BIBLE: Mark Chapter 12 – Headline “Found: a ‘Shun’ Stone”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

Note: Add foundation notes to Topic
About the headline: “Found a…shun Stone” which is a “Foundation Stone”

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Mark 12

The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers

Mark 12:1 Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers (tenant farmers) and went into a far country.
Mark 12:Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers.
Mark 12:And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
  • Empty hands are hands prepared for prayer.
Mark 12:Again he sent them another servant, and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated.
Mark 12:And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating some and killing some.
Mark 12:Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
Mark 12:But those vinedressers (tenant farmers) said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
Mark 12:So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.
Mark 12:“Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others.
  • Explanation of the parable:
    • The vineyard is a plantation of grapes for producing fruit. Spiritually it is Jerusalem and Israel.
    • The “man” who planted it is God
    • God dressed it and protected it
    • God “leased” it to the Jewish Leaders and Priests (vinedressers) so that He would receive His “harvest”
    • He went to a far country: His place in Heaven
    • He sent His servants, the prophets
    • But the vinedressers treated them shamefully and killed some
    • Finally God sent His own beloved Son
    • They killed Him … outside the city
    • Prophetically: God will destroy the vinedressers
    • and give the mission of producing a harvest to the Gentiles.

Below: a strange segue from the vineyard to a foundation stone, but not really. The Son in the vineyard is Jesus and the foundation stone is also Jesus.

Mark 12:10 Have you not even read this Scripture:
‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.

See Topic: The Foundation Stone


  • The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.
    • Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.
    • I Peter 2:7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”
  • Jesus was rejected by the leaders of the Jews.  He laid the foundation for the bride of Christ.
  • You (The New Testament believers) are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone. – Eph 2:20
  • Note: The Cornerstone and the Capstone are the beginning and ending of a construction project. Jesus said “I AM the beginning and the end.”
  • And he shall bring forth the Capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” ’ ” -Zechariah 4:7b
  • In modern Greece, when the foundation of a new building is being laid, it is the custom to kill a cock, a ram, or a lamb, and to let its blood flow on the foundation-stone.
  • Sometimes, instead of killing an animal, the builder entices a man to the foundation-stone, secretly measures his body, or a part of it, or his shadow, and buries the measure under the foundation-stone; or he lays the foundation-stone upon the man’s shadow. It is believed that the man will die within the year.

    The Romanians of Transylvania think that he whose shadow is entombed will die within forty days; so persons passing by a building in the course of the erection may hear a warning cry, “Beware lest they take your shadow!”

    There were shadow-traders whose business it was to provide architects with the shadows necessary for securing their walls. In these cases the measure of the shadow is looked on as equivalent to the shadow itself, and to bury it is to bury the life or soul of the man, who, deprived of it, must die.

    Likewise, concerning the Christ, one is either part of the building (his church), or has his soul buried in Hades underneath the stone.
  • Luke 20:17 Then He (Jesus) looked at them (the people, the chief priests, scribes, and the elders) and said, “What then is this that is written:

    ‘The stone which the builders rejected
    Has become the chief cornerstone’?

    18 Whoever falls on that stone (as the Jews did from the first, I Corinthians 1:23) will be broken (Literally sorely bruised); but on whomever it falls (the impenitent), it will grind him to powder.” (Literally, “it shall winnow him”/ the meaning of the word “tribulation” ie: to thresh) Jeremiah 31:10
  • NOTE: References to the statue of Nebuchadnessar which the “stone cut without hands” smashed and broke apart the entire kingdoms of the earth so that its fragments became like “the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away.” Daniel 2:35
    • Also an allusion to the prophesied seven year tribulation, in which the very meaning of the word “tribulation” means “to thrash” or “to winnow”.
  • Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;
  • Isaiah 28:16 “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
    A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
    Whoever believes will not act hastily. 17 Also I will make justice the measuring line,
    And righteousness the plummet;
  • Romans 9:32-33 they (Israel) did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
    • “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
      And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
  • I Peter 2:Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
    Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
    “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”
    and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”
    They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
    But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Mark 12:11 This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
Mark 12:12 And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.

The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?

