He then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.2At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.3But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed.4Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully.5He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.6"He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.'7"But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'8So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.9"What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.10Haven't you read this scripture: " 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;11the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes' ?"12
Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words.
They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or shouldn't we?" But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. "Why are you trying to trap me?" he asked. "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it."16
They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied.
Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him.
Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him 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 and died without leaving any children.
The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third.
In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too.
At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"
Jesus replied, "Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?25When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.26Now about the dead rising--have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'27He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!"
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."32
"Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, "How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David?36David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: " 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." '37David himself calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?" The large crowd listened to him with delight.
As he taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces,39and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.40They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on."
As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!"
2"Do you see all these great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."3
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately,
"Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?"
Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you.6Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many.7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.8Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.9"You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.10And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.11Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.12"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.13All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.14"When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong--let the reader understand--then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.15Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out.16Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.17How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!18Pray that this will not take place in winter,19because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now--and never to be equaled again.20If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.21At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ !' or, 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it.22For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect--if that were possible.23So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.24"But in those days, following that distress, " 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;25the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'26"At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.27And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.28"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.29Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door.30I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
32"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.33Be on guard! Be alert ! You do not know when that time will come.34It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.35"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.36If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.37What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' "
Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.
"But not during the Feast," they said, "or the people may riot."
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume?
It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly.
6"Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.7The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.8She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.9I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."10
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.
They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus' disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?"
So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him.14Say to the owner of the house he enters, 'The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'15He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there."16
The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.
While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me--one who is eating with me."19
They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, "Surely not I?"
20"It is one of the Twelve," he replied, "one who dips bread into the bowl with me.21The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."22
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body."23
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.
24"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.
25"I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God."26
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
27"You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written: " 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.'28But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."29
Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not."
30"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "today--yes, tonight--before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times."31
But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the others said the same.
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray."33
He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.
34"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."35
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.
36"Abba", Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."37
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Simon," he said to Peter, "are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?38Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."39
Once more he went away and prayed the same thing.
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.
Returning the third time, he said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.42Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"
Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.
Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard."
Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Rabbi!" and kissed him.
The men seized Jesus and arrested him.
Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
48"Am I leading a rebellion," said Jesus, "that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?49Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled."50
Then everyone deserted him and fled.
A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him,
he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.
They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law came together.
Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.
Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him:
"We heard him say, 'I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.' "
Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?"
But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?"
62"I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."63
The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked.
"You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" They all condemned him as worthy of death.
Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, "Prophesy!" And the guards took him and beat him.
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by.
When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. "You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus," she said.
But he denied it. "I don't know or understand what you're talking about," he said, and went out into the entryway.
When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, "This fellow is one of them."
Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, "Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean."
He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, "I don't know this man you're talking about."
Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times." And he broke down and wept.