Contemporary English Version
19 Jesus was going through Jericho, 2 where a man named Zacchaeus lived. He was in charge of collecting taxes[a] and was very rich. 3-4 Jesus was heading his way, and Zacchaeus wanted to see what he was like. But Zacchaeus was a short man and could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree.
5 When Jesus got there, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down! I want to stay with you today.” 6 Zacchaeus hurried down and gladly welcomed Jesus.
7 Everyone who saw this started grumbling, “This man Zacchaeus is a sinner! And Jesus is going home to eat with him.”
8 Later that day Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “I will give half of my property to the poor. And I will now pay back four times as much[b] to everyone I have ever cheated.”
A Story about Ten Servants
11 (B) The crowd was still listening to Jesus as he was getting close to Jerusalem. Many of them thought that God's kingdom would soon appear, 12 and Jesus told them this story:
A prince once went to a foreign country to be crowned king and then to return. 13 But before leaving, he called in ten servants and gave each of them some money. He told them, “Use this to earn more money until I get back.”
14 But the people of his country hated him, and they sent messengers to the foreign country to say, “We don't want this man to be our king.”
15 After the prince had been made king, he returned and called in his servants. He asked them how much they had earned with the money they had been given.
16 The first servant came and said, “Sir, with the money you gave me I have earned ten times as much.”
17 “That's fine, my good servant!” the king said. “Since you have shown that you can be trusted with a small amount, you will be given ten cities to rule.”
18 The second one came and said, “Sir, with the money you gave me, I have earned five times as much.”
19 The king said, “You will be given five cities.”
20 Another servant came and said, “Sir, here is your money. I kept it safe in a handkerchief. 21 You are a hard man, and I was afraid of you. You take what isn't yours, and you harvest crops you didn't plant.”
22 “You worthless servant!” the king told him. “You have condemned yourself by what you have just said. You knew I am a hard man, taking what isn't mine and harvesting what I've not planted. 23 Why didn't you put my money in the bank? On my return, I could have had the money together with interest.”
24 Then he said to some other servants standing there, “Take the money away from him and give it to the servant who earned ten times as much.”
25 But they said, “Sir, he already has ten times as much!”
26 (C) The king replied, “Those who have something will be given more. But everything will be taken away from those who don't have anything. 27 Now bring me the enemies who didn't want me to be their king. Kill them while I watch!”
Jesus Enters Jerusalem
28 When Jesus had finished saying all this, he went on toward Jerusalem. 29 As he was getting near Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples on ahead. 30 He told them, “Go into the next village, where you will find a young donkey that has never been ridden. Untie the donkey and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks why you are doing this, just say, ‘The Lord[e] needs it.’ ”
32 They went off and found everything just as Jesus had said. 33 While they were untying the donkey, its owners asked, “Why are you doing that?”
34 They answered, “The Lord[f] needs it.”
35 Then they led the donkey to Jesus. They put some of their clothes on its back and helped Jesus get on. 36 And as he rode along, the people spread clothes on the road[g] in front of him. 37 When Jesus started down the Mount of Olives, his large crowd of disciples were happy and praised God because of all the miracles they had seen. 38 (D) They shouted,
“Blessed is the king who comes
in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven
and glory to God.”
39 Some Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, make your disciples stop shouting!”
40 But Jesus answered, “If they keep quiet, these stones will start shouting.”
41 When Jesus came closer and could see Jerusalem, he cried 42 and said:
It is too bad that today your people don't know what will bring them peace! Now it is hidden from them. 43 Jerusalem, the time will come when your enemies will build walls around you to attack you. Armies will surround you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will level you to the ground and kill your people. Not one stone in your buildings will be left on top of another. This will happen because you did not see that God had come to save you.[h]
Jesus in the Temple
45 When Jesus entered the temple, he started chasing out the people who were selling things. 46 (E) He told them, “The Scriptures say, ‘My house should be a place of worship.’ But you have made it a place where robbers hide!”
47 (F) Each day, Jesus kept on teaching in the temple. So the chief priests, the teachers of the Law of Moses, and some other important people tried to have him killed. 48 But they could not find a way to do it, because everyone else was eager to listen to him.
A Question about Jesus' Authority
20 One day, Jesus was teaching in the temple and telling the good news. So the chief priests, the teachers, and the nation's leaders 2 asked him, “What right do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?”
3 Jesus replied, “I want to ask you a question. 4 Who gave John the right to baptize? Was it God in heaven or merely some human being?”
5 They talked this over and said to each other, “We can't say God gave John this right. Jesus will ask us why we didn't believe John. 6 And we can't say it was merely some human who gave John the right to baptize. The crowd will stone us to death, because they think John was a prophet.”
