The parable of the tenants
1Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: ‘A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall round it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
6 ‘He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, “They will respect my son.”
7 ‘But the tenants said to one another, “This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” 8So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
9 ‘What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:
‘ “The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
11 the Lord has done this,
and it is marvellous in our eyes” # 12:11
Psalm 118:22,23 ?’
12Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.
Paying the poll-tax to Caesar
13Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14They came to him and said, ‘Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the poll-tax#12:14 A special tax levied on subject peoples, not on Roman citizens to Caesar or not? 15Should we pay or shouldn’t we?’
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. ‘Why are you trying to trap me?’ he asked. ‘Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.’ 16They brought the coin, and he asked them, ‘Whose image is this? And whose inscription?’
‘Caesar’s,’ they replied.
17Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.’
And they were amazed at him.
Marriage at the resurrection
18Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 19‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. 23At the resurrection#12:23 Some manuscripts resurrection, when people rise from the dead, whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?’
24Jesus replied, ‘Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26Now about the dead rising – have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”#12:26 Exodus 3:6? 27He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!’
The greatest commandment
28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’
29 ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.#12:29 Or the Lord our God is one Lord 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”#12:30 Deut. 6:4,5 31The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”#12:31 Lev. 19:18 There is no commandment greater than these.’
32‘Well said, teacher,’ the man replied. ‘You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’
34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And from then on no-one dared ask him any more questions.
Whose son is the Messiah?
35While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, ‘Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:
‘ “The Lord said to my Lord:
‘Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.’ ” # 12:36
37 David himself calls him “Lord”. How then can he be his son?’
The large crowd listened to him with delight.
Warning against the teachers of the law
38As he taught, Jesus said, ‘Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the market-places, 39and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets. 40They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.’
The widow’s offering
41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few pence.
43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.’