Photo by Iurri Bukhta on Unsplash

As we journey through this Lenten season, we find ourselves walking alongside Jesus, witnessing the profound depth of his teachings and the sacrifices inherent in discipleship. In yesterday’s lessons from Mark’s gospel, Jesus uses with the parable of the vineyard owner and the tenants and an encounter with the Pharisees regarding taxes to show us the way of discipleship. These passages reveal a weighty responsibility placed upon us as followers of Jesus.

In the parable, we see the vineyard owner entrusting his property to tenants, expecting them to care for it diligently. Yet, when the time comes to collect what is rightfully his, the tenants refuse, even resorting to violence. This story reminds us of our responsibility as stewards of God’s gifts, in particular the community of faith. We are called to faithfully nurture and share the blessings entrusted to us and for the sake of others, recognizing that everything we have ultimately belongs to God.

Similarly, when confronted about paying taxes, Jesus instructs us to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. This statement challenges us to discern our allegiances and priorities. While we have obligations to earthly authorities, our primary allegiance belongs to God. We are called to live in the world, but not of it, navigating the tensions between our earthly responsibilities and our commitment to God’s vision for the world.

As we reflect on Jesus’ unfolding story, let’s consider the cost of responsibility in discipleship. It requires sacrifice, diligence, and unwavering faithfulness. Yet, in embracing our responsibilities as followers of Christ, we find fulfillment and purpose in serving God’s vision. May we journey together, ever mindful of the challenges, joys, and sacrifices inherent in following Jesus, as we draw closer to the cross.

May God’s peace find you today. -Pastor Peter

Let us pray…Lord, guide us in embracing the responsibilities of discipleship, understanding the sacrifices involved, and finding joy in serving. Amen.