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Luke 20Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Jewish Leaders Doubt Jesus’ Authority

20 One day Jesus was in the Temple area teaching the people. He was telling them the Good News. The leading priests, teachers of the law, and older Jewish leaders came to talk to Jesus. They said, “Tell us what authority you have to do these things. Who gave you this authority?”

Jesus answered, “I will ask you a question too. Tell me: When John baptized people, did his authority come from God or was it only from other people?”

The priests, the teachers of the law, and the Jewish leaders all talked about this. They said to each other, “If we answer, ‘John’s baptism was from God,’ then he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe John?’ But if we say that John’s baptism was from someone else, the people will stone us to death. They all believe that John was a prophet.” So they answered, “We don’t know the answer.”

So Jesus said to them, “Then I will not tell you who gave me the authority to do these things.”

God Sends His Son

Then Jesus told the people this story: “A man planted a vineyard. He leased the land to some farmers. Then he went away for a long time. 10 Later, it was time for the grapes to be picked. So the man sent a servant to those farmers so that they would give him his share of the grapes. But they beat the servant and sent him away with nothing. 11 So the man sent another servant. They beat this servant too and showed no respect for him. They sent the servant away with nothing. 12 So the man sent a third servant to the farmers. They hurt this servant badly and threw him out.

13 “The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What will I do now? I will send my son. I love my son very much. Maybe the farmers will respect my son.’ 14 When the farmers saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the owner’s son. This vineyard will be his. If we kill him, it will be ours.’ 15 So the farmers threw the son out of the vineyard and killed him.

“What will the owner of the vineyard do? 16 He will come and kill those farmers. Then he will lease the land to some other farmers.”

When the people heard this story, they said, “This should never happen!” 17 But Jesus looked into their eyes and said, “Then what does this verse mean:

‘The stone that the builders refused to accept
    became the cornerstone’?

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken. If that stone falls on you, it will crush you!”

19 When the teachers of the law and the leading priests heard this story, they knew it was about them. So they wanted to arrest Jesus right then, but they were afraid of what the people would do.

The Jewish Leaders Try to Trick Jesus

20 So the Jewish leaders waited for the right time to get Jesus. They sent some men to him, who pretended to be sincere. They wanted to find something wrong with what Jesus said. (If they found something wrong, then they could hand him over to the governor, who had the authority to arrest him.) 21 So the men said to Jesus, “Teacher, we know that what you say and teach is true. It doesn’t matter who is listening—you teach the same to all people. You always teach the truth about God’s way. 22 Tell us, is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

23 But Jesus knew that these men were trying to trick him. He said to them, 24 “Show me a silver coin. Whose name and picture are on it?”

They said, “Caesar’s.”

25 He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”

26 The men were amazed at his wise answer. They could say nothing. They were not able to trick Jesus there in front of the people. He said nothing they could use against him.

Some Sadducees Try to Trick Jesus

27 Some Sadducees came to Jesus. (Sadducees believe that people will not rise from death.) They asked him, 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote that if a married man dies and had no children, his brother must marry his widow. Then they will have children for the dead brother.[a] 29 One time there were seven brothers. The first brother married a woman but died. He had no children. 30 Then the second brother married the woman, and he died. 31 And the third brother married the woman, and he died. The same thing happened with all the other brothers. They all died and had no children. 32 The woman was the last to die. 33 But all seven brothers married her. So when people rise from death, whose wife will this woman be?”

34 Jesus said to the Sadducees, “On earth, people marry each other. 35 Some people will be worthy to be raised from death and live again after this life. In that life they will not marry. 36 In that life people are like angels and cannot die. They are children of God, because they have been raised from death. 37 Moses clearly showed that people are raised from death. When Moses wrote about the burning bush,[b] he said that the Lord is ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[c] 38 So they were not still dead, because he is the God only of living people. Yes, to God they are all still living.”

39 Some of the teachers of the law said, “Teacher, your answer was very good.” 40 No one was brave enough to ask him another question.

Is the Messiah David’s Son or David’s Lord?

41 Then Jesus said, “Why do people say that the Messiah is the Son of David? 42 In the book of Psalms, David himself says,

‘The Lord God said to my Lord:
Sit by me at my right side,
43     and I will put your enemies under your power.[d]

44 David calls the Messiah ‘Lord.’ So how can the Messiah also be David’s son?”

Warning Against the Teachers of the Law

45 While all the people were listening to Jesus, he said to his followers, 46 “Be careful of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around wearing clothes that look important. And they love for people to show respect to them in the marketplaces. They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 But they cheat widows and take their homes. Then they try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. God will punish them very much.”


  1. Luke 20:28 if … dead brother See Deut. 25:5, 6.
  2. Luke 20:37 burning bush See Ex. 3:1-12.
  3. Luke 20:37 ‘the God of … Jacob’ Words taken from Ex. 3:6.
  4. Luke 20:43 and I … power Literally, “until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International


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