Rip Roaring Spiritual Stories

September 18, 2021

Scripture Resource Passage: Mark 12:1-12 –please don’t skip reading the resource passage

Stories with life-changing turbulence flow from Jesus like waters over Victoria Falls.  Truth tumbles over and into the lives of those around him. Some stories (today’s passage), are immediately understood by everyone. Some of his stories are meant to disguise spiritual truths (Matthew 13:11-16).

Photo by Jonny Lew on

One story begins simply, but with a hint of hiddenness: “Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: ‘A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower’” (Mark 12:1).

Our Lord insists a familiar Scripture (to first century listeners who might have physically been at the scene described by Mark) provides the story’s application. It is a soul-disturbing picture of Messiah’s acceptance and rejection. “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:22-23).

Each of Jesus’ initial disciples were Jews. Other members of Abraham’s extended family rejected Jesus as Messiah. Using stories and parables individuals were blessed with spiritual insight, becoming disciples. The rejecter’s considered scandalous the inference that Jesus might be Messiah. Mark’s Gospel reports: “Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them” (Mark 12:12)

The drama, turmoil and eventually Jesus’ death, are each part of the accounts, stories and parables recounted in the Gospels. Some of these we find refreshing and life giving. As disciples, we agree Jesus is like Niagara’s waters. He is the spiritual river-source of our lives (John 4).

Other parables leave us reminded that we too, sometimes live like prodigal children having run from the One sent by the Father (Luke 15:11-32).

Life Application

Does this parable help you when dealing with people who do not honor Jesus as Messiah?

An online resource for a listing of Jesus’ teaching through parables is available at:

Thank you for reading. I look forward to any comments or suggestions you care to provide. Thank you as well, for checking out the post in spite of my missing Friday’s usual posting schedule. Life does indeed, sometimes happen–repeatedly!

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

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