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Jewish Leaders Question Jesus(A)

20 One day Jesus was in the Temple, teaching the people and ·telling them the Good News [preaching the Gospel]. The ·leading [T chief] priests, ·teachers of the law [scribes], and elders came up to talk with him, saying, “Tell us what authority you have to do these things? [L Or] Who gave you this authority?”

Jesus answered, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: When John baptized people, was that authority from ·God [L heaven; C a reverent Jewish way of referring to God] or just from ·other people [human beings]?”

They ·argued about this [L discussed this among themselves], saying, “If we answer, ‘John’s baptism was from ·God [L heaven],’ Jesus will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘It was from ·other people [human beings],’ all the people will stone us to death, because they ·believe [are convinced that] John was a prophet.” So they answered that they didn’t know where it came from.

Jesus said to them, “Then I won’t tell you what authority I have to do these things.”

The Story of the Evil Farmers(B)

Then Jesus ·told [L began/proceeded to tell] the people this ·story [parable]: “A man planted a vineyard and leased it to some [C tenant] farmers [C Jesus builds on Is. 5:1–7; the owner represents God; the farmers are Israel’s religious leaders]. Then he ·went away [took a journey] for a long time. 10 ·When it was time for the grapes to be picked [L At the (harvest) time], he sent a ·servant [slave] to the farmers to get some of the grapes [C the portion of the harvest to pay the rent]. But they beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 Then he sent another ·servant [slave]. They beat him also, and ·showed no respect for [humiliated; dishonored] him, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 So the man sent a third. The farmers wounded him and threw him out [C the servants represent the prophets God sent to Israel]. 13 The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What will I do now? I will send my son whom I love [C representing Jesus; see 3:22]. ·Maybe [or Probably; or Surely] they will respect him.’ 14 But when the farmers saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This ·son will inherit the vineyard [L is the heir]. Let’s kill him so the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So the farmers threw the son out of the vineyard and killed him.

“What will the ·owner [lord] of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and ·kill [destroy] those farmers and will give the vineyard to ·other farmers [L others; C referring to the sinners who were responding to Jesus’ call for repentance, and eventually to the Gentiles who would be saved].”

When the people heard this ·story [parable], they said, “·Let this never happen [T God forbid; L May it not happen]!”

17 But Jesus looked [directly; intently] at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture passage mean:

‘The stone that the builders rejected
    became the ·cornerstone [or capstone; or keystone; L head of the corner]’? [C This is the most important stone in the building; Jesus is the rejected stone; Ps. 118:22.]

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken [Is. 8:14], and the person on whom it falls, that person will be crushed [cf. Dan. 2:34]!”

19 The ·teachers of the law [scribes] and the ·leading [T chief] priests ·wanted [tried/sought] to ·arrest [seize; L lay hands on] Jesus at once, because they knew the ·story [parable] was ·about [told against] them. But they were afraid of what the people would do.

Is It Right to Pay Taxes or Not?(C)

20 So they watched Jesus and sent some spies who acted as if they were ·sincere [honest; righteous]. They wanted to trap Jesus in saying something wrong so they could hand him over to the ·authority [jurisdiction; rule] and ·power [authority] of the governor. 21 So the spies asked Jesus, “Teacher, we know that what you say and teach is ·true [right; correct]. You ·pay no attention to who people are [play no favorites; are impartial; aren’t swayed by appearances], and you always teach ·the truth [with sincerity/honesty] about God’s way. 22 Tell us, is it ·right [permissible; lawful] for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” [C Saying yes would anger Jews who hated Roman rule; saying no could result in being charged with insurrection.]

23 But Jesus, knowing ·they were trying to trick him [L their craftiness/duplicity], said, 24 “Show me a ·coin [L denarius]. Whose ·image [likeness; portrait] and ·name [inscription; title] are on it?”

They said, “Caesar’s.” [C Ironically, the religious leaders carry coins bearing the idolatrous image of Caesar.]

25 Jesus said to them, “Then ·give [give back; T render] to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and ·give [give back; T render] to God the things that are God’s.”

26 So they were not able to ·trap [catch] Jesus in anything he said in the presence of the people. And being amazed at his answer, they ·became silent [kept quiet].

Some Sadducees Try to Trick Jesus(D)

27 Some Sadducees, who believed people would not rise from the dead, came to Jesus. 28 They asked, “Teacher, Moses wrote that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, then that man must marry the widow and ·have children [L raise up offspring/seed] for his brother [Deut. 25:5–6]. 29 Once there were seven brothers. The first brother ·married [L took a wife] and died, but had no children. 30 Then the second brother married the widow, and he died. 31 And the third brother married the widow, and he died. The same thing happened with all seven brothers; they died and had no children. 32 Finally, the woman died also. 33 Since all seven brothers had married her, whose wife will she be ·when people rise from the dead [L at the resurrection]?”

34 Jesus said to them, “·On earth, people [L The children of this age] marry and are given to someone to marry. 35 But those who will be worthy ·to be raised from the dead and live again [L of the age to come and the resurrection] will not marry, nor will they be given to someone to marry. 36 [L For] In that life they are ·like [or equal to] angels and cannot die. They are children of God, because they ·have been raised from the dead [are children of the resurrection]. 37 Even Moses clearly showed that the dead are raised to life. When he wrote about the burning bush [Ex. 3:1–12], he said that the Lord is ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob [Ex. 3:6; C God is still the God of the patriarchs, so they must have a continued existence after death].’ 38 God is the God of the living, not the dead, because all people are alive to him.”

39 Some of the ·teachers of the law [scribes] said, “Teacher, ·your answer was good [well said!].” 40 No one ·was brave enough [dared] to ask him another question.

Is the Christ the Son of David?(E)

41 Then Jesus said, “Why do people say that the ·Christ [Messiah] is the Son of David [2 Sam. 7:12–16]? 42 [L For; Since] In the book of Psalms, David himself says:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit by me at my right ·side [L hand],
43 until I put your enemies ·under your control [L as a footstool for your feet; C meaning defeated or made subject to your authority; Ps. 110:1].”’

44 David calls ·the Christ [the Messiah; L him] ‘Lord,’ so how can ·the Christ [the Messiah; L he] be his son?”

Jesus Accuses Some Leaders(F)

45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his ·followers [disciples], 46 “Beware of the ·teachers of the law [scribes]. They like to walk around wearing ·fancy clothes [or flowing robes], and they love for people to greet them with respect in the marketplaces. They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues [11:43] and [the place of highest honor] at ·feasts [banquets]. 47 But they ·cheat widows and steal their houses [L devour widows’ homes] and ·then try to make themselves look good by saying [L with false motives pray] long prayers. They will receive a greater ·punishment [condemnation].”

The Authority of Jesus Questioned(A)

20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts(B) and proclaiming the good news,(C) the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”(D)

He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism(E)—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people(F) will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”(G)

So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

The Parable of the Tenants(H)

He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard,(I) rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time.(J) 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.

13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love;(K) perhaps they will respect him.’

14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenants(L) and give the vineyard to others.”

When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”

17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone’[a]?(M)

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”(N)

19 The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him(O) immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.(P)

Paying Taxes to Caesar(Q)

20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said,(R) so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.(S) 21 So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.(T) 22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s,(U) and to God what is God’s.”

26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.

The Resurrection and Marriage(V)

27 Some of the Sadducees,(W) who say there is no resurrection,(X) came to Jesus with a question. 28 “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.(Y) 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come(Z) and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children,(AA) since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[b](AB) 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions.(AC)

Whose Son Is the Messiah?(AD)

41 Then Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David?(AE) 42 David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:

“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand
43 until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet.”’[c](AF)

44 David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

Warning Against the Teachers of the Law

45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.(AG) 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

Footnotes

  1. Luke 20:17 Psalm 118:22
  2. Luke 20:37 Exodus 3:6
  3. Luke 20:43 Psalm 110:1

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