1 And it happened on one of the days that Jesus was teaching people in the Temple and preaching the good news, that the leading priests and the experts in the law of Moses, [along] with the [Jewish] elders, came to Him. 2 They said to Him, "Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things [i.e., miracles and teaching]? Or, who is the one who gave you this authority?"
3 And Jesus answered them, "Let me also ask you a question. Tell me, 4 was the immersion of John [authorized] from heaven or from men?"
5 And they discussed this among themselves, saying, "If we say 'from heaven,' He will say 'Why [then] did you not believe him [i.e., believe his message]?' 6 But if we say 'from men,' all the people will stone us, for they are convinced that John was a prophet."
8 So, Jesus said to them, " [Then] neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."
9 Then Jesus began speaking to the people. [Note: And perhaps to the religious leaders as well. See Mark 11:18 with 12:1]. He told them this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, then leased it out to tenant farmers and went to another country for a long time. 10 And when the [grape harvest] season came, the owner of the farm sent a slave to the tenant farmers, asking them for the grape harvest [to be delivered to him]. But the tenant farmers beat the slave and sent him away empty handed. 11 Then he sent out another slave [i.e., to arrange for receiving the crop], but the tenant farmers beat him also, shamefully abused him and sent him away empty handed [as well]. 12 So, he sent a third [slave] and they wounded him also and threw him out [of the vineyard].
13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do [about this]? I will send my dearly loved son. Hopefully, they will treat him with respect.'
14 But when the tenant farmers saw him, they began reasoning with one another, saying, 'This is the heir [to the vineyard]; let us kill him so the inheritance will be ours.' 15 So, they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? [Jesus asked]. 16 He will come and kill those tenant farmers and will give the vineyard to other people." And when the people heard [Him say] this, they said, "May that never happen."
17 But Jesus looked at them and said, "Then what does it mean that is written [Psa. 118:22], 'The building block rejected by the builders [is] the same [one] that was made the principal stone by which the entire building was aligned?'
18 Every person who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but whoever it falls on will be scattered like dust."
19 Then the experts in the law of Moses and the leading priests attempted to arrest Jesus right away, [but hesitated] because they feared [what] the people [might do], since they perceived that He had spoken this parable against them.
20 And they kept watching Him, [even] sending informants who pretended to be good [men], in order to get hold of something He said so they could turn Him over to the ruling authority of the governor. 21 And they asked Him, "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach correctly and that you do not show partiality to anyone, but [rather] teach the truth about God's way. 22 Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
23 But Jesus perceived their trickery, and said to them, 24 "Show me the coin [used for paying the taxes]. [Note: This coin was equivalent to one day of a farm laborer's pay, or about $60-$84 in 1994]. Whose image and inscription are on this coin?" And they answered Him, "Caesar's."
25 He replied, "Then pay to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and pay to God the things that belong to God."
26 And they were not able to get hold of anything Jesus said in front of the people. And they marveled at His answer and did not say anything [further].
27 [Then] certain Sadducees came to Jesus (they are the ones who say there is no resurrection [of the dead]). 28 They said to Him, "Teacher, Moses wrote to us [Deut 25:5] that if a man's brother dies, leaving his widow [behind] without having had any children, his brother should marry his widow and father children [by her]. These children would then be considered his [dead] brother's. 29 [Now] there were these seven brothers; the first one got married, but when he died he did not leave any children behind. 30 Then the second one did the same thing. 31 Then the third one married the [surviving] widow [of the first two brothers]. And in the same way, all seven [brothers] married her, but left no children [behind when they died]. 32 Finally, the woman also passed away. 33 [Now] whose wife will she be in the resurrected state, for all seven [brothers] were married to her?"
34 And Jesus said to them, "The people of this age [i.e., who live on earth] marry and are given away in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy of gaining that age [i.e., the future, never ending state] and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given away in marriage. 36 For they cannot die anymore either, because they are equal to the angels and are children of God, as well as children of the resurrection [i.e., people who are assured of being resurrected]. 37 But even Moses showed that dead people would be raised in the incident about the bush [Ex. 3:6], where he called the Lord, 'Abraham's God, and Isaac's God, and Jacob's God.' 38 So, He is not God to those who are dead, but [He is] God to those who are alive, for to God, all people are alive."
39 Then certain experts in the law of Moses replied to Jesus, "Teacher, you have spoken well." 40 For they did not dare ask Him any more questions.
41 And Jesus said to them [i.e., the Pharisees. See Matt. 22:41], "How is it that they [i.e., the experts in the law of Moses. See Mark 12:35] can say that the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one] is the son of David? 42 For David himself said in the book of Psalms [Psa. 110:1], 'The Lord [i.e., God] said to my [i.e., David's] Lord [i.e., Jesus], sit at my right side 43 until I make your enemies the footrest [i.e., in subjection] under your feet.'
45 Then Jesus said to His disciples in the hearing of all the people, 46 "Look out for the experts in the law of Moses, who like to walk [around] in long [flowing] robes and love the special greetings they receive at the open shopping markets, and the principal seats in the synagogues, and the head places at dinner tables. 47 They consume widows' houses [i.e., by foreclosing on them] and [then] cover it up by offering lengthy prayers. These people will receive a heavier judgment."