The Authority of Jesus Questioned
(27) They returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him (28) and said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?”
(29) Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. (30) Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”
(31) They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘[Then] why did you not believe him?’ (32) But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”—they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet.
(33) So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Parable of the Tenants
(1) He began to speak to them in parables.
A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey.
(2) At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard.
(3) But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed.
(4) Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully.
(5) He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed.
(6) He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
(7) But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
(8) So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
(9) What [then] will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others.
(10) Have you not read this scripture passage:
‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
(11) by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes’?
(12) They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.
Paying Taxes to the Emperor
(13) They sent some Pharisees and Herodians to him to ensnare him in his speech.
(14) They came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?”
(15) Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at.”
(16) They brought one to him and he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
(17) So Jesus said to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him.