7 So they told Jesus, “We don't know who gave John the right to baptize.”
8 Jesus replied, “Then I won't tell you who gave me the right to do what I do.”
Renters of a Vineyard
9 (G) Jesus told the people this story:
A man once planted a vineyard and rented it out. Then he left the country for a long time. 10 When it was time to harvest the crop, he sent a servant to ask the renters for his share of the grapes. But they beat up the servant and sent him away without anything. 11 So the owner sent another servant. The renters also beat him up. They insulted him terribly and sent him away without a thing. 12 The owner sent a third servant. He was also beaten terribly and thrown out of the vineyard.
13 The owner then said to himself, “What am I going to do? I know what. I'll send my son, the one I love so much. They will surely respect him!”
14 When the renters saw the owner's son, they said to one another, “Someday he will own the vineyard. Let's kill him! Then we can have it all for ourselves.” 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Jesus asked, “What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do? 16 I'll tell you what. He will come and kill those renters and let someone else have his vineyard.”
When the people heard this, they said, “This must never happen!”
17 (H) But Jesus looked straight at them and said, “Then what do the Scriptures mean when they say, ‘The stone the builders tossed aside is now the most important stone of all’? 18 Anyone who stumbles over this stone will get hurt, and anyone it falls on will be smashed to pieces.”
19 The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses knew that Jesus was talking about them when he was telling this story. They wanted to arrest him right then, but they were afraid of the people.
20 Jesus' enemies kept watching him closely, because they wanted to hand him over to the Roman governor. So they sent some men who pretended to be good. But they were really spies trying to catch Jesus saying something wrong. 21 The spies said to him, “Teacher, we know you teach the truth about what God wants people to do. And you treat everyone with the same respect, no matter who they are. 22 Tell us, should we pay taxes to the Emperor or not?”
23 Jesus knew they were trying to trick him. So he told them, 24 “Show me a coin.” Then he asked, “Whose picture and name are on it?”
“The Emperor's,” they answered.
25 Then he told them, “Give the Emperor what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God.” 26 Jesus' enemies could not catch him saying anything wrong there in front of the people. They were amazed at his answer and kept quiet.
Life in the Future World
Teacher, Moses wrote that if a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry the widow. Their first son would then be thought of as the son of the dead brother.
29 There were once seven brothers. The first one married, but died without having any children. 30 The second one married his brother's widow, and he also died without having any children. 31 The same thing happened to the third one. Finally, all seven brothers married this woman and died without having any children. 32 At last the woman died. 33 When God raises people from death, whose wife will this woman be? All seven brothers had married her.
34 Jesus answered:
The people in this world get married. 35 But in the future world no one who is worthy to rise from death will either marry 36 or die. They will be like the angels and will be God's children, because they have been raised to life.
37 (K) In the story about the burning bush, Moses clearly shows that people will live again. He said, “The Lord is the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”[i] 38 So the Lord isn't the God of the dead, but of the living. This means that everyone is alive as far as God is concerned.
39 Some of the teachers of the Law of Moses said, “Teacher, you have given a good answer!” 40 From then on, no one dared to ask Jesus any questions.
About David's Son
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right side[k]
43 until I make your enemies
into a footstool for you.’
44 David spoke of the Messiah as his Lord, so how can the Messiah be his son?”
Jesus and the Teachers of the Law of Moses
45 While everyone was listening to Jesus, he said to his disciples:
46 Guard against the teachers of the Law of Moses! They love to walk around in long robes, and they like to be greeted in the market. They want the front seats in the synagogues and the best seats at banquets. 47 But they cheat widows out of their homes and then pray long prayers just to show off. These teachers will be punished most of all.
- 19.2 in charge of collecting taxes: See the note at 3.12.
- 19.8 pay back four times as much: Both Jewish and Roman law said that a person must pay back four times the amount that was taken.
- 19.9 saved: Zacchaeus was Jewish, but it is only now that he is rescued from sin and placed under God's care.
- 19.9 son of Abraham: As used in this verse, the words mean that Zacchaeus is truly one of God's special people.
- 19.31 The Lord: Or “The master of the donkey.”
- 19.34 The Lord: Or “The master of the donkey.”
- 19.36 spread clothes on the road: This was one way that the Jewish people welcomed a famous person.
- 19.44 that God had come to save you: The Jewish people looked for the time when God would come and rescue them from their enemies. But when Jesus came, many of them refused to obey him.
- 20.37 The Lord is the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: Jesus argues that if God is worshiped by these three, they must be alive, because he is the God of the living.
- 20.41 the son of King David: See the note at 18.38.
- 20.42 right side: The place of power and honor.