Mark 12 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
God Sends His Son
12 Jesus used stories to teach the people. He said, “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it and dug a hole for a winepress. Then he built a tower. He leased the vineyard to some farmers and left for a trip. 2 Later, it was time for the grapes to be picked. So the man sent a servant to the farmers to get his share of the grapes. 3 But the farmers grabbed the servant and beat him. They sent him away with nothing. 4 Then the man sent another servant. They hit him on the head and showed no respect for him. 5 So the man sent another servant. They killed this servant. The man sent many other servants. The farmers beat some of them and killed others.
6 “The man had one person left to send, his son whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘The farmers will respect my son.’
7 “But they said to each other, ‘This is the owner’s son. This vineyard will be his. If we kill him, then it will be ours.’ 8 So they took the son, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
9 “So what will the man who owns the vineyard do? He will go to the vineyard and kill those farmers. Then he will give the vineyard to other farmers. 10 Surely you have read this Scripture:
‘The stone that the builders did not want
12 The Jewish leaders knew that the story was about them. So they wanted to find a way to arrest Jesus, but they were afraid of the people. So the leaders left him and went away.
The Leaders Try to Trap Jesus
13 Later, the Jewish leaders sent some Pharisees and some men from the group called Herodians[a] to Jesus. They wanted to catch Jesus saying something wrong. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are an honest man. You are not afraid of what other people think about you. All men are the same to you. And you teach the truth about God’s way. Tell us: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar? Should we pay them, or not?”
15 But Jesus knew what these men were really trying to do. He said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Bring me a silver coin. Let me see it.” 16 They gave Jesus a coin, and he asked, “Whose picture is on the coin? And whose name is written on it?”
They answered, “Caesar’s.”
17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. And give to God the things that are God’s.” The men were amazed at what Jesus said.
Sadducees Try to Trick Jesus
18 Then some Sadducees came to Jesus. (Sadducees believe that no person will rise from death.) The Sadducees asked Jesus a question. 19 They said, “Teacher, Moses wrote that a man’s brother might die. He leaves a wife but no children. Then that man must marry the widow and have children for the dead brother. 20 There were seven brothers. The first brother married but died. He had no children. 21 So the second brother married the widow. But he also died and had no children. The same thing happened with the third brother. 22 All seven brothers married her and died. None of the brothers had any children. The woman was last to die. 23 But all seven brothers had married her. So at the time people rise from death, whose wife will the woman be?”
24 Jesus answered, “Why did you make this mistake? Is it because you don’t know what the Scriptures say? Or is it because you don’t know about the power of God? 25 When people rise from death, there will be no marriage. People will not be married to each other but will be like angels in heaven. 26 Surely you have read what God said about people rising from death. In the book in which Moses wrote about the burning bush,[b] it says that God told Moses this: ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[c] 27 God is the God of living people, not dead people. You Sadducees are wrong!”
The Most Important Command
28 One of the teachers of the law came to Jesus. He heard Jesus arguing with the Sadducees and the Pharisees. He saw that Jesus gave good answers to their questions. So he asked Jesus, “Which of the commands is most important?”
29 Jesus answered, “The most important command is this: ‘Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God, he is the only Lord. 30 Love the Lord your God. Love him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’[d] 31 The second most important command is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’[e] These two commands are the most important commands.”
32 The man answered, “That was a good answer, Teacher. You were right when you said these things. God is the only Lord, and there is no other God besides him. 33 One must love God with all his heart, all his mind, and all his strength. And one must love his neighbor as he loves himself. These commands are more important than all the animals and sacrifices we offer to God.”
34 Jesus saw that the man answered him wisely. So Jesus said to him, “You are close to the kingdom of God.” And after that, no one was brave enough to ask Jesus any more questions.
35 Jesus was teaching in the Temple. He asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, said:
‘The Lord said to my Lord:
37 David himself calls the Christ ‘Lord.’ So how can the Christ be David’s son?” The large crowd listened to Jesus with pleasure.
38 Jesus continued teaching. He said, “Beware 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. 39 They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues. And they love to have the most important seats at the feasts. 40 They cheat widows and steal their homes. Then they try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. God will punish these people terribly.”
41 Jesus sat near the Temple money box where people put their gifts. He watched the people put in their money. Many rich people gave large sums of money. 42 Then a poor widow came and gave two very small copper coins. These coins were not worth even a penny.
43 Jesus called his followers to him. He said, “I tell you the truth. This poor widow gave only two small coins. But she really gave more than all those rich people. 44 The rich have plenty; they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor. But she gave all she had. And she needed that money to help her live.”
Mark 12 New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Tenants
12 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
6 “He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
7 “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
9 “What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.
Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar
13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax[b] to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
And they were amazed at him.
Marriage at the Resurrection
18 Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 19 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21 The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22 In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 At the resurrection[c] whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”
24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[d]? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”
The Greatest Commandment
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.”
32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
The large crowd listened to him with delight.
Warning Against the Teachers of the Law
38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
The Widow’s Offering
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”