Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.11The greatest among you will be your servant.12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.15"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.16"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.'17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.'19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.
22And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.23"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.29"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.30And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.
37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.38Look, your house is left to you desolate.
39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' "
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.