Contemporary English Version
A Question about Jesus' Authority
1One day, Jesus was teaching in the temple and telling the good news. So the chief priests, the teachers, and the nation's leaders 2asked him, “What right do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?”
3Jesus replied, “I want to ask you a question. 4Who gave John the right to baptize? Was it God in heaven or merely some human being?”
5They talked this over and said to each other, “We can't say God gave John this right. Jesus will ask us why we didn't believe John. 6And we can't say it was merely some human who gave John the right to baptize. The crowd will stone us to death, because they think John was a prophet.”
7So they told Jesus, “We don't know who gave John the right to baptize.”
8Jesus replied, “Then I won't tell you who gave me the right to do what I do.”
Renters of a Vineyard
A man once planted a vineyard and rented it out. Then he left the country for a long time. 10When it was time to harvest the crop, he sent a servant to ask the renters for his share of the grapes. But they beat up the servant and sent him away without anything. 11So the owner sent another servant. The renters also beat him up. They insulted him terribly and sent him away without a thing. 12The owner sent a third servant. He was also beaten terribly and thrown out of the vineyard.
13The owner then said to himself, “What am I going to do? I know what. I'll send my son, the one I love so much. They will surely respect him!”
14When the renters saw the owner's son, they said to one another, “Someday he will own the vineyard. Let's kill him! Then we can have it all for ourselves.” 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Jesus asked, “What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do? 16I'll tell you what. He will come and kill those renters and let someone else have his vineyard.”
When the people heard this, they said, “This must never happen!”
17 But Jesus looked straight at them and said, “Then what do the Scriptures mean when they say, ‘The stone the builders tossed aside is now the most important stone of all’? 18Anyone who stumbles over this stone will get hurt, and anyone it falls on will be smashed to pieces.”
19The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses knew that Jesus was talking about them when he was telling this story. They wanted to arrest him right then, but they were afraid of the people.
20Jesus' enemies kept watching him closely, because they wanted to hand him over to the Roman governor. So they sent some men who pretended to be good. But they were really spies trying to catch Jesus saying something wrong. 21The spies said to him, “Teacher, we know you teach the truth about what God wants people to do. And you treat everyone with the same respect, no matter who they are. 22Tell us, should we pay taxes to the Emperor or not?”
23Jesus knew they were trying to trick him. So he told them, 24“Show me a coin.” Then he asked, “Whose picture and name are on it?”
“The Emperor's,” they answered.
25Then he told them, “Give the Emperor what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God.” 26Jesus' enemies could not catch him saying anything wrong there in front of the people. They were amazed at his answer and kept quiet.
Life in the Future World
Teacher, Moses wrote that if a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry the widow. Their first son would then be thought of as the son of the dead brother.
29There were once seven brothers. The first one married, but died without having any children. 30The second one married his brother's widow, and he also died without having any children. 31The same thing happened to the third one. Finally, all seven brothers married this woman and died without having any children. 32At last the woman died. 33When God raises people from death, whose wife will this woman be? All seven brothers had married her.
The people in this world get married. 35But in the future world no one who is worthy to rise from death will either marry 36or die. They will be like the angels and will be God's children, because they have been raised to life.
37 In the story about the burning bush, Moses clearly shows that people will live again. He said, “The Lord is the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”+ 38So the Lord isn't the God of the dead, but of the living. This means that everyone is alive as far as God is concerned.
39Some of the teachers of the Law of Moses said, “Teacher, you have given a good answer!” 40From then on, no one dared to ask Jesus any questions.
About David's Son
41Jesus asked, “Why do people say that the Messiah will be the son of King David?+ 42 In the book of Psalms, David himself says,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right side+
43until I make your enemies
into a footstool for you.’
44David spoke of the Messiah as his Lord, so how can the Messiah be his son?”
Jesus and the Teachers of the Law of Moses
45While everyone was listening to Jesus, he said to his disciples:
46Guard against the teachers of the Law of Moses! They love to walk around in long robes, and they like to be greeted in the market. They want the front seats in the synagogues and the best seats at banquets. 47But they cheat widows out of their homes and then pray long prayers just to show off. These teachers will be punished most of all.
Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)
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