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12 He began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the wine press, built a tower, rented it out to a farmer, and went into another country. When it was time, he sent a servant to the farmer to get from the farmer his share of the fruit of the vineyard. They took him, beat him, and sent him away empty. Again, he sent another servant to them; and they threw stones at him, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. Again he sent another; and they killed him; and many others, beating some, and killing some. Therefore still having one, his beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those farmers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ They took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and will give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you even read this Scripture:

‘The stone which the builders rejected
    was made the head of the corner.
11 This was from the Lord.
    It is marvelous in our eyes’?”Psalm 118:22-23

12 They tried to seize him, but they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spoke the parable against them. They left him, and went away. 13 They sent some of the Pharisees and the Herodians to him, that they might trap him with words. 14 When they had come, they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you are honest, and don’t defer to anyone; for you aren’t partial to anyone, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we give, or shall we not give?”

But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test me? Bring me a denarius, that I may see it.”

16 They brought it.

He said to them, “Whose is this image and inscription?”

They said to him, “Caesar’s.”

17 Jesus answered them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

They marveled greatly at him.

18 Some Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection, came to him. They asked him, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote to us, ‘If a man’s brother dies, and leaves a wife behind him, and leaves no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up offspring for his brother.’ 20 There were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and dying left no offspring. 21 The second took her, and died, leaving no children behind him. The third likewise; 22 and the seven took her and left no children. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be of them? For the seven had her as a wife.”

24 Jesus answered them, “Isn’t this because you are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God? 25 For when they will rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 But about the dead, that they are raised; haven’t you read in the book of Moses, about the Bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?Exodus 3:6 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are therefore badly mistaken.”

28 One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the greatest of all?”

29 Jesus answered, “The greatest is, ‘Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one: 30 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.’Deuteronomy 6:4-5 This is the first commandment. 31 The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’Leviticus 19:18 There is no other commandment greater than these.”

32 The scribe said to him, “Truly, teacher, you have said well that he is one, and there is none other but he, 33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from God’s Kingdom.”

No one dared ask him any question after that. 35 Jesus responded, as he taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 For David himself said in the Holy Spirit,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
    “Sit at my right hand,
    until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet.”’Psalm 110:1

37 Therefore David himself calls him Lord, so how can he be his son?”

The common people heard him gladly. 38 In his teaching he said to them, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk in long robes, and to get greetings in the marketplaces, 39 and the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts: 40 those who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

41 Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much. 42 A poor widow came, and she cast in two small brass coins,[a] which equal a quadrans coin.[b] 43 He called his disciples to himself, and said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury, 44 for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.”

Footnotes

  1. 12:42 literally, lepta (or widow’s mites). Lepta are very small brass coins worth half a quadrans each, which is a quarter of the copper assarion. Lepta are worth less than 1% of an agricultural worker’s daily wages.
  2. 12:42 A quadrans is a coin worth about 1/64 of a denarius. A denarius is about one day’s wages for an agricultural laborer.

The Parable of the Tenants(A)

12 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard.(B) He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.

“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all,(C) saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;(D)
11 the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’[a]?”(E)

12 Then 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;(F) so they left him and went away.(G)

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar(H)

13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians(I) to Jesus to catch him(J) in his words. 14 They 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 imperial tax[b] to Caesar or not? 15 Should 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.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”(K)

And they were amazed at him.

Marriage at the Resurrection(L)

18 Then the Sadducees,(M) who say there is no resurrection,(N) 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.(O) 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21 The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22 In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 At the resurrection[c] whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures(P) or the power of God? 25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.(Q) 26 Now 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’[d]?(R) 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”

The Greatest Commandment(S)

28 One of the teachers of the law(T) 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.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f](U) 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g](V) 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.(W) 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”(X)

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”(Y) And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.(Z)

Whose Son Is the Messiah?(AA)(AB)

35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts,(AC) he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David?(AD) 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit,(AE) declared:

“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
    under your feet.”’[h](AF)

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

The large crowd(AG) listened to him with delight.

Warning Against the Teachers of the Law

38 As 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 marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.(AH) 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

The Widow’s Offering(AI)

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put(AJ) and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”(AK)

Footnotes

  1. Mark 12:11 Psalm 118:22,23
  2. Mark 12:14 A special tax levied on subject peoples, not on Roman citizens
  3. Mark 12:23 Some manuscripts resurrection, when people rise from the dead,
  4. Mark 12:26 Exodus 3:6
  5. Mark 12:29 Or The Lord our God is one Lord
  6. Mark 12:30 Deut. 6:4,5
  7. Mark 12:31 Lev. 19:18
  8. Mark 12:36 Psalm 110:1

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