Share a story about a control-freak that you know! (please don’t mention their name).

Opening questions

  • Are there churches that work against God?

o   What sort of churches might these be?

  • Are there people who claim to be God’s people, but are actually God’s enemies?

o   What sort of people might these be?

Mark 12:1-12 (HCSB)

Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug out a pit for a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went away. At harvest time he sent a slave to the farmers to collect some of the fruit of the vineyard from the farmers. But they took him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent another slave to them, and they hit him on the head and treated him shamefully. Then he sent another, and they killed that one. He also sent many others; they beat some and they killed some.

He still had one to send, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘they will respect my son.’

But those tenant farmers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

Therefore, what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers and give the vineyard to others. Haven’t you read this Scripture:

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came from the Lord and is wonderful in our eyes?”

Who is the owner of the vineyard?

  • God!

Who are the tenants?

  • Jewish leadership.

o   Remember that Jesus is addressing the Pharisees.

What do the tenants do each time the owner sends one of his servants to collect some of the fruit?

  • They kill them or hurt them badly.
  • They even killed the owners son.
  • What does Jesus say the owner will do to the tenants?

o   Destroy them.

Lets consider our lives today:

  • God has created everything (Gen. 1)
  • He has given us authority over the earth (Gen. 1-2)
  • Yet people treat this world like it is theirs.

o   We use all of its resources and don’t praise the God who made it.

o   When we get (money, stuff, ect…) we keep for ourselves!

Consider the church today:

  • God is Lord of the Church because He is Lord of everything.
  • God has entrusted us with the faith (Jude 3)
  • Yet people use the church to accomplish their own ends.

o   This is what the Pharisees did because they used their positions to claim an authority that was not theirs.

o   They destroyed anyone that got in their way.

  • People who are always concerned with being in charge are usually guilty of bullying the ones who truly wants to serve.
  • Those who always want to be in control are the ones who do not trust God to be in control.

Do you know any control freaks?

  • I do! But I won’t tell you who they are.
  • Jesus spoke out against the religious control freaks in His day, actually saying that they were guilty of killing God’s servants.
  • We cannot both be a servant and be absolutely in charge. It’s just not possible.
  • I want to be a servant (my goal as a youth pastor is to serve you, not to control you or tell you what to do).
  • My hope is that your goal is also servant-hood.

If you know any control-freaks in the church or in your life, don’t let them get you down. God is more pleased with you and we seek to honor Him!

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