Jesus’ Authority Challenged
(Matthew 21:23–27; Mark 11:27–33)
1One day Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courtyard and telling them the Good News. The chief priests, the experts in Moses’ Teachings, and the leaders came up to him. 2They asked him, “Tell us, what gives you the right to do these things? Who told you that you could do this?”
3Jesus answered them, “I, too, have a question for you. Tell me, 4did John’s right to baptize come from heaven or from humans?”
5They talked about this among themselves. They said, “If we say, ‘from heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6But if we say, ‘from humans,’ everyone will stone us to death. They’re convinced that John was a prophet.” 7So they answered that they didn’t know who gave John the right to baptize.
8Jesus told them, “Then I won’t tell you why I have the right to do these things.”
A Story about a Vineyard
(Matthew 21:33–46; Mark 12:1–12)
9Then, using this illustration, Jesus spoke to the people: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to vineyard workers, and went on a long trip.
10“At the right time he sent a servant to the workers to obtain from them a share of the grapes from the vineyard. But the workers beat the servant and sent him back with nothing. 11So he sent a different servant. The workers beat him, treated him shamefully, and sent him back with nothing. 12Then he sent a third servant. But they injured this one and threw him out ⌞of the vineyard⌟.
13“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I’ll send my son, whom I love. They’ll probably respect him.’
14“When the workers saw him, they talked it over among themselves. They said, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
“What will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will destroy these workers and give the vineyard to others.”
Those who heard him said, “That’s unthinkable!”
17Then Jesus looked straight at them and asked, “What, then, does this Scripture verse mean:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?
18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken. If that stone falls on anyone, it will crush that person.”
19The experts in Moses’ Teachings and the chief priests wanted to arrest him right there, but they were afraid of the people. They knew that he had directed this illustration at them.
A Question about Taxes
(Matthew 22:15–22; Mark 12:13–17)
20So they watched for an opportunity to send out some spies. The spies were to act like sincere religious people. They wanted to catch him saying the wrong thing so that they could hand him over to the governor. 21They asked him, “Teacher, we know that you’re right in what you say and teach. Besides, you don’t play favorites. Rather, you teach the way of God truthfully. 22Is it right for us to pay taxes to the emperor or not?”
23He saw through their scheme, so he said to them, 24“Show me a coin. Whose face and name is this?”
They answered, “The emperor’s.”
25He said to them, “Well, then give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, and give God what belongs to God.”
26They couldn’t make him say anything wrong in front of the people. His answer surprised them, so they said no more.
The Dead Come Back to Life
(Matthew 22:23–33; Mark 12:18–27)
27Some Sadducees, who say that people will never come back to life, came to Jesus. They asked him, 28“Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry his widow and have children for his brother.’ 29There were seven brothers. The first got married and died without having children. 30Then the second brother married the widow, 31and so did the third. In the same way all seven brothers married the widow, died, and left no children. 32Finally, the woman died. 33Now, when the dead come back to life, whose wife will she be? The seven brothers had married her.”
34Jesus said to them, “In this world people get married. 35But people who are considered worthy to come back to life and live in the next world will neither marry 36nor die anymore. They are the same as the angels. They are God’s children who have come back to life.
37“Even Moses showed in the passage about the bush that the dead come back to life. He says that the Lord is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 38He’s not the God of the dead but of the living. In God’s sight all people are living.”
39Some experts in Moses’ Teachings responded, “Teacher, that was well said.” 40From that time on, no one dared to ask him another question.
How Can David’s Son Be David’s Lord?
(Matthew 22:41–46; Mark 12:35–37a)
41Jesus said to them, “How can people say that the Messiah is David’s son? 42David says in the book of Psalms,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Take the honored position—the one next to me [God the Father] on the heavenly throne—
43until I put your enemies under your control.” ’
44David calls him Lord. So how can he be his son?”
Jesus Disapproves of the Example Set by the Experts in Moses’ Teachings
(Matthew 23:1–12; Mark 12:37b–40)
45While all the people were listening, Jesus said to the disciples, 46“Beware of the experts in Moses’ Teachings! They like to walk around in long robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces, to have the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at dinners. 47They rob widows by taking their houses and then say long prayers to make themselves look good. The experts in Moses’ Teachings will receive the most severe punishment.”