15So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him." "What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to those farmers?" Jesus asked.
16"I'll tell you -- he will come and kill them all and lease the vineyard to others." "But God forbid that such a thing should ever happen," his listeners protested.17
Jesus looked at them and said, "Then what do the Scriptures mean? 'The stone rejected by the builders has now become the cornerstone.' a18All who stumble over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone on whom it falls."19
When the teachers of religious law and the leading priests heard this story, they wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was pointing at them -- that they were the farmers in the story. But they were afraid there would be a riot if they arrested him.
Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent secret agents pretending to be honest men. They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus.
They said, "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You sincerely teach the ways of God.
Now tell us -- is it right to pay taxes to the Roman government or not?"
He saw through their trickery and said,
24"Show me a Roman coin. b Whose picture and title are stamped on it?" "Caesar's," they replied.
25"Well then," he said, "give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)