Mark 12

Because Christ, God’s only Son, made His demands with more authority than any prophet had done, men were enraged against Him and determined by some method to entangle Him and put Him to death. To the last He confounded the wise of the world with His wisdom and set the seal of His favor upon the humble, trusting worshiper.

1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.

3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.

4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.

5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.

6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.

7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be our’s.

8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.

9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

11 This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

12 And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

13 ¶ And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.

14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.

16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s.

17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

18 ¶ Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,

19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.

21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.

22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.

23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.

24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

28 ¶ And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

35 ¶ And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?

36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.

38 ¶ And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,

39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:

40 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

Mark 12:1-27 – Jesus Silences His Enemies

   Our Lord reviews the history of the theocracy. He recounts the long roll of God’s servants who had been persecuted and misused from the first to the last, including Himself. In doing so, He openly implied that He was the Son of God and made the Pharisees realize how clearly He foresaw the fate which they were preparing for Him. They were accustomed to apply Psalm 118:22 to the Messiah, and recognized at once what Jesus meant, when He claimed it as an emblem of His own rejection.
   How admirably our Lord defined the relations of His Kingdom to the civil power! If we accept Caesar’s protection and ordered government we are bound to maintain it by money payment and such other service as conscience permits. This indeed is part of our duty to God; and with equal care we must give Him the dues of the spiritual world. 
   Jesus silenced the Sadducees by a quotation from the Pentateuch, whose authority they admitted. God could not be the God of persons not in existence. Therefore since He used the present tense of His relationship with the patriarchs in speaking to Moses three hundred years after their death, they must have been still in existence. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Mark 12:27—He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.

   Since God spoke of Himself as the God of the patriarchs, centuries after they had been borne to their graves, it stood to reason that they were yet living; and on this ground our Lord met the allegation that there is no life beyond death.
   Death is not a state or condition, but an act.—We speak of the dead; but in point of fact there are none such. We should speak of those who have died. They were living up to the moment of death; but they were living quite as much afterwards. Death is like birth, an act, a transition, a passage into a freer life. Never think of a death as a state, but as resembling a bridge which, for a moment, casts its shadow on the express train, which flashes beneath, but does not stay.
   All our dear ones are living.—As vividly, as keenly, as intensely as ever: with all the love and faith and intelligence with which we were wont to associate their beloved personality. It may be that they think of us as only half alive, compared with their own intense and vivid experience of the life which draws its breath from the manifested presence of Gad. Oh, do not fear that they will cease to recognize, know, or love you! Always it remains true, “They without us should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:40).
   Those who live on either side of death may meet in God.—Those who are present in the body, and those ho are absent from it, meet in proportion as they approach God. When we count near Him in thought, and prayer, and love, we are come to the spirits of the just made perfect. God is the glorious center of all the lines that radiate into all worlds. “Ye are come unto… God, the… Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:22-23). —Our Daily Homily

Mark 12:28-44 – The First Commandment

   To the young ruler our Lord named one command as great—the love of one’s neighbor. Now, in answer to this scribe, he turned with unerring choice, first to Deuteronomy 6:4-5, and then to Leviticus 19:18, for the two pillars on which the collective and individual life of man must rest. The reverent answer of the scribe proves that he was no ordinary questioner; and our Lord acknowledged this when He told him that a few steps more would bring him into the kingdom of God. Our Lord was David’s son by human descent, but as Son of God, proceeding from the Father, He is exalted far above David and all mankind.
   In terrible words, Mark 12:38-40, Christ denounced the moral and religious leaders of the time. They made a pretense and a gain of their religion. How great the contrast between them and this poor widow, who cast into God’s treasury all that she had to provide for her day’s living! Our Lord is quick to notice acts like these, which give evidence of the true heart. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Mark 12:40 – One ought to talk only as loud as he lives.