1 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
has become the cornerstone;
11 the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes' ?"
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.
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 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.
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 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' ? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!"
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. 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.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 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.
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:
"Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet." '
37 David himself calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?"
The large crowd listened to him with delight.
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."
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 fraction of a penny.
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."
The Title is really rather a "Where is Waldo" question.
We all have fruit describing ourselves to each other. So many times we don't listen to each other. Did you see what Jesus asked?
Why do people quit going to Bible Studies and going to Church. We all have Ecclesiastes 3 - a time and a season. We all need to search ourselves and in community events be able to pray for our difficulties and prayer opportunities with honesty, with privacy, with verve to bounce along.
And outside of our faith communities - to listen to what people say about Jesus. Here Jesus was asking - fully already informed of the asker's heart - "Why are you trying to trap me?" He asked.
We learn about our faith walks in our belief and disbelief in the claims of Jesus and His Word. We live in a world where discernment is needed. Not judgement so much, Jesus has the authority for that. And you know, He just never wrote in Scripture that HE would need help with Judgement....
Turn to your Word of God and find where it says - judge thy neighbor. Now the Word does say share Jesus and His Love. With advice for dealing with fools and with forgiveness. And cruelty. And evil. What is confusing is - which topic to pick - reprove earnestly - turn the other cheek (Jesus had humor and sometimes He meant walk away - King Hezekiah did) rebuke the devil - forgive as you have been forgiven- let Love cover a multitude of sin - forgive seven time seventy and when asked earnestly to forgive do - don't cast pearls before swine.
How will you pick how to know what to do - Give Justice with mercy, walk humbly with God. Fight the good fight. Faith, Hope and Love, the greatest of these is Love. God is Love.
The question isn't so mystical. The answer is to listen to what the person says, lives, and does. To truly observe someone. There are key points. The point isn't to use someone - it is to minister to their needs. And to have them understand what life looks like to rely upon Him.
God tells us to cry out for wisdom, to ask, and that will be given. However, we first have to be curious enough beyond ourselves to see the direction. We are told in Romans Chapter One, we are given the truth in our souls, what we have to say about Jesus tells a lot about the condition of the soul. Not even this is entirely a maxim we can truly rest upon. We sometimes have an excellent soul in journey condition. Or importantly, the maturity of the journey and the condition our current events exist in. Which we will have to admit depends on how shaken the waters our lives float upon. It's really fairly easy to be at ease and proclaim spiritual maturity.
There are so many variables in discernment. However Jesus makes an excellent point here - what we have to say about Jesus and the opinion tells us the stability of the Rock.
Jesus was doing something in this passage we should listen to - He was listening.