children.” Now, what’s important is this. If there’s a man and he gets married and he dies leaving his wife without a child, literally it says twice, leaving his wife and leaving her without a child and here it means an heir. Now, we’re not going to get into it but there’s two different biblical words used for leaving, leaving the wife and leaving her without an heir.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, why is that important? Well, what are we talking about? Resurrection. And this was the Sadducean passage concerning how they interpreted the concept of resurrection. They didn’t believe in a bodily resurrection, they didn’t believe in a kingdom that was tied to the resurrection, they saw this way. Look again at verse 19, they quoted Moses. Where in the law of Moses? The Book of Deuteronomy 25. They said the law states that if there’s a brother and he dies after being married and there’s no son, then what happens? It says, “Then one of his brothers is supposed to marry her and,” do what? “Raise up a heir,” verse 20.

Dr. Baruch:

Well, in this illustration that they want to entrap Him they said, “There were seven brothers and the first took a wife and he died and left no seed, no offspring. And therefore, according to the Torah the second he took her but he also died prior to,” what? Prior to leaving an offspring and the third likewise. Verse 22. “And then the seventh,” they what? They all went through all seven and none of them what? Left a seed before they died. And at the end of all this woman also died. Here’s the question, verse 23. “In the resurrection,” meaning in your view, Yeshua, of the resurrection, when the dead shall rise which of the seven will this woman be to them as a wife, which one?

Dr. Baruch:

Now, they thought that they had got Him very well. I mean, which one would she belong to? But notice again, Messiah’s response. Verse 24. He said, that is Yeshua said to them, “On account not of this.” Now, that’s kind of odd. He saying, “It’s not because this is a difficult question that you air.” He said, “There’s another reason that you air,” what is that? “Because you do not know the scripture nor the power of God.” Now, before we go any further let me say this. It is written this way, why? To show a relationship, a connection between the word of God and the power of God.

Dr. Baruch:

And what does he say? Well, look again at this verse 24. “Because you do not know the scripture nor the power of God. For when the dead show raise,” they are not given in marriage and marrying, it doesn’t say this. It says, “But they are like the angels.” Now, this was a great problem for the Sadducees because the angels, what was their role? To assist, to do things, they were on assignments from God. And they’re written about in the scripture but the Sadducees, they what? They denied that. They were heretics in the sense they rejected the presence of angels because it messed up their theology.

Dr. Baruch:

He quotes and says, “They’re like the angels,” where? In heaven, the Bible speaks about a heaven. Verse 26, “Therefore concerning the dead and their resurrection, have you not read?” They quoted Moses, He’s going to quote Moses. He says, “Have you not read in the Book of Moses upon the bush?” That is when Moses was at the burning bush, “How God said to him saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.'” He says, “He’s not a God of the dead but rather He is a God of the living.” Therefore, because they do not understand the power of God, the truth of God, the word of God, they greatly, what does He say? “They greatly err.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now, here’s the truth of this whole message. At the end of this section He points out the Sadducees err because of a failure to look at the whole of scripture and to have a theology, to have doctrine that is compatible with the whole of scripture, not just choosing bits and pieces. And these spiritual anti-Semitic individuals they do the same thing. They want to take a verse and build a theology, a doctrine out of that, having ripped it from its context, having failed to interpret it in light of so much scripture, having failed to understand a very important principle. And I’m going to close with this.

Dr. Baruch:

And that is, if you want to be wise you’re going to base your thoughts, your words, your actions, your doctrines, your theology on the word of God. And one place in the word of God that you should emphasize is the prophets, why? Because the prophets, one of the purposes of prophecy is to bring us under conviction. And when you are convicted by the Holy Spirit and you submit that conviction is going to turn you to God. Prophesy and the spirit of repentance go hand in hand. And as John says, it’s only a spiritually-based repentance that will bear fruit, fruit of the Kingdom. Well, my time is gone. Thank you for listening. Until next week when we continue on in the Book of Mark in chapter 12.

Speaker 1:

Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of loveisrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, loveisrael.org. There you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, Dr. Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week, may the Lord bless you in our Messiah Yeshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with Him. Shalom from Israel.

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