1 Jesus began speaking to them [i.e., to the leading priests and experts in the law of Moses (See 11: 2 And when the [grape harvest] season came, the owner of the farm sent a slave to the tenant farmers asking them to deliver the grape crop [to him]. 3 But they took the slave and beat him and sent him away empty handed. 4 Again the owner of the farm sent another slave, whom they wounded in the head and shamefully abused. 5 He sent [still] another slave, whom they killed. He continued sending many more slaves; they beat some and killed others.
6 The owner had one more person [left to send], his dearly loved son. [So] he sent him to them last of all, reasoning to himself, ' [Surely] they will treat my son with respect.'
7 But the tenant farmers said to one another, 'This is the heir [to the vineyard]. Come on, let us kill him and then the inheritance will be ours.' 8 So they took him and killed him and threw his body out of the vineyard.
9 What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do [when he gets back]?" Jesus asked. [Then He continued], "He will come and kill those tenant farmers and give the vineyard to other people. 10 Have you never read this Scripture [Psa. 118:22-23], 'The building block rejected by the builders is the same [one] that was made the principal stone by which the entire building was aligned. 11 This was planned by the Lord and is a marvelous thing to us'?"
12 And they [i.e., the leading priests and experts in the Law of Moses] attempted to arrest Jesus, but [hesitated because] they feared what the crowd might do, for they understood that He was speaking the parable against them. So, they left Him and went away.
13 Then the Pharisees sent certain ones of their number [See Matt. 22:15-16] along with the Herodians [Note: This refers to members of a political party favoring King Herod] to attempt to trap Him by what He said. 14 And when they arrived, they said to Him, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and [that you] do not care for [i.e., do not fear or give in to] anyone. For you do not allow [the position of] any person to influence you, but teach the truth about God's way. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15 Should we pay it, or should we not pay it?" But Jesus was aware of their hypocrisy and said to them, "Bring me the coin so I can see it." [Note: The amount of this coin was equivalent to one day of a farm laborer's pay, or about $60-$84 in 1994]. 16 So, they brought it to Him and He said to them, "Whose image and inscription [are on this coin]?" And they answered Him, "Caesar's."
17 Then Jesus replied to them, "Pay to Caesar whatever belongs to Caesar and pay to God whatever belongs to God." And they greatly marveled at Him.
18 or, to the people (See Luke 20:9)] by using parables. He said, "A man planted a vineyard and built a fence around it. He dug a place for constructing a grape squeezing device, built a [lookout] tower [near it], then leased it out to tenant farmers and went to another country.
18 Then some Sadducees, [the ones] who say there is no resurrection [of the dead], came and asked Him, 19 "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. 20 [Now] there were [these] seven brothers; the first one got married, but when he died he left no children behind. 21 So, the second one married his widow, and at his death he too left no children behind. Then the third one did the same thing. 22 All seven left no children [behind when they died]. Finally, the woman also passed away. 23 [Now] whose wife will she be in the resurrected state, for all seven [brothers] were married to her?"
24 Jesus said to them, "Is not this the reason that you are [so] mistaken, that you do not know [what] the Scriptures [teach] or [how much] power God has? 25 For when people rise from the dead, men do not get married, and women are not given away in marriage, but [all] are like angels in heaven. 26 But concerning those who are raised from the dead, have you never read in the book of Moses, in the incident about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying [Ex. 3:6], 'I am Abraham's God, and Isaac's God, and Jacob's God?' 27 [So], He is not God to those who are dead, but [He is] God to those who are alive. You are seriously mistaken."
28 Then one of the experts in the law of Moses [Note: Matt. 22:34 identifies him as being a Pharisee also], came and heard Jesus and the Sadducees discussing together [i.e., the subject of the resurrection], and knowing that Jesus had refuted the Sadducees successfully, asked Him, "Which commandment is foremost, above all the others?"
29 And Jesus answered, "The foremost one is this [Deut. 6:4-5], 'Hear this, you Israelites, the Lord our God is the only Lord, 30 and you must 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 one is this, 'You must love your neighbor the same way that you love yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these [i.e., love for God and man]."
32 The expert in the law of Moses said to Jesus, "Truly, Teacher, you are right in saying that God is [the only] one and that there is no other God but Him. 33 And that to love Him with all one's heart, with all one's understanding, and with all one's strength, and to love one's neighbor the same way he loves himself, are far more [important] than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices [in the world]."
34 When Jesus saw that this man answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not [very] far from the kingdom of God." And after that, no one dared to ask Him any more questions.
35 As Jesus was teaching in the Temple, He responded [to some Pharisees. See Matt. 22:41] by asking, "How is it that the experts in the law of Moses can say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 [It was] David himself [who] said by [inspiration of] the Holy Spirit [Psa. 110:1], 'The Lord [i.e., God] said to my [i.e., David's] Lord [i.e., Jesus], sit at my right side until I make your enemies the footrest [i.e., in subjection] under your feet.'
37 David himself called Him [i.e., Jesus] Lord, so how could He be his son?" And the large crowd listened to Him with pleasure.
38 In His teaching Jesus said, "Look out for the experts in the law of Moses, who like to walk around in long [flowing] robes and to receive special greetings at the open shopping markets 39 and to occupy the principal seats in the synagogues and the head places at dinner tables. 40 They consume widows' houses [i.e., by foreclosing on them] and [then] cover it up by offering lengthy prayers. These people will receive a more severe judgment."
41 Then Jesus sat down over near the [Temple] treasury and watched how the crowd was throwing money into the treasury [Note: This "treasury" was a large open-mouthed container used for receiving offerings for meeting expenses of Temple upkeep]. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. 42 A poor widow came and threw in two small copper coins [Note: These two coins each amounted to about ten minutes' worth of a farm laborer's pay, or about one dollar in 1994]. The total she gave was equivalent to a larger coin [i.e., worth twice as much]. 43 Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has thrown in more than all the rest who are throwing [money] into the treasury. 44 For all of them threw in from their abundance, but being very poor, she threw in everything she had, even all she had to live on."