Jesus talks about his authority
1 One day, Jesus was teaching people in the yard of God's Great House. He was telling people the good news about God. Then the leaders of the priests and the teachers of God's Law came to him. With them were some other important Jews. 2 They asked him, ‘Tell us what authority you have to do these things? Who gave you the authority to do them?’
3 Jesus replied, ‘I also will ask you a question. Tell me the answer. 4 John baptised people. Did God give him the authority to do this? Or did men tell him to do it?’
5 The Jewish leaders talked to each other about Jesus' question. ‘We could say that God gave John his authority. But if we say that, Jesus will say to us, “Then you should have believed John.” 6 But we do not want to say that only men gave John his authority. Then all the people would throw stones at us to kill us. They are sure that John really was a prophet from God.’ 7 So the Jewish leaders answered Jesus, ‘We do not know who gave John his authority.’
8 Jesus said to them, ‘You will not answer my question. So I will not tell you what authority I have to do these things.’
Jesus tells a story about farmers
9 Then Jesus began to tell this story to the people. He said, ‘A man planted vines in his garden to grow grapes there. He found some farmers to work in the garden for him. Then he went away to another country and he stayed there for a long time.
10 The time to cut the grapes arrived. The man sent a servant to speak to the farmers. He wanted them to give him some fruit from the garden.
But the farmers hit the servant with sticks and they sent him away with nothing.
11 The master sent another servant to go to the farmers. They hit him with sticks also, and they did other bad things to him. They also sent him away with nothing. 12 The master then sent a third servant to the farmers. They hurt him badly too, and they threw him out of the garden.
13 Then the master of the garden said to himself, “I know what I will do. I will send my own son to go to them. I love him very much. Perhaps they will respect him.” 14 But the farmers saw him coming. They said to each other, “This is the son of our master. When our master dies, his son will receive the garden. So, we should kill the son and then the garden will be ours.”
15 So they threw the son out of the garden and they killed him.’
Jesus went on to ask, ‘Then what will the master of the garden do to those farmers? 16 I tell you, he will come to those farmers and he will kill them. Then he will give the garden to other people to work in.’
When the people heard this, they replied, ‘That must never happen!’
17 Jesus then looked at the people and he said, ‘You say that this must not happen. But you have read this in the Bible and you should know what it means:
“The builders refused to use a certain stone.
They thought that it had no value.
But now that stone has become the most important stone at the corner of the building.
18 When a person falls on to that stone, it will break his body into pieces. When that stone falls on top of someone, it will destroy him completely.” ’
20:18The special stone that the Jews did not want to use means Jesus. ‘The builders’ means the leaders that would not let Jesus rule them.
20:18In this story, God is the master of the field and Jesus is his Son. The people are like the vines. And their leaders who refused to obey God are like the farmers. The servants are the men that received messages from God for his people. Jesus said that God would destroy those important leaders. Those leaders did not like it when he said that.
The leaders ask Jesus a question
19 The teachers of God's Law and the leaders of the priests knew that Jesus had told this story about them. They were the bad farmers in the story. So they wanted to take hold of Jesus immediately. But they did not do it, because they were afraid of the people.
20 So this is what they did to catch Jesus. They gave money to people to ask him difficult questions. These people seemed to be good, but really they were not honest. Instead, they wanted to make Jesus say something wrong. Then they would take him to the ruler of the city to punish him. 21 So these people went and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, everything that you say and everything that you teach is right. We know that. You do not say something different to an important person to make him happy. Instead, you teach everyone the same true message. You really teach us what God wants us to do. 22 So, tell us your answer to this question: Should we pay our taxes to the Roman ruler, Caesar? Is it right to give that money to him, or not?’
23 Jesus knew that those men were not really honest. They wanted to make him say the wrong thing. 24 So he said to them, ‘Show me a coin. Tell me, whose picture is on this coin? Whose name is on it?’ 25 The men replied, ‘It is Caesar's picture and Caesar's name.’ Jesus then said to them, ‘So you should give to Caesar the things that are for him. And give to God the things that are for God.’
26 So the Jewish leaders could not make Jesus say anything wrong against Caesar. They were very surprised at his answer to their question. They could not say anything more against him. All the people who were there saw this.
The Sadducees ask Jesus a question
27 Then some of the Sadducees came to see Jesus. The Sadducees do not believe that anyone becomes alive again after they die.
28 They wanted to ask Jesus a question. ‘Teacher,’ they said to him, ‘Moses wrote this in the Bible for us: “A man may die and leave a wife but no children. Then that man's brother must marry the woman. Then their children will be called the children of the brother who died.” 29 But once there were 7 brothers. The oldest brother married a wife. Then he died before they had any children. 30 So the second brother married this woman. But he also died without children. 31 Then the third brother married the woman. The same thing happened to all 7 brothers. They all died but they had no children. 32 After all this, the woman also died. 33 You teach that one day dead people will become alive again. So, on that day, whose wife will the woman be? She had married all 7 of those brothers.’
34 Jesus answered them, ‘Men and women who are alive on earth are the ones who get married. 35 But God has chosen some people to live again with him. He will raise them up after they have died. Those people will not marry. They will not have husbands or wives, 36 and they cannot die any more. This is because they will live as the angels live in heaven. They are children of God. He has made them alive again to live with him. 37 It is true that God makes dead people become alive again. Moses showed us this in his report about the bush in the wilderness. He told us that our Lord God is the God of Abraham. He is the God of Isaac. And he is the God of Jacob. 38 But God is not the God of people who are dead. He is the God of people who are alive. For God, all people continue to be alive.’
20:38We can read about this in Exodus, chapter 3.
39 Some of the teachers of God's Law agreed with Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘that was a very good answer.’ 40 After that, they were all afraid to ask Jesus any more questions.
The Messiah is someone that King David calls his Lord
41 Jesus said to them, ‘Why do people say that the Messiah will be King David's son? 42 David himself said this in the book called Psalms:
“The Lord God said to my Lord,
Sit at my right side until I beat your enemies completely.
43 You will even be able to put your feet on them.”
44 You see here that David calls the Messiah his Lord. So can you really say that he is just David's son?’
Jesus speaks against the teachers of God's Law
45 All the people were listening to Jesus. Jesus then said to his disciples, 46 ‘Be careful not to do the same as the teachers of God's Law. They want people to think that they are important. So they walk about in beautiful long clothes. They like people to praise them in the market place. They choose to sit in the best seats in the meeting place. They like to sit in the most important places at special meals. 47 They take things away from women after their husbands have died, even their houses. Then they pray for a long time so that other people will praise them. Because they do these things, God will punish those men much more than other people.’