27 Jesus and his followers went again to Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders came to him. 28 They said to him, “What authority do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?”
29 Jesus answered, “I will ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you what authority I have to do these things. 30 Tell me: When John baptized people, was that authority from God or just from other people?”
31 They argued about Jesus’ question, saying, “If we answer, ‘John’s baptism was from God,’ Jesus will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘It was from other people,’ the crowd will be against us.” (These leaders were afraid of the people, because all the people believed that John was a prophet.)
33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Jesus said to them, “Then I won’t tell you what authority I have to do these things.”
A Story About God’s Son
12 Jesus began to use 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 and built a tower. Then he leased the land to some farmers and left for a trip. 2 When it was time for the grapes to be picked, he sent a servant to the farmers to get his share of the grapes. 3 But the farmers grabbed the servant and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 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, whom they killed. 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, ‘They will respect my son.’
7 “But the farmers said to each other, ‘This son will inherit the vineyard. If we kill him, it will be ours.’ 8 So they took the son, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
9 “So what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those farmers and will give the vineyard to other farmers. 10 Surely you have read this Scripture:
‘The stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone. 11 The Lord did this, and it is wonderful to us.’”Psalm 118:22–23
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.
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