Mark 12; Mark 13

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Mark 12

1 Jesus began to use stories to teach the people. He said, "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it and dug a hole for a winepress and built a tower. Then he leased the land to some farmers and left for a trip.
2 When it was time for the grapes to be picked, he sent a servant to the farmers to get his share of the grapes.
3 But the farmers grabbed the servant and beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
4 Then the man sent another servant. They hit him on the head and showed no respect for him.
5 So the man sent another servant, whom they killed. The man sent many other servants; the farmers beat some of them and killed others.
6 "The man had one person left to send, his son whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
7 "But the farmers said to each other, 'This son will inherit the vineyard. If we kill him, it will be ours.'
8 So they took the son, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
9 "So what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those farmers and will give the vineyard to other farmers.
10 Surely you have read this Scripture: 'The stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone.
11 The Lord did this, and it is wonderful to us.'"
12 The Jewish leaders knew that the story was about them. So they wanted to find a way to arrest Jesus, but they were afraid of the people. So the leaders left him and went away.
13 Later, the Jewish leaders sent some Pharisees and Herodiansn to Jesus to trap him in saying something wrong.
14 They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know that you are an honest man. You are not afraid of what other people think about you, because you pay no attention to who they are. And you teach the truth about God's way. Tell us: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?
15 Should we pay them, or not?" But knowing what these men were really trying to do, Jesus said to them, "Why are you trying to trap me? Bring me a coin to look at."
16 They gave Jesus a coin, and he asked, "Whose image and name are on the coin?" They answered, "Caesar's."
17 Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and give to God the things that are God's." The men were amazed at what Jesus said.
18 Then some Sadducees came to Jesus and asked him a question. (Sadducees believed that people would not rise from the dead.)
19 They said, "Teacher, Moses wrote that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, then that man must marry the widow and have children for his brother.
20 Once there were seven brothers. The first brother married and died, leaving no children.
21 So the second brother married the widow, but he also died and had no children. The same thing happened with the third brother.
22 All seven brothers married her and died, and none of the brothers had any children. Finally the woman died too.
23 Since all seven brothers had married her, when people rise from the dead, whose wife will she be?"
24 Jesus answered, "Why don't you understand? Don't you know what the Scriptures say, and don't you know about the power of God?
25 When people rise from the dead, they will not marry, nor will they be given to someone to marry. They will be like the angels in heaven.
26 Surely you have read what God said about people rising from the dead. In the book in which Moses wrote about the burning bush, it says that God told Moses, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'
27 God is the God of the living, not the dead. You Sadducees are wrong!"
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard Jesus arguing with the Sadducees. Seeing that Jesus gave good answers to their questions, he asked Jesus, "Which of the commands is most important?"
29 Jesus answered, "The most important command is this: 'Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord.
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.'
31 The second command is this: 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.' There are no commands more important than these."
32 The man answered, "That was a good answer, Teacher. You were right when you said God is the only Lord and there is no other God besides him.
33 One must love God with all his heart, all his mind, and all his strength. And one must love his neighbor as he loves himself. These commands are more important than all the animals and sacrifices we offer to God."
34 When Jesus saw that the man answered him wisely, Jesus said to him, "You are close to the kingdom of God." And after that, no one was brave enough to ask Jesus any more questions.
35 As Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he asked, "Why do the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David?
36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, said: 'The Lord said to my Lord: Sit by me at my right side, until I put your enemies under your control.'
37 David himself calls the Christ 'Lord,' so how can the Christ be his son?" The large crowd listened to Jesus with pleasure.
38 Jesus continued teaching and said, "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around wearing fancy clothes, and they love for people to greet them with respect in the marketplaces.
39 They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues and at feasts.
40 But they cheat widows and steal their houses and then try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. They will receive a greater punishment."
41 Jesus sat near the Temple money box and watched the people put in their money. Many rich people gave large sums of money.
42 Then a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which were only worth a few cents.
43 Calling his followers to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow gave more than all those rich people.
44 They gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had; she gave all she had to live on."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mark 13

1 As Jesus was leaving the Temple, one of his followers said to him, "Look, Teacher! How beautiful the buildings are! How big the stones are!"
2 Jesus said, "Do you see all these great buildings? Not one stone will be left on another. Every stone will be thrown down to the ground."
3 Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, opposite the Temple, he was alone with Peter, James, John, and Andrew. They asked Jesus,
4 "Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are going to happen?"
5 Jesus began to answer them, "Be careful that no one fools you.
6 Many people will come in my name, saying, 'I am the One,' and they will fool many people.
7 When you hear about wars and stories of wars that are coming, don't be afraid. These things must happen before the end comes.
8 Nations will fight against other nations, and kingdoms against other kingdoms. There will be earthquakes in different places, and there will be times when there is no food for people to eat. These things are like the first pains when something new is about to be born.
9 "You must be careful. People will arrest you and take you to court and beat you in their synagogues. You will be forced to stand before kings and governors, to tell them about me. This will happen to you because you follow me.
10 But before these things happen, the Good News must be told to all people.
11 When you are arrested and judged, don't worry ahead of time about what you should say. Say whatever is given you to say at that time, because it will not really be you speaking; it will be the Holy Spirit.
12 "Brothers will give their own brothers to be killed, and fathers will give their own children to be killed. Children will fight against their own parents and cause them to be put to death.
13 All people will hate you because you follow me, but those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved.
14 "You will see 'the destroying terror' standing where it should not be." (You who read this should understand what it means.) "At that time, the people in Judea should run away to the mountains.
15 If people are on the roof of their houses, they must not go down or go inside to get anything out of their houses.
16 If people are in the fields, they must not go back to get their coats.
17 At that time, how terrible it will be for women who are pregnant or have nursing babies!
18 Pray that these things will not happen in winter,
19 because those days will be full of trouble. There will be more trouble than there has ever been since the beginning, when God made the world, until now, and nothing as bad will ever happen again.
20 God has decided to make that terrible time short. Otherwise, no one would go on living. But God will make that time short to help the people he has chosen.
21 At that time, someone might say to you, 'Look, there is the Christ!' Or another person might say, 'There he is!' But don't believe them.
22 False Christs and false prophets will come and perform great wonders and miracles. They will try to fool even the people God has chosen, if that is possible.
23 So be careful. I have warned you about all this before it happens.
24 "During the days after this trouble comes, 'the sun will grow dark, and the moon will not give its light.
25 The stars will fall from the sky. And the powers of the heavens will be shaken.'
26 "Then people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
27 Then he will send his angels all around the earth to gather his chosen people from every part of the earth and from every part of heaven.
28 "Learn a lesson from the fig tree: When its branches become green and soft and new leaves appear, you know summer is near.
29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, you will know that the time is near, ready to come.
30 I tell you the truth, all these things will happen while the people of this time are still living.
31 Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed.
32 "No one knows when that day or time will be, not the angels in heaven, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.
33 Be careful! Always be ready, because you don't know when that time will be.
34 It is like a man who goes on a trip. He leaves his house and lets his servants take care of it, giving each one a special job to do. The man tells the servant guarding the door always to be watchful.
35 So always be ready, because you don't know when the owner of the house will come back. It might be in the evening, or at midnight, or in the morning while it is still dark, or when the sun rises.
36 Always be ready. Otherwise he might come back suddenly and find you sleeping.
37 I tell you this, and I say this to everyone: 'Be ready!'"
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.