Mark 12:13 Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words.
Mark 12:14 When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and (Court no man’s favor) care about no one; for You do not (Lit. look at the face of men) regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?
  • It was because Jesus did not tremble at their authority, the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders, that they wanted to trap and kill Him. But they are “praising” him – being hypocrites.
  • “Flimflam” Noun: Nonsensical or insincere talk. They were “flimflam” men.
Mark 12:15 Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?”
But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.
  • The Hebrew meaning of hypocrite is “actor”. The Pharisees are pretenders wearing masks of righteousness.
  • Augustus Denarius:
Mark 12:16 So they brought it.
And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”
Mark 12:17 And Jesus answered and said to them, (Pay) “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
And they marveled at Him.

The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?

Mark 12:18 Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying:
  • Politics:
    • The Sadducee did not believe in a resurrection. The raising of the dead was a hot dispute in the Sanhedrin between the Sadducees and Pharisees. The apostle Paul created a dispute between the two when he said he was on trial because he believed in the resurrection. Paul, who was a Pharisee, knew the politics and used it to promote the gospel of Jesus rising from the dead.
    • The Pharisees and the Sadducees came together in their hatred of Jesus, along with the High Priest, the priests, the Herodians and the Scribes.
      See Topic: Jewish Leaders during Jesus’ time.
    • The politics are similar to America’s congress of Democrats and Republicans who become hot under the collar on issues of governing.
Mark 12:19 “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.
Mark 12:20 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring.
Mark 12:21 And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise.
Mark 12:22 So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also.
Mark 12:23 Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.”
Mark 12:24 Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore (Or deceived) mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?
Mark 12:25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
  • Heaven’s existence is greater than drugs, sex, marriage or any of the pleasures of earth. No poetic language can describe the “high” that is in heaven. The pleasures of this world pale in comparison.
Mark 12:26 But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?
  • The resurrected have a glorified body similar to Jesus’ able to be seen, walk through walls, and eat. A body that cannot die or be destroyed. Different from those whom Jesus raised from the dead, only to eventually die again.
  • “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” a very specific and only authentic God.
  • The only God I want to worship is a God who was willing to die for me.
Mark 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken (Or deceived).”

The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?

Mark 12:28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, (seeing) perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the (foremost) first commandment of all?”
Mark 12:29 Jesus answered him, “The (foremost) first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
  • The number “one” is Echad in its original Hebrew, meaning “united”. The Godhead is united in intent, purpose, and character.
Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
Mark 12:31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

►”You shall love your neighbor as yourself”

  • Do you love yourself? Do you hate yourself? How can you love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself? Therefore, the second command is to love yourself in a healthy way so that you are able to love your neighbor, also in a healthy way.


  • “Dear God, teach me how to love others. Teach me how to love myself.”
Mark 12:32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.
Mark 12:33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Mark 12:34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
But after that no one dared question Him.
  • Jesus saw that he answered “wisely” meaning he knew the value of one thing over another. He recognized that Love is greater than the Sacrifices of the Law.
  • The opposite of wisdom is being a fool. The fool cannot discern values.
    • “Floccinaucinihilipilification” Noun: The action or habit of estimating something as worthless.
      • Esau thought his birthright was worthless.
      • Nabal though David’s army protecting his crops was worthless. In Hebrew his name literally means “fool”.
      • In proverbs, a beautiful woman who acts with indiscretion is like putting a gold ring in the snout of a pig. The pig is not worthy of being dressed in gold. The woman thinks her beauty is worthless and spends it cheaply.

Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord?

Mark 12:35 Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David?
Mark 12:36 For David himself said by the Holy Spirit:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’
  • Psalm 110:1
Mark 12:37 Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”
And the common people heard Him gladly.
  • But the leaders were threatened because they could not answer.
  • The answer is that Jesus is both King David’s “ancestor AND descendant”.
  • How is He David’s ancestor? Luke 3:38 declares that Adam was “the son of God.”
    • Luke 3:38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
    • Therefore: the conclusion is that Jesus, as God, is King David’s ancestor. Metaphorically, Jesus (as God) “created” (gave birth to) Adam.

Beware of the Scribes

Mark 12:38 Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces,
Mark 12:39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts,
Mark 12:40 who devour widows’ houses, and (for appearance’ sake) for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”
  • They identify with being spiritual but are not.

The Widow’s Two Mites

Mark 12:41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.
Mark 12:42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two (Gr. lepta, very small copper coins) mites, which make a quadrans (A Roman coin).
Mark 12:43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury;
Mark 12:44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
  • Note: It didn’t matter how her mites would be used, but rather that she gave them.

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