One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him.
"Tell us by what authority you are doing these things," they said. "Who gave you this authority?"
He replied, "I will also ask you a question. Tell me,4John's baptism--was it from heaven, or from men?"5
They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Why didn't you believe him?'
But if we say, 'From men,' all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet."
So they answered, "We don't know where it was from."
Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."
He went on to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time.10At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed.11He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed.12He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.13"Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.'14"But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. 'This is the heir,' they said. 'Let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. "What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?16He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When the people heard this, they said, "May this never be!"
Jesus looked directly at them and asked, "Then what is the meaning of that which is written: " 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone ' ?18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."19
The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.
So the spies questioned him: "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
He saw through their duplicity and said to them,
24"Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?"25
"Caesar's," they replied. He said to them, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."26
They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.
Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question.
"Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless.
and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children.
Finally, the woman died too.
Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"
Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.35But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage,36and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.37But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord 'the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'38He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."39
Some of the teachers of the law responded, "Well said, teacher!"
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Then Jesus said to them, "How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David?42David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: " 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand43until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." '44David calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?"45
While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples,
46"Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.47They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."
As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.
He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
3"I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others.4All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said,
6"As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down."7
"Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?"
He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them.9When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away."10
Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.11There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.12"But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.13This will result in your being witnesses to them.14But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.15For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.16You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.17All men will hate you because of me.18But not a hair of your head will perish.19By standing firm you will gain life.20"When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.22For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.23How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.24They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.25"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."29
He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees.30When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.31Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.32"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.34"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."37
Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives,
and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching,
and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people.
Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.
And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.
They were delighted and agreed to give him money.
He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.
Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover."9
"Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked.
He replied, "As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters,11and say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'12He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there."13
They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.
And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.16For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."17
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you.18For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."19
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."20
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.21But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.22The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him."23
They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.
Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.28You are those who have stood by me in my trials.29And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.31"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."33
But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."
Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."35
Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered.
He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.37It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."38
The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.
On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation."41
He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,
42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."43
An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.
46"Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,
but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"49
When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?"
And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?53Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour--when darkness reigns."
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance.
But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.
A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, "This man was with him."
But he denied it. "Woman, I don't know him," he said.
A little later someone else saw him and said, "You also are one of them." "Man, I am not!" Peter replied.
About an hour later another asserted, "Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean."
Peter replied, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.
The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times."62
And he went outside and wept bitterly.
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.
"If you are the Christ, " they said, "tell us." Jesus answered, "If I tell you, you will not believe me,68and if I asked you, you would not answer.69But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God."70
They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied, "You are right in saying I am."71
Then they said, "Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips."