1 Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him
2 and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”
3 But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me:
4 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?”
5 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered that they did not know where it was from.
8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
9 Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time.
10 Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
11 Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed.
12 And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.
13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’
14 But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’
15 So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
16 He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.” And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”
17 Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED HAS BECOME THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE’ ?
18 Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
19 And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people—for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.
20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.
21 Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth:
22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
23 But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Why do you test Me?
24 Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” They answered and said, “Caesar’s.”
25 And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
26 But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.
27 Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him,
28 saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.
29 Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children.
30 And the second took her as wife, and he died childless.
31 Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died.
32 Last of all the woman died also.
33 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.”
34 Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage.
35 But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;
36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
37 But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB.’
38 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”
39 Then some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.”
40 But after that they dared not question Him anymore.
41 And He said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is the Son of David?
42 Now David himself said in the Book of Psalms: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, ” SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
43 TILL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES YOUR FOOTSTOOL.”‘
44 Therefore David calls Him ‘LORD’; how is He then his Son?”
45 Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples,
46 “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts,
47 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”
While Jesus’ purpose was to present revelation of truth that would transform lives, there was also a great deal of time spent in refuting the challenges of His opposition. It was necessary for His teaching to come from an uncompromising and Spirit-inspired source, but His answers to the detractors was also in need of this same wisdom. Sometimes what was not said was just as important as sounding off with revelation. Rather than falling prey to the snares of insincere inquiries, His responses were evasions of their pitfalls and the setting of His own traps.
It’s easy to get drawn in by pressure to produce some kind of profound insight, while there is just as much needed Spirit guidance in deflecting and quenching the arrows that are launched at our hearts. The wisdom we are promised is as just effectively required in the field as in the pulpit.
I love verse 38 that says, “For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”
There are things that we are supposed to allow to die off of us to live for Christ, that many people think they are missing the fun of life. A chief complaint is what they are missing out on, but what they are really missing out on is the LIFE that Jesus has and has provided for them. He is not the God of the dead, dead things, or dead promises! He is the God of the living, the ever-living ones, the living promises, the living hope, the risen and living Savior!