|The Good News According to
Jesus told the people a parable.
"A certain person once planted a vineyard. After
he'd had it fenced, he dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower.
Then he let it to tenant farmers and went abroad.
"When harvest time came along, he sent a slave to
the farmers to collect his share of the crop. But they grabbed the slave,
beat him up, and sent him away with nothing. So he sent along another
slave. But they hit him over the head and abused him. He sent yet another
- and this one they killed.
"He still had someone he could send - a much-loved
son. Eventually he sent him to them, thinking, 'They will respect my
"But the farmers said to each other, 'This is
the family heir. Come on! Let's kill him and then we'll inherit.' So
they took hold of the son, murdered him, and left his body outside the
Some people once handed him a silver coin [and questioned him about
paying taxes to the Romans]. He responded by saying,
"Whose face and name is on this coin?"
They answered, "The Emperor's."
So he said to them, "Well, then, pay to the Emperor
what is the Emperor's, and to God what is God's."
Along came some Sadducees, who maintain that there's no such thing as
resurrection. They started questioning Jesus. "Teacher," they
said, "Moses wrote for our benefit that if a man dies and his widow
has no children, then his brother is obliged to marry the widow and
produce offspring on his brother's behalf.
"Now there were once seven brothers.
The first took a wife but died without offspring. The second one
married the woman and also died childless. The same thing happened to the
third brother. All seven had no offspring. In the end, the wife also died.
When everyone comes to life at the resurrection, whose wife is she?
Remember, all seven had her as a wife!"
Jesus said to them, "You're totally off track! You
misjudge both the sacred writings and the power of God. For when people
rise from the dead, they don't get married nor are they given away in
marriage. In fact, they're rather like God's spirit messengers.
life after death, haven't you read that passage in the Book of Moses about
the burning bush? There God says to Moses, 'I am the God of Abraham and
the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.' It's clear that he isn't the God
of the dead but the God of the living. You certainly are missing the
One of the Jewish scholars put this question to Jesus: "Which is
the most important rule of all to live by?"
Jesus responded, "The most important one is,
'Listen, Israel, the Lord your God is one Lord. You've got to love the
Lord your God with your whole being - with your whole heart and every
ounce of energy.' And the second most important rule is, 'You must love
your fellow human beings as much as you love yourself.' No other rule is
greater than these two."
The scholar said to him, "That's a good answer,
Teacher. What you say is the truth - that there's only one God, and that
to love him with all one's heart and mind and energy is better than all
the sacrifices and burnt offerings combined."
Jesus saw that his answer was sensible and said to him,
"You're not far from doing things God's way."
When Jesus taught he used to say, "Watch out for gurus who
walk around in their fancy clothes, and demand respectful greetings when
they go shopping, and expect the best seats in church and the top places
at dinners. They are the ones who prey on the families of widows - and
then go on to make a show of saying long prayers."
On one occasion Jesus sat near the charity collection box. He watched
people dropping their money into it.
Lots of well-off people put in large amounts. Then along
came a poor widow. She put in two small coins which were nearly worthless.
Jesus beckoned his followers over and said to them, "I'm telling you,
this poor widow has given more than all those who dropped large sums into
the collection box. After all, they were giving out of plenty, while she
was giving her last cent, everything she had left."
Chapter 13 >>>
Chapters 1, 2, 3,
4, 5, 6,
7, 8, 9,
10, 11, 13, 14, 15