Judging Jesus

Rowan Hilsden | Apr 11, 2021

Scripture: Mark 11:27-12:44

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

27 They(A) came again to Jerusalem.(B) As he was walking in the temple,(C) the chief priests, the scribes,(D) and the elders(E) came 28 and asked him, “By what authority(F) are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?”

29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question;(G) then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was John’s baptism(H) from heaven or of human origin? Answer me.”

31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe(I) him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’”—they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet.(J) 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

The Parable of the Vineyard Owner

12 He(K) began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard,(L) put a fence around it, dug out a pit for a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went away. At harvest time he sent(M) a servant(N) to the farmers to collect some of the fruit(O) of the vineyard from them. But they took him, beat(P) him, and sent him away empty-handed.(Q) Again he sent another servant to them, and they[a] hit him on the head and treated him shamefully.[b] Then he sent another, and they killed that one. He also sent many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He still had one to send, a beloved(R) son. Finally(S) he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenant farmers said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner[c](T) of the vineyard do? He will come and kill the farmers and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this Scripture:(U)

The(V) stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.(W)
11 This came about from the Lord(X)
and is wonderful in our eyes?”[d]

12 They were looking for a way to arrest him but feared the crowd because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. So they left him and went away.

God and Caesar

13 Then(Y) they sent some of the Pharisees(Z) and the Herodians(AA) to Jesus to trap him in his words.(AB) 14 When they came, they said to him, “Teacher, we know you are truthful and don’t care what anyone thinks, nor do you show partiality(AC) but teach the way of God truthfully. Is it lawful to pay taxes(AD) to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

15 But knowing their hypocrisy,(AE) he said to them, “Why are you testing(AF) me? Bring me a denarius[e](AG) to look at.” 16 They brought a coin. “Whose image(AH) and inscription(AI) is this?” he asked them.

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Jesus told them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”(AJ) And they were utterly amazed(AK) at him.

The Sadducees and the Resurrection

18 Sadducees,(AL) who say there is no resurrection,(AM) came to him and questioned him: 19 “Teacher,(AN) Moses(AO) wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife behind but no child,(AP) that man should take the wife(AQ) and raise up offspring for his brother.[f](AR) 20 There were seven brothers. The first married a woman, and dying, left no offspring. 21 The second also took her, and he died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 None of the seven[g] left offspring. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise,[h] whose wife will she be, since the seven had married her?”

24 Jesus spoke to them, “Isn’t this the reason why you’re mistaken: you don’t know the Scriptures(AS) or the power(AT) of God?(AU) 25 For when they rise(AV) from the dead,(AW) they neither marry nor are given in marriage(AX) but are like angels(AY) in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised—haven’t you read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God said to him: I(AZ) am the God of Abraham(BA) and the God of Isaac(BB) and the God of Jacob?[i](BC) 27 He is not the God of the dead but of the living. You are badly mistaken.”

The Primary Commands

28 One(BD) of the scribes(BE) approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, “Which command is the most important of all?”

29 Jesus answered, “The most important[j] is Listen, Israel! The Lord(BF) our God, the Lord(BG) is one.[k] 30 Love(BH) the Lord your God(BI) with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind,(BJ) and with all your strength.[l][m](BK) 31 The second is, Love your neighbor(BL) as yourself.[n](BM) There is no other command(BN) greater than these.”

32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, teacher. You have correctly said that he is one, and there is no one(BO) else except him.(BP) 33 And to love(BQ) him with all your heart, with all your understanding,[o] and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”(BR)

34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”(BS) And no one dared(BT) to question him any longer.

The Question about the Messiah

35 While(BU) Jesus was teaching in the temple, he asked,(BV) “How can the scribes(BW) say that the Messiah(BX) is the son of David?(BY) 36 David(BZ) himself says by the Holy Spirit: (CA)

The Lord(CB) declared to my Lord,
‘Sit at my right hand(CC)
until I put your enemies under your feet.’[p](CD)

37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How, then, can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

Warning against the Scribes

38 He(CE) also said in his teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes(CF) and who want greetings in the marketplaces,(CG) 39 the best seats(CH) in the synagogues,(CI) and the places of honor(CJ) at banquets.(CK) 40 They devour(CL) widows’(CM) houses and say long prayers(CN) just for show. These will receive harsher judgment.”

The Widow’s Gift

41 Sitting(CO) across from the temple treasury,(CP) he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich(CQ) people were putting in large sums. 42 Then a poor(CR) widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. 43 Summoning his disciples,(CS) he said to them, “Truly I tell you,(CT) this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.(CU) 44 For they all gave out of their surplus,(CV) but she out of her poverty(CW) has put in everything she had(CX) —all she had to live on.”(CY)


  1. 12:4 Other mss add threw stones and
  2. 12:4 Other mss add and sent him off
  3. 12:9 Or lord
  4. 12:10–11 Ps 118:22–23
  5. 12:15 A denarius = one day’s wage
  6. 12:19 Gn 38:8; Dt 25:5
  7. 12:22 Other mss add had taken her and
  8. 12:23 Other mss omit when they rise
  9. 12:26 Ex 3:6,15–16
  10. 12:29 Other mss add of all the commands
  11. 12:29 Or the Lord our God is Lord alone.
  12. 12:30 Other mss add This is the first commandment.
  13. 12:30 Dt 6:4–5; Jos 22:5
  14. 12:31 Lv 19:18
  15. 12:33 Other mss add with all your soul
  16. 12:36 Ps 110:1

Related Resources