On one of those days while He was teaching the people in the Temple and proclaiming the Good News, the High Priests came upon Him, and the Scribes,
together with the Elders, and they asked Him, 'Tell us, By what authority are you doing these things? And who is it that gave you this authority?'
'I also will put a question to you, 'He said;
'was John's baptism of Heavenly or of human origin?'
So they debated the matter with one another. 'If we say 'Heavenly,'' they argued, 'he will say, 'Why did you not believe him?'
And if we say, 'human,' the people will all stone us; for they are thoroughly convinced that John was a Prophet.'
And they answered that they did not know the origin of it.
'Nor will I tell you,' said Jesus, 'by what authority I do these things.'
Then He proceeded to speak a parable to the people. 'There was a man,' He said, 'who planted a vineyard, let it out to vine-dressers, and went abroad for a considerable time.
At vintage-time he sent a servant to the vine-dressers, for them to give him a share of the crop; but the vine-dressers beat him cruelly and sent him away empty-handed.
Then he sent a second servant; and him too they beat and ill treated and sent away empty-handed.
Then again he sent a third; and this one also they wounded and drove away.
Then the owner of the vineyard said, ''What am I to do? I will send my son--my dearly-loved son: they will probably respect him.'
'But when the vine-dressers saw him, they discussed the matter with one another, and said, ''This is the heir: let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.'
'So they turned him out of the vineyard and murdered him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
He will come and put these vine-dressers to death, and give the vineyard to others.' 'God forbid!' exclaimed the hearers.
He looked at them and said, 'What then does that mean which is written, ''The Stone which the builders rejected has been made the cornerstone'?
Every one who falls on that stone will be severely hurt, but on whomsoever it falls, he will be utterly crushed.'
At this the Scribes and the High Priests wanted to lay hands on Him, then and there; only they were afraid of the people. For they saw that in this parable He had referred to them.
So, after impatiently watching their opportunity, they sent spies who were to act the part of good and honest men, that they might fasten on some expression of His, so as to hand Him over to the ruling power and the Governor's authority.
So they put a question to Him. 'Rabbi,' they said, 'we know that you say and teach what is right and that you make no distinctions between one man and another, but teach God's way truly.
Is it allowable to pay a tax to Caesar, or not?'
But He saw through their knavery and replied,
'Show me a shilling; whose likeness and inscription does it bear?' 'Caesar's,' they said.
'Pay therefore,' He replied, 'what is Caesar's to Caesar--and what is God's to God.'
There was nothing here that they could lay hold of before the people, and marvelling at His answer they said no more.
Next some of the Sadducees came forward (who deny that there is a Resurrection), and they asked Him,
'Rabbi, Moses made it a law for us that if a man's brother should die, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up a family for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers. The first of them took a wife and died childless.
The second and the third also took her;
and all seven, having done the same, left no children when they died.
Finally the woman also died.
The woman, then--at the Resurrection--whose wife shall she be? for they all seven married her.'
'The men of this age,' replied Jesus, 'marry, and the women are given in marriage.
But as for those who shall have been deemed worthy to find a place in that other age and in the Resurrection from among the dead, the men do not marry and the women are not given in marriage.
For indeed they cannot die again; they are like angels, and are sons of God through being sons of the Resurrection.
But that the dead rise to life even Moses clearly implies in the passage about the Bush, where he calls the Lord 'The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'
He is not a God of dead, but of living men, for to Him are all living.'
Then some of the Scribes replied, 'Rabbi, you have spoken well.'
From that time, however, no one ventured to challenge Him with a single question.
But He asked them, 'How is it they say that the Christ is a son of David?
Why, David himself says in the Book of Psalms, ''The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand
Until I have made thy foes a footstool under they feet.'
'David himself therefore calls Him Lord, and how can He be his son?'
Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to the disciples,
'Beware of the Scribes, who like to walk about in long robes, and love to be bowed to in places of public resort and to occupy the best seats in the synagogues or at a dinner party;
who swallow up the property of widows and mask their wickedness by making long prayers. They will be punished far more severely than others.'