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Joshua’s Final Words to Israel

23 The years passed, and the Lord had given the people of Israel rest from all their enemies. Joshua, who was now very old, called together all the elders, leaders, judges, and officers of Israel. He said to them, “I am now a very old man. You have seen everything the Lord your God has done for you during my lifetime. The Lord your God has fought for you against your enemies. I have allotted to you as your homeland all the land of the nations yet unconquered, as well as the land of those we have already conquered—from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea[a] in the west. This land will be yours, for the Lord your God will himself drive out all the people living there now. You will take possession of their land, just as the Lord your God promised you.

“So be very careful to follow everything Moses wrote in the Book of Instruction. Do not deviate from it, turning either to the right or to the left. Make sure you do not associate with the other people still remaining in the land. Do not even mention the names of their gods, much less swear by them or serve them or worship them. Rather, cling tightly to the Lord your God as you have done until now.

“For the Lord has driven out great and powerful nations for you, and no one has yet been able to defeat you. 10 Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he has promised. 11 So be very careful to love the Lord your God.

12 “But if you turn away from him and cling to the customs of the survivors of these nations remaining among you, and if you intermarry with them, 13 then know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive them out of your land. Instead, they will be a snare and a trap to you, a whip for your backs and thorny brambles in your eyes, and you will vanish from this good land the Lord your God has given you.

14 “Soon I will die, going the way of everything on earth. Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed! 15 But as surely as the Lord your God has given you the good things he promised, he will also bring disaster on you if you disobey him. He will completely destroy you from this good land he has given you. 16 If you break the covenant of the Lord your God by worshiping and serving other gods, his anger will burn against you, and you will quickly vanish from the good land he has given you.”

Footnotes

  1. 23:4 Hebrew the Great Sea.

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”

“Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”

They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” So they finally replied that they didn’t know.

And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Parable of the Evil Farmers

Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. 10 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. 11 So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away.

13 “‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’

14 “But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 15 So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him.

“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?” Jesus asked. 16 “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.”

“How terrible that such a thing should ever happen,” his listeners protested.

17 Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture mean?

‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has now become the cornerstone.’[a]

18 Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.”

19 The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction.

Taxes for Caesar

20 Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent spies pretending to be honest men. They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus. 21 “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. 22 Now tell us—is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

23 He saw through their trickery and said, 24 “Show me a Roman coin.[b] Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

25 “Well then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”

26 So they failed to trap him by what he said in front of the people. Instead, they were amazed by his answer, and they became silent.

Discussion about Resurrection

27 Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. 28 They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.[c] 29 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. 30 So the second brother married the widow, but he also died. 31 Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children. 32 Finally, the woman also died. 33 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!”

34 Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth. 35 But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. 36 And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection.

37 “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord[d] as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[e] 38 So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.”

39 “Well said, Teacher!” remarked some of the teachers of religious law who were standing there. 40 And then no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Whose Son Is the Messiah?

41 Then Jesus presented them with a question. “Why is it,” he asked, “that the Messiah is said to be the son of David? 42 For David himself wrote in the book of Psalms:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
    Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
43 until I humble your enemies,
    making them a footstool under your feet.’[f]

44 Since David called the Messiah ‘Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?”

45 Then, with the crowds listening, he turned to his disciples and said, 46 “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 47 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.”

Footnotes

  1. 20:17 Ps 118:22.
  2. 20:24 Greek a denarius.
  3. 20:28 See Deut 25:5-6.
  4. 20:37a Greek when he wrote about the bush. He referred to the Lord.
  5. 20:37b Exod 3:6.
  6. 20:42-43 Ps 110:1.

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