The religious leaders try to trap Jesus with three questions. Jesus turns the tables and asks them a question. He commands us to beware religious leaders.
VERSE 1. On one of those days, as he was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the Good News, the priests and scribes came to him with the elders.
VERSE 2. They asked him, “Tell us: by what authority do you do these things? Or who is giving you this authority?”
They asked him. The priests and scribes are not sincere people. This question is not sincere. Instead, they are trying to stir up trouble. It is a confrontation.
I also will ask you one question. Jesus recognizes their insincerity. Instead of falling into the trap they set for him, he sets a trap for them.
VERSE 4. the baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men?”
from heaven. Did God the Father commission John the Baptist?
or from men. Or did John the Baptist commission himself?
VERSE 5. They reasoned with themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’
If we say. These are not the musings of sincere seekers of truth. Rather, they are the musings of politicians.
Their decisions are based on what will benefit them, and not on truth itself.
Religious leaders are often more politician than seeker of truth.
VERSE 6. But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
VERSE 7. They answered that they didn’t know where it was from.
Neither will I tell you. The religious leaders did not answer the question. Therefore Jesus does not answer their question either.
VERSE 9. He began to tell the people this parable. “A man planted a vineyard, and rented it out to some farmers, and went into another country for a long time.
for a long time. How long is “a long time”? Jesus does not say.
We humans are often impatient. We want God to do something. But it does not happen quickly enough for us. So we get angry with God and feel disappointed. However, God’s timeframes are not the same as ours.
Isaiah 55:8-9. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
VERSE 10. At the proper season, he sent a servant to the farmers to collect his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the farmers beat him, and sent him away empty.
At the proper season. God’s timing is what is important.
VERSE 11. He sent yet another servant, and they also beat him, and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.
VERSE 12. He sent yet a third, and they also wounded him, and threw him out.
VERSE 13. The lord of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. It may be that seeing him, they will respect him.’
I will send my beloved son. This was what God the Father did:
John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
VERSE 14. “But when the farmers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’
VERSE 15. They threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do to them?
Mark 12:8. They took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
Luke 20:15. They threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do to them?
Hebrews 13:12. Therefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered outside of the gate.
VERSE 16. He will come and destroy these farmers, and will give the vineyard to others.” When they heard that, they said, “May that never be!”
destroy these farmers. That is, put them to death.
VERSE 17. But he looked at them and said, “Then what is this that is written, ‘The stone which the builders rejected was made the chief cornerstone?’
Psalm 118:22-23. The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 This is the LORD’s doing. It is marvelous in our eyes.
Matthew 21:42. Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected was made the head of the corner. This was from the Lord. It is marvelous in our eyes?’
Mark 12:10. Haven’t you even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected was made the head of the corner.
Luke 20:17. But he looked at them and said, “Then what is this that is written, ‘The stone which the builders rejected was made the chief cornerstone?’
Acts 4:11. He is ‘the stone which was regarded as worthless by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.’
1 Peter 2:7. For you who believe therefore is the honor, but for those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,”
VERSE 18. Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but it will crush whomever it falls on to dust.”
VERSE 19. The chief priests and the scribes sought to lay hands on him that very hour, but they feared the people—for they knew he had spoken this parable against them.
sought to lay hands on him. Their instinctual reaction is murder. Jesus had bruised their egos, and so therefore they must murder Jesus.
they feared the people. The scribes and chief priests are not seekers of truth. Rather, they are politicians. They based their decisions on how they will benefit personally.
they knew he had spoken this parable against them. Jesus had made a powerful statement against the scribes and chief priests. They knew it.
And they hated him for it.
SUMMARY: The religious leaders try to make Jesus seem in favor of paying taxes to the evil Roman Empire.
VERSE 20. They watched him and sent out spies, who pretended to be righteous, that they might trap him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the power and authority of the governor.
sent out spies, who pretended to be righteous. People still do this sort of thing, even nowadays. Their mission is to stir up trouble in a congregation.
VERSE 21. They asked him, “Teacher, we know that you say and teach what is right, and aren’t partial to anyone, but truly teach the way of God.
VERSE 22. Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
craftiness. That is, duplicity.
VERSE 24. Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” They answered, “Caesar’s.”
VERSE 25. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
VERSE 26. They weren’t able to trap him in his words before the people. They marveled at his answer and were silent.
weren’t able to trap him. Jesus is wiser than all his enemies.
deny that there is a resurrection. The Sadducees are primarily known for what they deny.
VERSE 28. They asked him, “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies having a wife, and he is childless, his brother should take the wife and raise up children for his brother.
VERSE 29. There were therefore seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died childless.
VERSE 30. The second took her as wife, and he died childless.
VERSE 31. The third took her, and likewise the seven all left no children, and died.
VERSE 32. Afterward the woman also died.
VERSE 33. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them will she be? For the seven had her as a wife.”
VERSE 34. Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry, and are given in marriage.
VERSE 35. But those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.
neither marry nor are given in marriage. That is, they are celibate. The word “celibate” means unmarried.
VERSE 36. For they can’t die any more, for they are like the angels, and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.
they can’t die any more. After you are resurrected, you cannot die again.
VERSE 37. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord ‘The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’
all are alive to him. We humans see the reality of death. However, death is only a reality in our time-space continuum. In the realm of eternity, all are alive:
Wisdom 3:2. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died. Their departure was considered affliction,
Matthew 22:32. ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
Luke 20:38. Now he is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all are alive to him.
VERSE 39. Some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you speak well.”
VERSE 40. They didn’t dare to ask him any more questions.
Why do they say. In this chapter, Jesus has defeated three difficult questions from the religious leaders. Now he turns the tables. Now he asks them a question. And they are unable to respond.
VERSE 42. David himself says in the book of Psalms, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand,
Sit at my right hand. The Bible often mentions “the right hand” of God. That is a position of power and honor. We believe it refers to Jesus Christ.
VERSE 44. “David therefore calls him Lord, so how is he his son?”
VERSE 45. In the hearing of all the people, he said to his disciples,
VERSE 46. “Beware of those scribes who like to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts;
Beware of those scribes. The Lord Jesus tells us to beware religious leaders.
Yet in our day, most Christians see their Christian leaders as ideal role models, as heroes of the faith, as people to be imitated.
VERSE 47. who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these will receive greater condemnation.”
make long prayers. That is, recite lengthy prayers.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.