Luke 20:1-19New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
The Authority of Jesus Is Questioned
20 One day Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courtyard. He was announcing the good news to them. The chief priests and the teachers of the law came up to him. The elders came with them. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they all said. “Who gave you this authority?”
3 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me, 4 was John’s baptism from heaven? Or did it come from people?”
5 They talked to one another about it. They said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From people,’ all the people will throw stones at us and kill us. They believe that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know where John’s baptism came from.”
8 Jesus said, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I am doing these things either.”
The Story of the Renters
9 Jesus went on to tell the people a story. “A man planted a vineyard,” he said. “He rented it out to some farmers. Then he went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a slave to the renters. They were supposed to give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the renters beat the slave. Then they sent him away with nothing. 11 So the man sent another slave. They beat that one and treated him badly. They also sent him away with nothing. 12 The man sent a third slave. The renters wounded him and threw him out.
13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I have a son, and I love him. I will send him. Maybe they will respect him.’
14 “But when the renters saw the son, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the one who will receive all the owner’s property someday,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him. Then everything will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard. And they killed him.
“What will the owner of the vineyard do to the renters? 16 He will come and kill them. He will give the vineyard to others.”
When the people heard this, they said, “We hope this never happens!”
17 Jesus looked right at them and said, “Here is something I want you to explain the meaning of. It is written,
“ ‘The stone the builders didn’t accept has become the most important stone of all.’ (Psalm 118:22)
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces. But the stone will crush anyone it falls on.”
19 The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest Jesus at once. They knew he had told that story against them. But they were afraid of the people.
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