Challenged By Religious Leaders

Mark 11:27-13:37

1127They came again to Jerusalem, and as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders came to him, 28and they began saying to him,


By what authority do you do these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?

29Jesus said to them,


I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30The baptism of John—was it from heaven, or from men? Answer me.

31They reasoned with themselves, saying,


If we should say, ‘From heaven;’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32If we should say, ‘From men’

—they feared the people, for all held John to really be a prophet. 33They answered Jesus,


We don’t know.

Jesus said to them,


Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

121He began to speak to them in parables.


A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the wine press, built a tower, rented it out to a farmer, and went into another country. 2When it was time, he sent a servant to the farmer to get from the farmer his share of the fruit of the vineyard. 3They took him, beat him, and sent him away empty. 4Again, he sent another servant to them; and they threw stones at him, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. 5Again he sent another; and they killed him; and many others, beating some, and killing some. 6Therefore still having one, his beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7But those farmers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8They took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 9What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and will give the vineyard to others. 10Haven’t you even read this Scripture:
‘The stone which the builders rejected,
was made the head of the corner.
11This was from the Lord,
it is marvelous in our eyes’?*

12They tried to seize him, but they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spoke the parable against them. They left him, and went away. 13They sent some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to him, that they might trap him with words. 14When they had come, they asked him,


Teacher, we know that you are honest, and don’t defer to anyone; for you aren’t partial to anyone, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15Shall we give, or shall we not give?

But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them,


Why do you test me? Bring me a denarius, that I may see it.

16They brought it.
He said to them,


Whose is this image and inscription?

They said to him,



17Jesus answered them,


Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

They marveled greatly at him.
18Some Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection, came to him. They asked him, saying,


19Teacher, Moses wrote to us, ‘If a man’s brother dies, and leaves a wife behind him, and leaves no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up offspring for his brother.’ 20There were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and dying left no offspring. 21The second took her, and died, leaving no children behind him. The third likewise; 22and the seven took her and left no children. Last of all the woman also died. 23In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be of them? For the seven had her as a wife.

24Jesus answered them,


Isn’t this because you are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God? 25For when they will rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26But about the dead, that they are raised; haven’t you read in the book of Moses, about the Bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’*? 27He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are therefore badly mistaken.

28One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that he had answered them well, asked him,


Which commandment is the greatest of all?

29Jesus answered,


The greatest is, ‘Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one: 30you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’* This is the first commandment. 31The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’* There is no other commandment greater than these.

32The scribe said to him,


Truly, teacher, you have said well that he is one, and there is none other but he, 33and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

34When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him,


You are not far from God’s Kingdom.

No one dared ask him any question after that. 35Jesus responded, as he taught in the temple,


How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36For David himself said in the Holy Spirit,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet.”’*
37Therefore David himself calls him Lord, so how can he be his son?

The common people heard him gladly. 38In his teaching he said to them,


Beware of the scribes, who like to walk in long robes, and to get greetings in the marketplaces, 39and the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts: 40those who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.

41Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much. 42A poor widow came, and she cast in two small brass coins,* which equal a quadrans coin.* 43He called his disciples to himself, and said to them,


Most certainly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury, 44for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.

131As he went out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him,


Teacher, see what kind of stones and what kind of buildings!

2Jesus said to him,


Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone on another, which will not be thrown down.

3As he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately,


4Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are all about to be fulfilled?

5Jesus, answering, began to tell them,


Be careful that no one leads you astray. 6For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!*’ and will lead many astray.
7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be troubled. For those must happen, but the end is not yet. 8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. There will be famines and troubles. These things are the beginning of birth pains. 9But watch yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils. You will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them. 10The Good News must first be preached to all the nations. 11When they lead you away and deliver you up, don’t be anxious beforehand, or premeditate what you will say, but say whatever will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
12Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 13You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake, but he who endures to the end, the same will be saved. 14But when you see the abomination of desolation,* spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not

(let the reader understand),


then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, 15and let him who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter in, to take anything out of his house. 16Let him who is in the field not return back to take his cloak. 17But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babies in those days! 18Pray that your flight won’t be in the winter. 19For in those days there will be oppression, such as there has not been the like from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be. 20Unless the Lord had shortened the days, no flesh would have been saved; but for the sake of the chosen ones, whom he picked out, he shortened the days. 21Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ don’t believe it. 22For there will arise false christs and false prophets, and will show signs and wonders, that they may lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones. 23But you watch.
Behold, I have told you all things beforehand. 24But in those days, after that oppression, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, 25the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.* 26Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out his angels, and will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the sky.
28Now from the fig tree, learn this parable. When the branch has now become tender, and produces its leaves, you know that the summer is near; 29even so you also, when you see these things coming to pass, know that it is near, at the doors. 30Most certainly I say to you, this generation* will not pass away until all these things happen. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Watch, keep alert, and pray; for you don’t know when the time is.
34It is like a man, traveling to another country, having left his house, and given authority to his servants, and to each one his work, and also commanded the doorkeeper to keep watch. 35Watch therefore, for you don’t know when the lord of the house is coming, whether at evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning; 36lest coming suddenly he might find you sleeping. 37What I tell you, I tell all: Watch.

*Mark 12:11 Psalm 118:22-23
*Mark 12:26 Exodus 3:6
*Mark 12:30 Deuteronomy 6:4-5
*Mark 12:31 Leviticus 19:18
*Mark 12:36 Psalm 110:1
*Mark 12:42 literally, lepta (or widow’s mites). Lepta are very small brass coins worth half a quadrans each, which is a quarter of the copper assarion. Lepta are worth less than 1% of an agricultural worker’s daily wages.
*Mark 12:42 A quadrans is a coin worth about 1/64 of a denarius. A denarius is about one day’s wages for an agricultural laborer.
*Mark 13:6 or, “I AM!”
*Mark 13:14 Daniel 9:17; 11:31; 12:11
*Mark 13:25 Isaiah 13:10; 34:4
*Mark 13:30 The word translated “generation” (genea) could also be translated “race”, “family”, or “people”.


  • What God-given guidance can you observe in this passage?
  • Put yourself in the passage and envision what it might have been like to receive this guidance. How does this relate to you and your family today?
  • What God-inspired encouragement can you observe in this passage? How can you experience more of this in your own life?
  • Write a poem about what this encouragement means for you.
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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