About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 12
Jewish leaders didn’t respond to Jesus’ question in the last chapter
and appeared to just want to walk away but it looks like Jesus was able to
keep their attention to hear this parable.
parable is about a vineyard. It
is very interesting to read this parable and then read Isaiah chapter 5.
In this chapter you’ll see that God relates
the parable goes like this. A
rich man built a vineyard. He
planted good vines. He built a
watch tower and he dug a mote around it for protection.
Then after everything had been built and planted, he left the
vineyard in the hands of others who he thought were capable of looking
after it properly.
verse 3 the owner who did not live that close to the vineyard sent a
servant to collect some of the harvest, but the ones who had been
appointed to look after the vineyard beat the servant and sent him back
verses 4 and 5 we see the owner of the vineyard sent many servants over a
period of time to collect some of the harvest.
On every occasion the servant that was sent was either beaten or
verse 6 the owner sent his son who he loved so greatly, thinking that
they’d surely respect his son.
Now to Christians, the parable is quite clear, and to the Jewish
leaders it was becoming progressively clear as well.
verse 8 the men in charge of the vineyard thought that if they killed the
owners son, then they’d get the inheritance and the vineyard would
legally become theirs.
9 sounds very much like the last part of Isa. 5.
Jesus asks, “what then will the owner of
the vineyard do”? You
might wonder what the Jewish leaders thought the answer to Jesus’
question was. Whatever they
thought, they had little time to respond because Jesus told them what the
owner would do. He’d come to
the vineyard himself, kill those he put in charge and
put others in charge of the vineyard.
Jesus quotes from Psa. 118:23. He
quotes, “the stone the builders rejected has become the capstone
(cornerstone). The Lord has
done this and it is marvelous in our eyes”.
cornerstone is an obvious reference to Jesus.
The cornerstone that God provided the Jews in Jesus was rejected by
them. Yet this was a marvelous thing.
The Son of the Living God came to earth as a cornerstone to a new
building to be built and the builders rejected it.
Jesus is saying here is that God in the Old Testament gave His vineyard to
the Jews. They failed to
manage it right and so the vineyard was taken away and given to others,
meaning to Gentiles.
quoting this Psalm Jesus is saying that He is the cornerstone to a new
building that is being built. The
old building was demolished, just as the vineyard was.
A new building was in the process of being built.
This new building is made up of people who give their lives to the
cornerstone and are joined and built on Him.
This building is the church, the New Testament people of God.
question I wonder about is how this building is being maintained by those
God has put in charge. I wonder if New Testament leaders are doing a
better job than their Old Testament counterparts. It’s just a thought
that should be given consideration.
section ends by the Jewish leadership knowing that Jesus was using this
parable to speak against them in front of the crowd.
This made them more angry than ever, and they went away, plotting
how they’d kill Jesus, just as Jesus inferred in His parable.
I wonder if any of the Jewish leaders considered that they were in
fact fulfilling the parable that Jesus just spoke against them.
verse 13 we see that some Pharisees and some Herodians came to Jesus to
trick Him. Herodians were Jews
who favoured King Herod, but not necessarily the Roman domination they
were under. They were thus
much more Roman leaning than the Pharisees who hated the Romans and wanted
nothing to do with them. The
Herodians felt paying taxes to
came to Jesus and flattered Him by telling Him that He is a man of
integrity, and is not swayed by the whims of man, but teach the ways of
God. I’m sure Jesus saw
through this flattery.
verse 14 they ask, “is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not”?
individual had to pay a tax to Rome. The Pharisees believed by
paying this tax they were giving alleg
were hoping, and even expecting Jesus to agree with them on this point and
that is why they had the Herdoians with them.
Once the Herodians heard Jesus say that it was not lawful to pay
the tax to Rome, then the Herodians could report this to Rome
and have Jesus arrested, and they’d be witnesses to the crime.
tells us in verse 15 that Jesus “knew their hypocrisy”.
The Pharisees were well versed in the art of hypocrisy.
This was the way they lived. Jesus
even asks them why they were trying to trap Him. It wasn’t that He
couldn’t see through their tricks.
asks them to give Him a denarius. A
denarius is a small Roman coin, worth about the average of one days work
for a Roman soldier. The tax
the Pharisees were referring to was called a poll tax and it was paid with
this denarius. Thus Jesus uses
the very coin that would be used to pay the tax as part of His answer to
the Pharisees. On this coin
there would have been the name and head of the emperor.
receiving the coin Jesus asks the Pharisees whose portrait and inscription
was on the coin. They answer
by saying Caesar’s face and name was on the coin.
answers their question in verse 17. He
says, “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”.
A lot could be said about Jesus’ words here, and a lot of books
have been written on the subject of the church and the state.
coin belonged to
Jesus’ answer included more than the paying of taxes to Rome. He told the Pharisees to
give to God that which belonged to Him, which in fact they weren’t
they needed to give to God was their whole lives.
