Mark 12:12
And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.
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(12) They sought to lay hold on him.—The pronoun carries us back to the “chief priests and scribes and elders” of Mark 11:27.

Mark 12:12. They sought to lay hold on him. but feared the people — Greek,

τον οχλον, the multitude. How wonderful is the providence of God, using all things for the good of his children! Generally the multitude is restrained from tearing them in pieces, only by the fear of their rulers. And here, the rulers themselves are restrained, through fear of the multitude!12:1-12 Christ showed in parables, that he would lay aside the Jewish church. It is sad to think what base usage God's faithful ministers have met with in all ages, from those who have enjoyed the privileges of the church, but have not brought forth fruit answerable. God at length sent his Son, his Well-beloved; and it might be expected that he whom their Master loved, they also should respect and love; but instead of honouring him because he was the Son and Heir, they therefore hated him. But the exaltation of Christ was the Lord's doing; and it is his doing to exalt him in our hearts, and to set up his throne there; and if this be done, it cannot but be marvellous in our eyes. The Scriptures, and faithful preachers, and the coming of Christ in the flesh, call on us to render due praise to God in our lives. Let sinners beware of a proud, carnal spirit; if they revile or despise the preachers of Christ, they would have done so their Master, had they lived when he was upon earth.See this parable explained in the notes at Matthew 21:33-46.

See this parable explained in the notes at Matthew 21:33-46.


Mr 12:1-12. Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen. ( = Mt 21:33-46; Lu 20:9-18).

See on [1481]Mt 21:33-46.

See Poole on "Mark 12:1" They sought to lay held on him,.... That is, the chief priests, Scribes, and elders, after they had heard the parables he spake to them, were greatly irritated, and provoked, and had a good will to have seized him, and carried him away, and have had him before their court, and condemn him:

but feared the people; lest they should rise up in his defence, and fall on them; for many of them liked; and were attached to his ministry; and others had received favours of one kind or another from him through his miracles:

for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and that they were the husbandmen designed, who had not brought the fruit of the vineyard to their lord, but had ill treated his servants, and would his son.

And they left him; in the temple, not daring to do any thing to him:

and went their way; to their council chamber, perhaps to consult what measures to take, and how to destroy him.

And they {c} sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

(c) They were greedy and very desirous.

Mark 12:12. καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν: καὶ is to all intents adversative here, though grammarians deny that it is ever so used (vide Winer, sec. liii. 3 b) = they sought to lay hold of Him, but they feared the people.—ἔγνωσαν refers to the Sanhedrists (Weiss, Holtz.), not to the ὄχλος (Meyer). It gives a reason at once for their desire to lay hold of Jesus, and for their fear of the people. They must be careful so to act as not to appear to take the parable to themselves, while they really did so.12. they sought] All three Evangelists take note of the exasperation of our Lord’s hearers at words which they now clearly perceived were directed against themselves. The chief priests and Pharisees sought to arrest Him on the spot at once (Luke 20:19), but they were afraid of the multitudes, who regarded Him if not with the same deep feelings as on Palm Sunday, yet still as a prophet (Matthew 21:46), so they left Him and went their way (Mark 12:12). One more Parable followed, that of the “Marriage of the King’s Son” (Matthew 22:1-14), and once more the rulers of the nation were solemnly warned of the danger they were incurring. “Thus within a few hours of crucifixion, and conscious of the fact; in the intervals of mortal contest with the whole forces of the past and present, the wandering Galilæan Teacher, meek and lowly in spirit, so that the poorest and the youngest instinctively sought Him; full of Divine pity, so that the most sunken and hopeless penitent felt He was their friend; indifferent to the supports of influence, wealth, or numbers; alone and poor, the very embodiment of weakness, as regarded all visible help, still bore Himself with a serene dignity more than human. In the name of God He transfers the spiritual glory of Israel to His own followers; throws down the barriers of caste and nationality; extends the new dominion, of which He is Head, to all races, and through all ages, here and hereafter; predicts the Divine wrath on His enemies in this world, as the enemies of God, and announces the decision of the final judgment as turning on the attitude of men towards Himself and His message.” Geikie’s Life and Words of Christ, ii. pp. 414, 415; Liddon’s Bampton Lectures, pp. 113–118, Sixth Edition.Mark 12:12. [Ἔγνωσαν γὰρ, for they knew) Their conscience supplying the testimony to its being so.—V. g.]—πρὸς, [Engl. Ver., against] in reference to) So πρὸς is used, Hebrews 1:7; Hebrews 11:18.Verse 12. - The scribes and Pharisees knew, partly from the words of this psalm, and partly from the looks of Christ, that they were spoken against them. So they sought in their rage and malice to lay hold on him; but they feared the people, with whom he was still popular. Thus, however, by his rebuke of the scribes and Pharisees, he prepared the way for that death which, within three days, they brought upon him. And the counsel of God was fulfilled for the redemption of men by the blood of Christ.
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