1Then Jesus began to speak to them using illustrated stories.#12:1. See on 3:23.
“Once there was a man who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a pit for a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to some farmers, and left on a journey.
2When harvest-time came, he sent one of his servants to the tenant farmers to collect some of the grapes from the vineyard. 3But they grabbed hold of him, beat him up, and sent him away with nothing. 4So the man sent another servant. They hit him over the head and abused him. 5He sent another servant, and this one they killed. He sent many other servants, and they beat some of them and killed others. 6In the end the only one left was his son whom he loved, and eventually he sent him, thinking ‘they will respect my son.’ 7But the farmers said to themselves, ‘Here's the owner's heir—if we kill him, we can get what he would have inherited!’ 8So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9Now what is the owner of the vineyard going to do? He will come and kill those farmers, and then he will lease the vineyard to others.
10Haven't you even read this Scripture: ‘The stone rejected by the builders has become the chief cornerstone. 11This is from the Lord, and it's marvelous to see!’?”#12:11. Quoted from Psalm 118:22-23.
12The Jewish leaders tried to have him arrested because they realized that the illustration was directed at them, but they were afraid of the crowd. So they left him alone and went away. 13Later they sent some Pharisees with some of Herod's supporters to Jesus in an attempt to catch him out by what he said.
14They arrived and said, “Teacher, we know you are a truthful person and you don't look for approval, because you don't care about status or position.#12:14. Literally, “You have no concern for anyone because you do not look at the face of men.” However this literal translation could make it seem that Jesus was uncaring and indifferent. Instead you teach God's way in accordance with the truth. So is it right to pay tribute to Caesar or not? 15Should we pay up, or should we refuse?”
Jesus, realizing how hypocritical they were, asked them, “Why are you trying to catch me out? Bring me a coin to look at.”
16They gave him a coin. “Whose is this image, and whose inscription?” Jesus asked them. “Caesar's,” they replied.
17“Then give back to Caesar what belongs to him, and give back to God what belongs to him,” Jesus told them. They were amazed at his reply.
18Then the Sadducees, who deny the resurrection, came and asked a question:
19“Teacher, Moses instructed us that if a man dies, leaving his widow childless, then his brother should marry his wife, and have children by her on his behalf. 20Once there were seven brothers. The first one got married, and then died without having children. 21The second married his widow, and then died, childless. The third did the same. 22In fact all seven died without having children. In the end the woman died too. 23In the resurrection, whose wife will she be, because she was the wife of all seven brothers?”
24Jesus told them, “This proves you're mistaken, and that you don't know the Scriptures or the power of God. 25When the dead rise, they don't marry, and aren't given in marriage. They're like the angels in heaven. 26But concerning the resurrection, haven't you read in Moses' writings the story of the burning bush, where God spoke to Moses and told him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’#12:26. See Exodus 3.2–6. 27He's not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are completely mistaken!”
28One of the religious teachers came and heard them arguing. He recognized that Jesus had given them a good answer. So he asked him, “Which is the most important commandment of all?”
29Jesus replied, “The first commandment is, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your spirit, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’#12:30. Deuteronomy 6:4. 31The second is ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’#12:31. Leviticus 19:18. There's no more important commandment than these.”
32“That's right, Teacher,” the man replied. “It's true as you said that God is one, and there is no other. 33We are to love him with all our heart, all our understanding, and all our strength, and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is far more important than offerings and sacrifices.”
34Jesus saw that he gave a thoughtful answer, and said, “You're not far from the kingdom of God.” After this no one was brave enough to ask him any more questions.
35While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he asked, “Why do the religious teachers state that Christ is the son of David? 36As David himself declared, inspired by the Holy Spirit, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’#12:36. Psalm 110:1. 37Since David himself calls him Lord, how can he be David's son?” The large crowd listened to what Jesus said with great delight.
38Jesus continued to teach them, saying, “Beware of religious leaders! They love to walk around in long robes, to be greeted respectfully in the marketplaces. 39They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues, and the best places at banquets. 40They cheat widows out of what they own,#12:40. Literally, “devour widow's houses.” and cover up the kind of people they really are with long-winded prayers. They will receive severe condemnation in the judgment.”
41Jesus sat down opposite the treasury collection box, watching people tossing in coins. Many of the rich were extravagantly throwing in a lot of money. 42Then a poor widow came along and put in just two small coins.#12:42. Literally, two lepta, of little value. 43He called his disciples together and told them, “I tell you the truth: this poor widow has put in more than all the rest together. 44All of them gave from their wealth what they had, but she gave from her poverty what she didn't have. She put in all she had to live on.”