Giving to Rome
was only part of that whole. They
could not trick Jesus by majoring on a minor point here. Paying of taxes
was only one part of their duty to
tells us that the Pharisees “marveled” at Jesus’ response.
They just could not trap Jesus.
is important to note that the
into our democratic system is the place for discussion and debate to bring
change to the existing way things are run.
They did not have this luxury in the
Pharisees had just tried to trap Jesus and failed, so now the Sadducees
try to do the same. Like the
Pharisees they ask a question concerning the Law.
You’d think Jesus would be getting tired by now addressing all
these questions of the Law. It
seems this is all the Jewish leadership wanted to talk about.
time the Sadducees ask Jesus a question about marriage after the
resurrection of the dead, something they didn’t even believe in.
Of course the question was meant to trick Jesus and possibly even
corner Him ad make Him admit that there was no resurrection of the dead.
Sadducees refer to the Law of Moses (Deut. 25:5) where Moses wrote that if
a man dies and has no children, the man’s brother should marry the dead
man’s wife in order to have a son. If
the brother and the dead man’s wife do produce a son, the son would be
considered the son of the dead man. The
important thing here was to carry on the family line of the dead man.
the Sadducees come up with a ridiculous scenario. They say a man dies with
no children. The dead man’s brother marries the dead man’s wife.
He dies without children as well, so another brother marries the
woman. In actuality seven
brothers end up marrying this woman and none have children.
In the resurrection of the dead, who is the real husband to this
lady, they ask?
kind of question is often asked to Christians.
It’s a type of question that does not make a lot of sense and is
only asked to trick the person. There
are more appropriate questions that could have been asked on this subject
but they didn’t ask.
verse 24 Jesus accuses the Sadducees of “being in error and not knowing
the power of God”. These men
simply don’t understand the Scriptures, and they don’t understand that
God has the power to raise men and women into a new existence in the next
verse 25 Jesus says, “when the dead rise”.
He is confirming for these men that the dead will rise.
There is no doubt about that. Yet
when they do rise “they will neither marry or be given in marriage.
This means, “men will not marry”, and “women will not be
given away in marriage”. There
will not be a husband and wife relationship in the next life.
says that “they will be like the angels”.
Jesus does not say that men and women will be angels in the next
life, but only like them in the respect that they won’t be married.
Scripture is pretty clear that an angel is a spirit.
Angels often appeared to people and people saw them as if they were
men. Most scholars believe
that the angel spirits only took on that form so people could see them.
will be different from angels in the next life because we will have
specific glorified bodies. We
will not be spirits.
continues His defense by referring to Ex. 3:6 and Dan. 12:2 when God
speaks to Moses in the bush and says that He’s the God of Abraham,
Jacob, and Isaac. Jesus then
says that God is not only the God of the living, but of the dead.
What did Jesus mean by this?
When God spoke to Moses concerning these men, He spoke about men
who were once alive but were now dead, but He spoke as if they were alive.
And alive they were. They
were alive in a different way after they died.
Thus these three men are still in existence, and therefore there is
life after death.
section ends with Jesus telling the Sadducees that they “are badly
mistaken”. They just
aren’t mistaken, but badly mistaken.
They are way off base. They’re
not even close to the truth. At
least the Pharisees are a little closer to the truth since they do believe
in life after death.
verse 28 we notice that another teacher of the Law saw Jesus
“debating” with the Sadducees. It
is interesting to note that Jesus is not afraid of a good debate.
Yet as you study these debates Jesus doesn’t let the debate
continue to go in circles. Yes,
He does debate, but He presents His facts, allows for some discussion, but
doesn’t get bogged down in the debate. At times He abruptly ends the
discussion, while most of the time He simply wins with a few words.
man seemed impressed with Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees, and being a
good Jew, his thoughts were towards the Law as were the thoughts of the
Pharisees and Sadducees. He
asks Jesus what the most important commandment was.
answers the question by quoting Duet. 6:4 - 5.
The quote begins, “O Israel”.
This is the appeal to
is the personal name of God. This
is the name that He told
that Moses doesn’t say “the Lord our God is one“.
He says “that Lord
our God, the Lord is one”. By
saying “the Lord our God”, Moses is saying that the personal covenant
making Yahweh in whom He has personalized Himself to Israel by allowing
them to call Him by His personal name, He is in fact Lord of all there is
and He is also their Lord. The
supreme power of the universe has given Himself to Israel. This is the most fundamental
point to both the faith of
Lord is one” tells us that there is only one God and the oneness of God
is fundamental to who He is. There
were many so-called pagan gods, but none of these gods were supreme.
None had personalized themselves in any way.
continues with this quote by saying that
man asks Jesus what the most important command was.
Jesus just said what the number one commandment is, but He didn’t
stop there. He also gave the
second most important command which was “to love your neighbour as
yourself”. Now it is
important to understand that Jesus isn’t saying that we are to love
ourselves. This command
doesn’t tell us to first love ourselves so we are able to love others,
as the common thinking of the world is. Inherent in the command is the
understanding that humans tends to love themselves by nature. We don’t
have to learn that. We love
ourselves instinctively. So in
the same way we love ourselves we are to love others in that same way.
