Mark 12:6
Having yet therefore one son, his well beloved, he sent him also last to them, saying, They will reverence my son.
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(6) His well-beloved.—Added by St. Mark to St. Matthew’s briefer form, “he sent unto them his son.”



Mark 12:6

Reference to Isaiah 5:1 - Isaiah 5:30 There are differences in detail here which need not trouble us.

Isaiah’s parable is a review of the theocratic history of Israel, and clearly the messengers are the prophets; here Christ speaks of Himself and His own mission to Israel, and goes on to tell of His death as already accomplished.

I. The Son who follows and surpasses the servants.

{a} Our Lord here places Himself in the line of the prophets as coming for a similar purpose. The mission to Israel was the same. The mission of His life was the same.

The last words of the lawgiver certainly point to a person {Deuteronomy 18:18}: ‘A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you like unto me. Him shall ye hear.’ How ridiculous the cool superciliousness with which modern historical criticism ‘pooh-poohs’ that interpretation! But the contrast is quite as prominent as the resemblance. This saying is one which occurs in all the Synoptics, and is as full a declaration of Sonship as any in John’s Gospel. It reposes on the scene at the baptism {Matthew 3:17}: ‘This is My beloved Son!’ Such a saying was well enough understood by the Jews to mean more than the ‘Messiah.’ It clearly involves kindred to the divine in a far other and higher sense than any prophet ever had it. It involves pre-existence. It asserts that He was the special object of the divine love, the ‘heir.’

You cannot relieve the New Testament Christ of the responsibility of having made such assertions. There they are! He did deliberately declare that He was, in a unique sense, ‘the Son’ on whom the love and complacency of the Father rested continually.

II. The aggravation of men’s sins as tending to the enhancement of the divine efforts.

The terrible Nemesis of evil is that it ever tends to reproduce itself in aggravated forms. Think of the influence of habit; the searing of conscience, so that we become able to do things that we would have shrunk from at an earlier stage. Remember how impunity leads to greater sin. So here the first servant is merely sent away empty, the second is wounded and disgraced, the third is killed. All evil is an inclined plane, a steady, downward progress. How beautifully the opposite principle of the divine love and patience is represented as striving with the increasing hate and resistance! According to Matthew, the householder sent other servants ‘more than the first,’ and the climax was that he sent his son. Mightier forces are brought to bear. This attraction increases as the square of the distance. The blacker the cloud, the brighter the sun; the thicker the ice, the hotter the flame; the harder the soil, the stronger the ploughshare. Note, too, the undertone of sacrifice and of yearning for the son which may be discerned in the ‘householder’s’ words. The son is his ‘dearest treasure,’ his mightiest gift, than which is nothing higher.

The mission of Christ is the ultimate appeal of God to men.

In the primary sense of the parable Jesus does close the history of the divine strivings with Israel. After Christ, the last of the prophets, the divine voice ceases; after the blaze of that light all is dark. There is nothing more remarkable in the whole history of the world than that cessation in an instant, as it were, of the long, august series of divine efforts for Israel. Henceforward there is an awful silence. ‘Forsaken Israel wanders lone.’

And the principle involved for us is the same.

‘Christ crucified’ is more than Christ miracle-working. That ‘more’ we have, as the Jews had. But if that avails not, then nothing else will.

He is ‘last’ because highest, strongest, and all-sufficient.

He is ‘last’ inasmuch as all since are but echoes of His voice and proclaimers of His grace.

He is ‘last’ as the eternal and the permanent, the ‘same for ever’ {Hebrews 13:8}. There are to be no new powers for the world; no new forces to draw men to God. God’s quiver is empty, His last bolt shot, His most tender appeal made.

III. The unwearied divine charity.

‘They will reverence My Son.’ May we not say this is a divine hope? It is not worth while to make a difficulty of the bold representation. It is but parallel to all the dealings of God with men; and it sets forth the possibility that He might have won Israel back to God and to obedience. It suggests the good faith and the earnestness with which God sent Him, and He came, to bring Israel back to God. But we are not to suppose that this divine hope excluded the divine purpose of His death or was inconsistent with that, for He goes on to speak of His death as if it were past {Mark 12:8}. This shows how distinctly He foreknew it.

Its highest aspect is not here, for it was not needed for the parable. ‘With wicked hands ye have crucified,’ etc., is true, as well as ‘I lay it down of Myself.’

Let us lay to heart the solemn love which warns by prophesying, tells what men are going to do in order that they may not do it {and what He will do in order that He may not have to do it}. And let us yield ourselves to the power of Christ’s death as God’s magnet for drawing us all back to Him; and as certain to bring about at last the satisfaction of the Father’s long-frustrated hope: ‘They will reverence my Son,’ and the fulfilment of the Son’s long-unaccomplished prediction: ‘I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.’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 12:6" Having yet therefore one son, his well beloved,.... The Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the one, and only Son of God his Father, his only begotten Son, for he has no other Son in the same way of filiation; and who is his dear Son, the Son of his love, who was loved by him before the foundation of the world; and whom he declared to be his beloved Son, both at his baptism, and at his transfiguration upon the mount, by a voice from heaven: this Son he having with him, in his bosom, as one brought up with him, and rejoicing before him,

he sent him also last unto them; after all the prophets had been with them, when the last days were come, the end of the Jewish state, civil and ecclesiastical; see Hebrews 1:1;

saying, they will reverence my son. The Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions read, "perhaps they will reverence my son", as in Luke 20:13; See Gill on Matthew 21:37.

Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
6. Having yet therefore] Note here the description of this last of the ambassadors of the householder. Not only was he his son, but his only one, his well-beloved, “a sone most dereworth,” Wyclif. This marks as strongly as possible the difference of rank between Christ and the prophets, by whom “at sundry times and in divers manners God spake in times past unto the fathers” (Hebrews 1:1), the distinction between them and the dignity of Him, Who only was in the highest sense His Son, and Whom He hath “appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 3:5-6).Mark 12:6. Ἔτι, as yet) Construe with having.—ἕνα ἀγαπητὸν, one—His well-beloved) These two words do not altogether signify the same thing.Verses 6-8. - Having yet therefore one son, his well-beloved. There is strong evidence in favor of a different reading here: namely (ἔτι ἕνα εἰχεν υἱὸν ἀγαπητὸν), he had yet one, a beloved son. There is something very touching in this form of expression. Many messages had been sent; many means had been tried. But one other resource remained. "There is one, a beloved on. I will send him; they will, surely reverence him (ἐντραπήσονται τὸν υἰόν μου). They will reflect, and reflection will bring shame and submission and reverence." This was the last effort of Divine mercy - the sending of the Incarnate God, whom the Jews put to death without the city. St. Mark's words seem rather to imply that they killed him within the vineyard, and cast out the dead body. But it is possible that in his narrative he mentions the climax first - they killed him, and then returns to a detail of the dreadful tragedy; they cast him out of the vineyard, and there slew him (See Matthew 21:39.) Therefore

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