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Mark 12

New International Version

1 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: 'A man planted a vineyard. 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. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed. 6 He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 7 But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 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; 11 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?' 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; so they left him and went away. 13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him 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 to Caes 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.' And they were amazed at him. 18 Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, 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. 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 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 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. 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'? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!' 28 One of the teachers of the law 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. 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.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 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. 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.' 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.' And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. 35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, 'Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: ''The Lord said to my Lord: 'Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.'' 37 David himself calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?' The large crowd listened to him with delight. 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. 40 They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.' 41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put 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.'
English Standard Version

1 And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” 12 And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away. 13 And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. 14 And 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, 15 But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 17 Jesus 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. 18 And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, 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. 20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” 24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And 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’? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.” 28 And 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?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And 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.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And 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.” 34 And 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. 35 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ 37 David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly. 38 And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” 41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And 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. 44 For 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.”
King James Version

1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. 2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. 4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. 5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. 6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. 7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. 8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. 10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: 11 This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 12 And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way. 13 And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. 14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. 17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him. 18 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, 19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. 21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. 22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. 23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. 24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? 25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. 26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err. 28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question. 35 And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? 36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. 37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly. 38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, 39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: 40 Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. 41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
New American Standard Bible

1 And He began to speak to them in parables: 'A man PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT, AND DUG A VAT UNDER THE WINE PRESS AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 2 'At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. 3 'They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 'Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. 5 'And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others. 6 'He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 7 'But those vine-growers said to one another, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!' 8 'They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 'What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. 10 'Have you not even read this Scripture: 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; 11 THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES '?' 12 And they were seeking to seize Him, and yet they feared the people, for they understood that He spoke the parable against them. And so they left Him and went away. 13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14 They came and said to Him, 'Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 'Shall we pay or shall we not pay?' But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, 'Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.' 16 They brought one. And He said to them, 'Whose likeness and inscription is this?' And they said to Him, 'Caesar's.' 17 And Jesus said to them, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.' And they were amazed at Him. 18 Some Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection) came to Jesus, and began questioning Him, saying, 19 'Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN'S BROTHER DIES and leaves behind a wife AND LEAVES NO CHILD, HIS BROTHER SHOULD MARRY THE WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER. 20 'There were seven brothers; and the first took a wife, and died leaving no children. 21 'The second one married her, and died leaving behind no children; and the third likewise; 22 and so all seven left no children. Last of all the woman died also. 23 'In the resurrection, when they rise again, which one's wife will she be? For all seven had married her.' 24 Jesus said to them, 'Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 'For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 'But regarding the fact that the dead rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, and the God of Jacob '? 27 'He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken.' 28 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, 'What commandment is the foremost of all?' 29 Jesus answered, 'The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 30 AND 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.' 31 'The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these.' 32 The scribe said to Him, 'Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM; 33 AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE'S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.' 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.' After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions. 35 And Jesus began to say, as He taught in the temple, 'How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 'David himself said in the Holy Spirit, 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, 'SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET.'' 37 'David himself calls Him 'Lord'; so in what sense is He his son?' And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him. 38 In His teaching He was saying: 'Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, 39 and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, 40 who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.' 41 And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43 Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, 'Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.'
New Living Translation

1 Then Jesus began teaching them with stories: 'A man planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country. 2 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. 3 But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. 4 The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head. 5 The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed, 6 until there was only one left--his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, 'Surely they will respect my son.' 7 'But the tenant farmers said to one another, 'Here comes the heir to this estate. Let's kill him and get the estate for ourselves!' 8 So they grabbed him and murdered him and threw his body out of the vineyard. 9 'What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do?' Jesus asked. 'I'll tell you--he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others. 10 Didn't you ever read this in the Scriptures? 'The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. 11 This is the LORD's doing, and it is wonderful to see.'' 12 The religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus because they realized he was telling the story against them--they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away. 13 Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. 14 'Teacher,' they said, 'we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don't play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us--is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay them, or shouldn't we?' Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, 'Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin, and I'll tell you.' 16 When they handed it to him, he asked, 'Whose picture and title are stamped on it?' 'Caesar's,' they replied. 17 'Well, then,' Jesus said, 'give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.' His reply completely amazed them. 18 Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees--religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: 19 'Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother's name. 20 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. 21 So the second brother married the widow, but he also died without children. Then the third brother married her. 22 This continued with all seven of them, and still there were no children. Last of all, the woman also died. 23 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.' 24 Jesus replied, 'Your mistake is that you don't know the Scriptures, and you don't know the power of God. 25 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 'But now, as to whether the dead will be raised--haven't you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said to Moses, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and 27 So he is the God of the living, not the dead. You have made a serious error.' 28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?' 29 Jesus replied, 'The most important commandment is this: 'Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' 31 The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these.' 32 The teacher of religious law replied, 'Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.' 34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, 'You are not far from the Kingdom of God.' And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions. 35 Later, as Jesus was teaching the people in the Temple, he asked, 'Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said, 'The LORD said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.' 37 Since David himself called the Messiah 'my Lord,' how can the Messiah be his son?' The large crowd listened to him with great delight. 38 Jesus also taught: 'Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. 39 And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 40 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.' 41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 'I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.'
Christian Standard Bible

