Mark 12

1 – 9

Jesus used 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. Then he built a tower. He rented the vineyard to some farmers and left for a trip. Later, it was time for the grapes to be picked. So the man sent a servant to the farmers to get his share of the grapes.

But the farmers grabbed the servant and beat him. They sent him away with nothing. Then the man sent another servant. They hit him on the head and showed no respect for him. So the man sent another servant. They killed this servant. The man sent many other servants. The farmers beat some of them and killed others.

“The man had one person left to send, his son whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘The farmers will respect my son.’

“But they said to each other, ‘This is the owner’s son. This vineyard will be his. If we kill him, then it will be ours.’ So they took the son, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.

“So what will the man who owns the vineyard do? He will go to the vineyard and kill those farmers. Then he will give the vineyard to other farmers.

The Bible says that Israel was like a vineyard that God had planted in the world. Jesus was showing the Jews that they were doing the same things that their fathers had done to the prophets. The Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. which is the end of this story.

The other farmers are the non-Jews who would be given the Gospel because the Jews did not want it.

10 – 11

Surely you have read this Scripture: The stone that the builders did not want became the cornerstone. The Lord did this, and it is wonderful to us.’”

Because the Jews did not want Jesus then God built a new building on the foundation of faith in Jesus. 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.

The Jews knew that the Messiah would be the Son of God.

13 – 14

Later, the Jewish leaders sent some Pharisees and some men from the group called Herodians to Jesus. They wanted to catch Jesus saying something wrong. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are an honest man. You are not afraid of what other people think about you. All men are the same to you. And you teach the truth about God’s way. Tell us: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar? Should we pay them, or not?”

Evil men are always asking questions that have no good answer so that they can twist the question to build up their own ideas. Some students are asked, “When there is no food, who should we kill first?” These are demonic questions.

15 – 17

But Jesus knew what these men were really trying to do. He said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Bring me a silver coin. Let me see it.” They gave Jesus a coin, and he asked, “Whose picture is on the coin? And whose name is written on it?” They answered, “Caesar’s.”

Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. And give to God the things that are God’s.” The men were amazed at what Jesus said.

The Roman coins said, “Caesar is god.” Jesus is saying that the coins belong to Caesar so give them back to him.

18 – 23

Then some Sadducees came to Jesus. (Sadducees believe that no person will rise from death.) The Sadducees asked Jesus a question. They said, “Teacher, Moses wrote that a man’s brother might die. He leaves a wife but no children. Then that man must marry the widow and have children for the dead brother.

There were seven brothers. The first brother married but died. He had no children. So the second brother married the widow. But he also died and had no children. The same thing happened with the third brother.

All seven brothers married her and died. None of the brothers had any children. The woman was last to die. But all seven brothers had married her. So at the time people rise from death, whose wife will the woman be?”

Do not try to answer fake questions that come from someone’s imagination. If you try to answer then they will change their imagination to something else. The Sadducees do not even believe that someone could rise from the dead so this shows that they were making a joke out of this story.

24 – 25

Jesus answered, “Why did you make this mistake? Is it because you do not know what the Scriptures say? Or is it because you do not know about the power of God? When people rise from death, there will be no marriage. People will not be married to each other but will be like angels in heaven.

Some teachers try to say that angels married women in the book of Genesis. There is no way for angels and humans to have children. That which is spirit is spirit. (John 3:6). Teaching people that angels can make women become pregnant only leads to confusion and fear. May God help you if you teach something from your imagination to God's little ones

26 – 27

Surely you have read what God said about people rising from death. In the book in which Moses wrote about the burning bush, it says that God told Moses this: ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ God is the God of living people, not dead people. You Sadducees are wrong!”

The Sadducees believed that there was no life after death. If this were true then it does not matter how you live. At the same time these Jews tried to use the Old Testament to spread their teaching. Jesus is showing that God sees these Jewish fathers as still existing.

28 – 34

One of the teachers of the law came to Jesus. He heard Jesus arguing with the Sadducees and the Pharisees. He saw that Jesus gave good answers to their questions. So he asked Jesus, “Which of the commands is most important?”

Jesus answered, “The most important command is this: ‘Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God, he is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God. Love him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’

The second most important command is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ These two commands are the most important commands.”

The man answered, “That was a good answer, Teacher. You were right when you said these things. God is the only Lord, and there is no other God besides him. One must love God with all his heart, all his mind, and all his strength. And one must love his neighbor as he loves himself. These commands are more important than all the animals and sacrifices we offer to God.”

Jesus saw that the man answered him wisely. So Jesus said to him, “You are close to the kingdom of God.” And after that, no one was brave enough to ask Jesus any more questions.

People like to argue about religion and what are the most important things men should do. If we just treat people the same way that we like to be treated then we would see what Jesus was saying!
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the main idea of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12

35 – 37

Jesus was teaching in the Temple. He asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, said:

‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit by Me at my right side, until I put Your enemies under Your control.’

David himself calls the Christ ‘Lord.’ So how can the Christ be David’s son?” The large crowd listened to Jesus with pleasure.

Some people like to listen but they are not planning to do anything about what they have heard. These same people were shouting for Jesus to be killed in a few days.

The answer to Jesus’ question is that the One David was calling Lord would have to become a man. Psalm 110:1

38 – 40

Jesus continued teaching. He said, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around wearing clothes that look important. And they love for people to show respect to them in the marketplaces.

They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues. And they love to have the most important seats at the feasts. They cheat widows and steal their homes. Then they try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. God will punish these people terribly.”

The Jews changed God’s laws about forgiving people who owed you money. They would think nothing of taking everything from poor people. This shows us how evil demonic spirits take away normal human feelings.

41 – 44

Jesus sat near the Temple money box where people put their gifts. He watched the people put in their money. Many rich people gave large sums of money. Then a poor widow came and gave two very small copper coins. These coins were not worth even a penny.

Jesus called His followers to him. He said, “I tell you the truth. This poor widow gave only two small coins. But she really gave more than all those rich people. The rich have plenty; they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor. But she gave all she had. And she needed that money to help her live.”

God does not look at the how much you gave but at what was in your heart as you gave it. This woman must have been asking God to help her in an emergency because she gave all that she had.