They killed him and threw him over the fence. "What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do?
Right. He'll come and clean house. Then he'll assign the care of the vineyard to others." Those who were listening said, "Oh, no! He'd never do that!"
But Jesus didn't back down. "Why, then, do you think this was written: That stone the masons threw out - It's now the cornerstone!?
"Anyone falling over that stone will break every bone in his body; if the stone falls on anyone, it will be a total smashup."
The religion scholars and high priests wanted to lynch him on the spot, but they were intimidated by public opinion. They knew the story was about them.
Watching for a chance to get him, they sent spies who posed as honest inquirers, hoping to trick him into saying something that would get him in trouble with the law.
So they asked him, "Teacher, we know that you're honest and straightforward when you teach, that you don't pander to anyone but teach the way of God accurately.
Tell us: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
He knew they were laying for him and said,
"Show me a coin. Now, this engraving, who does it look like and what does it say?"
"Caesar," they said. Jesus said, "Then give Caesar what is his and give God what is his."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)