1 He began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug out a pit for a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went away. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the farmers to collect some of the fruit of the vineyard from them. 3 But they took him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent another servant to them, and they hit him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 Then he sent another, and they killed that one. He also sent many others; some they beat, and others they killed. 6 He still had one to send, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 7 But those tenant farmers said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 8 So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill the farmers and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven't you read this Scripture: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 11 This came about from the Lord and is wonderful in our eyes?" 12 They were looking for a way to arrest him but feared the crowd because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. So they left him and went away. 13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and the Herodians to Jesus to trap him in his words. 14 When they came, they said to him, "Teacher, we know you are truthful and don't care what anyone thinks, nor do you show partiality but teach the way of God truthfully. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn't we?" 15 But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, "Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at." 16 They brought a coin. "Whose image and inscription is this?" he asked them. "Caesar's," they replied. 17 Jesus told them, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were utterly amazed at him. 18 Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and questioned him: 19 "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife behind but no child, that man should take the wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers. The first married a woman, and dying, left no offspring. 21 The second also took her, and he died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 None of the seven left offspring. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be, since the seven had married her?" 24 Jesus spoke to them, "Isn't this the reason why you're mistaken: you don't know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised--haven't you read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God said to him: I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not the God of the dead but of the living. You are badly mistaken." 28 One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, "Which command is the most important of all?" 29 Jesus answered, "The most important is Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31 The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these." 32 Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, teacher. You have correctly said that he is one, and there is no one else except him. 33 And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And no one dared to question him any longer. 35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he asked, "How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself says by the Holy Spirit: The Lord declared to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.' 37 David himself calls him 'Lord'; how then can he be his son?" And the large crowd was listening to him with delight. 38 He also said in his teaching, "Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who want greetings in the marketplaces, 39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows' houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher judgment." 41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. 43 Summoning his disciples, he said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had--all she had to live on."

What does Mark 12 mean?

Jesus spends this entire chapter explaining that the Jewish religious and civil leaders are not nearly as wise or honorable as they claim to be. Their lack of understanding about what God values and intends for the world leads them to reject the truth they claim to teach. They turn obedience to God into a method for accruing honor from people.

In the parable of the tenants, Jesus explains how the Jewish leaders have assumed authority and control over the religious and civil systems that God means them to be stewards of. When God sent prophets to bring the Israelites' loyalties back toward God, the leaders abused and murdered the prophets. God has now sent His Son, and they will do the same to Him. The leaders seem to think that if God has no more representatives, they will be free to rule as they wish. They don't realize that God's plan has always been to expand His attentions to the whole world, and if the Jewish leaders won't be a part of the plan, they will be removed (Mark 12:1–12).

The Pharisees and Herodians give Jesus the chance to expound on this theme when they ask if the Mosaic law permits Jews to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus disappoints both sects by ignoring the possibility of an autonomous Jewish theocracy and separating the honor due God from that which is due the king. This is especially important to the church as we live as Christ-followers in secular society (Mark 12:13–17).

On the surface, the Pharisees dismiss worldly position for spiritual authority. The Sadducees, who believe there is no resurrection, combine the two. In the context of a logic puzzle about levirate marriages, Jesus reveals that the Sadducees—the sect that produces most of the high priests—don't understand the nature of God's relationship to His people. They don't trust that God has made His people for something bigger than just this world. Without an afterlife, the Sadducees find meaning only in power on earth (Mark 12:18–26).

One scribe of the Pharisees shows that he does understand; at least, he understands the purpose of the Mosaic law. He understands that knowing and loving God and loving people is the basis for all the rules God gave regarding behavior. Unfortunately, he doesn't yet follow the thread to the conclusion that God also loves him and has sent His Son to save him. Not even the work of love can earn salvation (Mark 12:28–34).

At this point, none of the Jewish religious or civil leaders dare challenge Jesus further. Jesus takes charge of the conversation by pointing out a specific area in which the scribes misunderstand Scripture. For a while, now, scribes have referred to the Messiah as the "son of David." They miss the part in Psalm 110:1 that reveals the Messiah is also David's Lord. This section seems like a non-sequitur, but it primes the audience for a more comprehensive criticism of their religious experts (Mark 12:35–37).

Mark next describes how Jesus roundly criticizes how the scribes misunderstand their position. They are supposed to be teaching the people how to honor and worship God so God can bless them. Instead, their entitled demeanor invites the people to honor them, while they cheat the powerless. Where Mark gives a short synopsis of the scribes' abuses, Matthew 23 goes into much more detail, and finishes with Jesus' lament of how the leaders in Jerusalem have rejected the prophets and sealed the temple's doom (Mark 12:38–40).

Mark next shows Jesus highlighting a woman who is the exact opposite of these foolish leaders. Out of honor to God, a widow donates the last of her meager funds. She has no expectation that she will receive any earthly honor; in fact, she may be scorned for giving so little. But Jesus commends her for giving more to God than any of the leaders who have supposedly dedicated their lives to God's service (Mark 12:41–44).

This chapter marks the last time Jesus is recorded teaching in the temple courtyard and the last public teaching of His ministry. After this, He will teach His disciples on the Mount of Olives (Mark 13), be anointed one last time (Mark 14:3–9), eat the Passover with His disciples (Mark 14:12–25), and face the crucifixion. The Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, chief priests, and scribes reject Jesus as they have rejected God's will. But in the course of ensuring Jesus' execution, they also provide the means by which God can forgive them and reconcile them to Himself.