Mark 12 New Life Version (NLV)
The Picture-Story of the Grape-Field
12 Jesus began to teach them by using picture-stories, saying, “There was a man who planted grapes in a field. He put a fence around it and made a place for making wine. He built a tower to look over the field. Then he let farmers rent it and went into another country.
2 “The time came for gathering the grapes. He sent his servant to the farmers to get some of the grapes. 3 The farmers took him and beat him. They sent him back with nothing. 4 The owner sent another servant. The farmers threw stones at him and hit him on the head and did other bad things to him. 5 Again the owner sent another servant. The farmers killed that one. Many other servants were sent. They beat some and they killed others.
6 “He had a much-loved son to send yet. So last of all he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 The farmers said to themselves, ‘This is the one who will get everything when the owner dies. Let us kill him and we will get everything.’ 8 They took him and killed him. They threw his body outside the field. 9 What will the owner of the field do? He will come and kill the farmers. He will give the field to other farmers.
10 “Have you not read what the Holy Writings say? ‘The Stone that was put aside by the workmen has become the most important Stone in the corner of the building. 11 The Lord has done this. It is great in our eyes.’” 12 The leaders wanted to take Him but they were afraid of the people. They knew He had told the picture-story against them. They left Him and went away.
They Try to Trap Jesus
13 Some of the proud religious law-keepers and Herod’s men were sent to trap Jesus in His talk. 14 They came to Him and said, “Teacher, we know You are true. We know You are not afraid of what men think or say about You. You teach the way of God in truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or not pay?” Jesus knew how they pretended to be someone they were not. He said to them, “Why do you try to trap Me? Bring Me a small piece of money so I may look at it.” 16 They brought Him one. He asked them, “Whose picture is this? Whose name is on it?” They answered, “Caesar’s.” 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Pay to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar. Pay to God the things that belong to God.” They were surprised and wondered at Him.
They Ask about Being Raised from the Dead
18 Some people from the religious group who believe no one will be raised from the dead came to Jesus. They asked Him, 19 “Teacher, Moses gave us a Law. It said, ‘If a man’s brother dies and leaves his wife behind, but no children, then his brother should marry his wife and raise children for his brother.’ 20 There were seven brothers. The first was married. He died before he had any children. 21 The second married her and died. He had no children. The same happened with the third. 22 All seven had her for a wife. All died without children. Last of all the woman died. 23 When people are raised from the dead, whose wife will she be? All seven had her for a wife.” 24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you do not know the Holy Writings or the power of God? 25 When people are raised from the dead, they do not marry and are not given in marriage. They are like angels in heaven. 26 As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses how God spoke to him in the burning bush? He said, ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ 27 He is not the God of the dead, He is the God of the living. So you are very much wrong.”
The Great Law
28 Then one of the teachers of the Law heard them arguing. He thought Jesus had spoken well. He asked Him, “Which Law is the greatest of all?” 29 Jesus said to him, “The greatest Law is this, ‘Listen, Jewish people, The Lord our God is one Lord! 30 You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ This is the first Law.
31 “The second Law is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other Law is greater than these.”
32 Then the teacher of the Law said, “Teacher, You have told the truth. There is one God. There is no other God but Him. 33 A man should love Him with all his heart and with all his understanding. He should love Him with all his soul and with all his strength and love his neighbor as himself. This is more important than to bring animals to be burned on the altar or to give God other gifts on the altar in worship.” 34 Jesus saw he had spoken with understanding. He said to him, “You are not far from the holy nation of God.” After that no one thought they could ask Him anything.
Jesus Asks the Proud Religious Law-Keepers about the Christ
35 Jesus was in the house of God teaching. He asked, “How do the teachers of the Law say that Christ is the Son of David? 36 For David himself, led by the Holy Spirit, said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right side until I make those who hate You a place to rest Your feet.’ 37 David himself calls Him Lord. Then how can He be his son?” Many people were glad to hear Him.
38 Jesus taught them, saying, “Look out for the teachers of the Law. They like to walk around in long coats. They like to have the respect of men as they stand in the center of town where people gather. 39 They like to have the important seats in the places of worship and the important places at big suppers. 40 They take houses from poor women whose husbands have died. They cover up the bad they do by saying long prayers. They will be punished all the more.”
The Woman Whose Husband Had Died Gave All She Had
41 Jesus sat near the money box in the house of God. He watched the people putting in money. Many of them were rich and gave much money. 42 A poor woman whose husband had died came by and gave two very small pieces of money.
43 Jesus called His followers to Him. He said, “For sure, I tell you, this poor woman whose husband has died has given more money than all the others. 44 They all gave of that which was more than they needed for their own living. She is poor and yet she gave all she had, even what she needed for her own living.”