1Jesus began to speak to the people by using stories. He said, “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it. He dug a pit for a winepress. He also built a lookout tower. He rented the vineyard out to some farmers. Then he went away on a journey.2“At harvest time he sent a servant to the renters. He told the servant to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.3But they grabbed the servant and beat him up. Then they sent him away with nothing.4So the man sent another servant to the renters. They hit this one on the head and treated him badly.5The man sent still another servant. The renters killed him. The man sent many others. The renters beat up some of them. They killed the others.6“The man had one person left to send. It was his son, and he loved him. He sent him last of all. He said, ‘They will respect my son.’7“But the renters said to each other, ‘This is the one who will receive all the owner's property someday. Come, let's kill him. Then everything will be ours.’8So they took him and killed him. They threw him out of the vineyard.9“What will the owner of the vineyard do then? He will come and kill those renters. He will give the vineyard to others.10“Haven't you read what Scripture says, “ ‘The stone the builders didn't accept has become the most important stone of all.11The Lord has done it. It is wonderful in our eyes’?” (Ps 118:22)12Then the religious leaders looked for a way to arrest Jesus. They knew he had told the story against them. But they were afraid of the crowd. So they left him and went away.
Is It Right to Pay Taxes to Caesar?
13Later the religious leaders sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus. They wanted to trap him with his own words.14They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of honor. You don't let others tell you what to do or say. You don't care how important they are. But you teach the way of God truthfully. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?15Should we pay or shouldn't we?” But Jesus knew what they were trying to do. So he asked, “Why are you trying to trap me? Bring me a silver coin. Let me look at it.”16They brought the coin. He asked them, “Whose picture is this? And whose words?” “Caesar's,” they replied.17Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. And give to God what belongs to God.” They were amazed at him.
Marriage When the Dead Rise
18The Sadducees came to Jesus with a question. They do not believe that people rise from the dead.19“Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us about a man who died and didn't have any children. But he did leave a wife behind. That man's brother must get married to the widow. He must have children to carry on his dead brother's name.20“There were seven brothers. The first one got married. He died without leaving any children.21The second one got married to the widow. He also died and left no child. It was the same with the third one.22In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too.23When the dead rise, whose wife will she be? All seven of them were married to her.”24Jesus replied, “You are mistaken because you do not know the Scriptures. And you do not know the power of God.25When the dead rise, they won't get married. And their parents won't give them to be married. They will be like the angels in heaven.26“What about the dead rising? Haven't you read in the scroll of Moses the story of the bush? God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.’ (Ex 3:6)27He is not the God of the dead. He is the God of the living. You have made a big mistake!”
The Most Important Commandment
28One of the teachers of the law came and heard the Sadducees arguing. He noticed that Jesus had given the Sadducees a good answer. So he asked him, “Which is the most important of all the commandments?”29Jesus answered, “Here is the most important one. Moses said, ‘Israel, listen to me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is one.30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (De 6:4)31And here is the second one. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ There is no commandment more important than these.” (Le 19:18)32“You have spoken well, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one. There is no other God but him.33To love God with all your heart and mind and strength is very important. So is loving your neighbor as you love yourself. These things are more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”34Jesus saw that the man had answered wisely. He said to him, “You are not far from God's kingdom.” From then on, no one dared to ask Jesus any more questions.
Whose Son Is the Christ?
35Jesus was teaching in the temple courtyard. He asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David?36The Holy Spirit spoke through David himself. David said, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your control.” ’ (Ps 110:1)37David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ So how can he be David's son?” The large crowd listened to Jesus with delight.38As he taught, he said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in long robes. They like to be greeted in the market places.39They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues. They also love to have the places of honor at dinners.40They take over the houses of widows. They say long prayers to show off. God will punish those men very much.”
The Widow's Offering
41Jesus sat down across from the place where people put their temple offerings. He watched the crowd putting their money into the offering boxes. Many rich people threw large amounts into them.42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins. They were worth much less than a penny.43Jesus asked his disciples to come to him. He said, “What I'm about to tell you is true. That poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others.44They all gave a lot because they are rich. But she gave even though she is poor. She put in everything she had. She gave all she had to live on.”
13And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. (Mt 22:15; Mr 3:6; Mr 8:15; Lu 11:54; Lu 20:20)14And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” (Mt 17:25; Lu 2:1; Lu 3:1; Joh 3:2; Ac 10:34; Ac 13:10; Ac 18:25)15But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” (Mt 18:28; Mt 23:28; Lu 12:1; Joh 8:6)16And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.”17Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. (Ro 13:7)
The Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection
18And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, (Mt 3:7; Mt 16:1; Mt 22:34; Ac 4:1; Ac 4:2; Ac 5:17; Ac 23:6; Ac 23:8)19“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. (De 25:5)20There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring.21And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise.22And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died.23In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”24Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? (Joh 20:9; 1Co 6:14)25For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (Mt 24:38; Lu 17:27)26And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? (Ex 3:1; Ex 3:6; Ex 3:17; Mt 21:16; Lu 3:4; Lu 20:42; Ac 1:20; Ac 7:32; Ac 7:42)27He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”
The Great Commandment
28And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” (Mt 22:34; Mt 22:46; Lu 10:25)29Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (De 6:4; Mt 19:17; Mt 23:9; Lu 10:27; Ro 3:30; 1Co 8:4; 1Co 8:6; Ga 3:20; Eph 4:6; 1Ti 1:17; 1Ti 2:5; Jas 2:19; Jas 4:12; Jud 1:25)30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Le 19:18; Mt 19:19; Mt 23:23; 1Jo 4:21)32And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. (De 4:35; Mr 12:29)33And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (De 4:6; 1Sa 15:22; Ps 40:6; Ho 6:6; Mic 6:6; Mt 9:13; Mt 12:7; Lu 2:47; Col 1:9; Col 2:2; Heb 10:6; Heb 10:8)34And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. (Lu 20:40)
38And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces (Mt 23:1; Mt 23:5; Lu 11:43; Lu 20:45)39and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, (Lu 14:7)40who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” (Mt 6:5; Mt 6:7; Lu 11:39; Lu 16:14)
The Widow’s Offering
41And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. (2Ki 12:9; Mt 27:6; Lu 21:1; Joh 8:20)42And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. (Lu 12:59)43And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. (2Co 8:2; 2Co 8:12)44For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Lu 8:43; Php 4:11)