Life's Greatest Decision

The Gospel of Mark

Chapter 12

Jesus began to speak to them in stories, "A man planted a grape field and put a wall around it. Then he made a large hole in the ground to put the grapes in to make them into wine, and he built a tall building. He rented the grape field to some farmers, and then he went away on a trip.

The man sent a servant to the farmers when it was time to cut the grapes off the vine, so the farmers could give him some fruit from the grape field. The farmers took the servant and beat him. Then they sent him away without anything. The man sent another servant to them again, but they wounded him on the head and did shameful things to him. The man sent another servant, and they killed him. They beat many other servants that the man sent, and killed some of them. The man had one more person to send. He was a son the man loved dearly. He said, 'They will respect my son.' But those farmers said to each other, 'This is the owner's son who will own the property of the family after they die. Let's kill him, and then everything he would have received will be ours.' So they took him, and killed him, and threw him out from the grape field. What will the owner of the grape field do? He will come and kill the farmers, and he will give the grape field to other men. Haven't you read this part of God's Word,

"The Stone the builders rejected,
was made the Cornerstone.
The Lord did this,
and it is wonderful in our eyes'?"

The Jewish leaders looked for a way to take Him, because they understood He told the story about them. But they were afraid of the crowd of people, so they let Him stay there and they went away.

The Jewish Leaders Try to Trick Jesus

The Jews sent some of the Pharisees and the Herodians to Jesus, so they could trick Him in what He said. They came and said to Him, "Teacher, we know You tell the truth always and You do not let any person influence You, because You do not give attention to who they are, but You teach God's way with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or isn't it? Should we pay or shouldn't we?" But He knew they were hypocrites and He said to them, "Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius so I can see it." They brought it, and He said to them, "Whose picture and name is this?"

They said to Him, "Caesar's."

Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and give to God the things that belong to God." They were full of great wonder because of Him.

Some Sadducees Try to Trick Jesus

The Sadducees, who say that dead people are not brought back to life from death, came to Jesus and asked Him, "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man's brother dies, and his wife is still alive, and they do not have any children, the man should marry the brother's wife and produce children for his brother. There were seven brothers, and the first brother had a wife, and he died without having any children. The second brother married her, and he also died without having any children. The third brother did the same thing, and none of the seven brothers had any children. The woman died after this. Whose wife will she be at the time when people are brought back to life from death, because she was the wife of all seven brothers?"

Jesus said to them, "Aren't you making an error because you do not know God's Word or God's power? People will not marry or be given in marriage when they are brought back to life from death, but they will be like angels in heaven. Haven't you read about people being brought back to life from death in the Book of Moses? In the part about the burning bush God said to Moses, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' He is not the God of people who are dead. He is the God of people who are living. You have been very wrong."

The Most Important Command

One of the teachers of the religious law came, and he heard the other men arguing. He knew Jesus had answered them well and he asked Him. "What command is the most important of all the commands?"

Jesus answered, "The most important command is, 'Listen, Israel , the Lord our God is one God, and love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second command is this, 'You will love your neighbor just like you love yourself.' There is no other command that is greater than these commands."

One of the teachers of the religious law said to Him, "Teacher, that is true. You are right when You say that the Lord our God is one God, and there is no God except Him. You are right when You say to love Him with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor just like you love yourself. This is more important than all the offerings and sacrifices."

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God ." No one had the courage to ask Him any more questions after that.

Jesus Teaches that the Christ is David's Lord

Jesus taught in the temple and said, "Why do the teachers of the religious law say that the Christ is the Son of David? David said, when he was filled with the Holy Spirit,

"God said to my Lord,
sit at My right side,
until I put Your enemies under Your feet to rest."

David says Jesus is his Lord. Then how can He be his son?" The crowd of people listened joyfully to Him.

Jesus Warns about Religious Teachers

Jesus said when He taught, "Be careful of the teachers of the religious law, who like to walk around wearing long robes, so they will look important, and who want to be greeted in the marketplaces. They want the most important seats in synagogues and at feasts, and they take widows' houses for themselves, and they say long prayers so people will think they are righteous. These men will receive greater punishment than other people."

Jesus Teaches about Giving

Jesus sat near the money box in the temple and watched the people put money into the box. Many rich people put in large amounts of money, but a poor widow came and put in two small coins that were only worth about one cent. Jesus called His followers to Him, and said to them, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow put in more money than all these other people who put money into the box. This is because they all put in money that was part of their riches, but she is poor and she put in all the money she had."

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