If you love yourself, you put yourself first.
So the second command tells us to put others first.
is interesting to note that Jesus does not stop with the first great
command to love God. He joins
another command to it. Thus,
in my thinking, Jesus is saying that the way to love others properly is to
first love God. Or another way
to say it is, your love for God should be seen in the way you love others.
verses 32 and 33 the man tells Jesus what He said was “well said”.
He agreed totally with Jesus. I
can’t say for sure if this man was out to trick Jesus or if he was
seriously wondering what Jesus would say.
We do know that Jesus’ answer satisfied this man, and he had to
agree with it.
verse 34 Jesus comments on this man’s answer.
He noted that the man answered “wisely”, and that he was not
far from the Kingdom
section ends with Mark saying that from this point on, no one asked Jesus
any more questions. It was as
if the time of questions were over. God
in His divine time table had a set time for everything in Jesus’ life
and the time for all the trick questions had just come to an end.
is still in the temple in verse 35 and instead of anyone asking Him a
question, He decides to ask His own question.
He asks, “How is it that the teachers of the law say that the
Christ is the son of David”?
Pharisees taught rightly that the Messiah would come from the lineage of
David. Matthew points out
Jesus lineage back to David through Joseph, while Luke points out the same
but goes back through Mary. Through
both Mary and Joseph, Jesus was a son of David, at least qualifying Him to
be the Messiah on the one count.
verse 36 Jesus says that David himself spoke by the Holy Spirit.
He then quotes from David. One
thing to note here is that Jesus says that the Holy Spirit inspired David
to write these words. We can
at least say that Jesus viewed these words as inspired or God breathed.
We thus should be able to assume that the rest of what David wrote
was also so inspired.
quote that Jesus makes comes form Psa. 110:1. It says, “the Lord said to
my Lord; sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet”.
First of all we need to understand that the Jews always felt this
verse was in reference to the Messiah.
Jesus wasn’t eluding to anything new on that point.
Lord said to my Lord”, in Hebrew is “Yahweh said to Adonia”.
Yahweh being the personal name of God that God told
Yahweh is saying something to Adonai.
Who Adonia is can be seen in what Yahweh is saying.
Yahweh tells Adonai to sit at His right hand until He makes all His
enemies His footstool It
is clear that Adonai is not Yahweh. Adonai is the Messiah, and all Jews
and Christians agree on this point.
might also say these words this way. “God
says to Messiah”. The
Messiah is Adonai and the Messiah will sit at God’s right hand until God
makes all His enemies His footstool. Paul,
in 1 Cor. 15 speaks of this and says the last enemy is death.
verse 37 Jesus says, “David himself calls Him (Adonai) Lord. How then
can He (Adonai) be his son”? This
may be hard to get your head around but it’s somewhat simple.
Everyone believed that the Messiah was a son of David, but how
could David call a son of his Lord, or Adonai when Adonai was a name for
God? How could one of
David’s offspring be God? This
could only be if one of David’s offspring was God in a human body.
not sure if Jesus explained this in any detail.
We have no recollection that He did.
He is simply making the point that He is the Messiah.
verses 38 and following Jesus warns the crowd of the teachers of the Law.
They walk around in the market places in flowing clothes, and
always get the important seat wherever they are.
And for show they make lengthy prayers, and devour widow’s homes.
All of these things are done to be seen.
This is just the opposite to what Jesus has been saying about
leaders all along. He says
that leaders are to serve, but the teachers of the Law want to be served.
So Jesus warns the crowd about them and their mentality.
closes this section by saying that “these men will be punished
severely”. We see here that
Jesus believes in punishment. We
also see the hypocrisy and abuse of authority by leadership is punishable
very severely. Jesus held
these leaders accountable and hold leaders accountable today as well.
addressing the people in the temple court with such a great theological
truth Jesus sits down somewhere, probably on one of the temple steps
He just sits and watches people put money into one of thirteen
trumpet shaped metal containers. The
money collected was used to
maintain the temple and was part of a temple tax.
things must have been going through Jesus’ mind at this point.
He’s watching people give their offerings and within a few short
days He Himself would be the offering that would end all these offerings.
41 tells us that Jesus saw many rich people come and put in lots of money.
I guess He knew they were rich because they had the money to give.
verse 42 He sees a poor widow put in two copper coins, worth only a
“fraction of a penny”.
verse 43 Jesus calls the disciples to Himself and tells them that she has
given more than any of the rich people. In real terms she really didn’t
give more, but in relation to that which she had, she gave more.
And Jesus makes this point clear when He says that the others gave
out of their wealth, but she gave out of her poverty.
is the interesting point here. Jesus
praised this lady for giving out of her poverty.
He didn’t go over and tell her that she didn’t have to give.
He didn’t suggest that she didn’t have to give the next time
she visited the temple. This
tells us a little about how Jesus views giving.
Simply put, there is no excuse not to give.
Not even poverty is an excuse not to give.