SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
11:27 They came again to Jerusalem. While Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the experts in the law, and the elders came up to him 28 and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question. Answer me and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: 30 John’s baptism—was it from heaven or from people? Answer me.” 31 They discussed with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From people…’” (they feared the crowd, for they all considered John to be truly a prophet). 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
12:1 Then he began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a pit for its winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went on a journey. 2 At harvest time he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his portion of the crop. 3 But those tenants seized his slave, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 So he sent another slave to them again. This one they struck on the head and treated outrageously. 5 He sent another, and that one they killed. This happened to many others, some of whom were beaten, others killed. 6 He had one left, his one dear son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours!’ 8 So they seized him, killed him, and threw his body out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this scripture:
“‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
11 This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
12 Now they wanted to arrest him (but they feared the crowd), because they realized that he told this parable against them. So they left him and went away.
13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to trap him with his own words. 14 When they came they said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and do not court anyone’s favor because you show no partiality but 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?” 15 But he saw through their hypocrisy and said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 So they brought one, and he said to them, “Whose image is this, and whose inscription?” They replied, “Caesar’s.” 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.
18 Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) also came to him and asked him, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us: ‘If a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, that man must marry the widow and father children for his brother.’ 20 There were seven brothers. The first one married, and when he died he had no children. 21 The second married her and died without any children, and likewise the third. 22 None of the seven had children. Finally, the woman died too. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For all seven had married her.” 24 Jesus said to them, “Aren’t you deceived for this reason because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 Now as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”
28 Now one of the experts in the law came and heard them debating. When he saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is: ‘Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 The expert in the law said to him, “That is true, Teacher; you are right to say that he is one, and there is no one else besides him. 33 And to love him with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered thoughtfully, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Then no one dared any longer to question him.