Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:
2"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.4"Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'5"But they paid no attention and went off--one to his field, another to his business.6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.8"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.9Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.'10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.11"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.12'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.13"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'14"For many are invited, but few are chosen."
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.
They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.
Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?19Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius,
and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"21
"Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."22
When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.
"Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him.
Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother.
The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh.
Finally, the woman died.
Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"
Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.31But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you,32'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."33
When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'38This is the first and greatest commandment.39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42"What do you think about the Christ ? Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied.
He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says,44" 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." '45If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?"46
No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
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."