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English Standard Version

Matthew 21:23–26:5

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The Authority of Jesus Challenged

23 zAnd when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him aas he was teaching, and said, b“By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, cfrom where did it come? dFrom heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, e‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From man,’ fwe are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was ga prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 h“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in ithe vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he jchanged his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, kthe tax collectors and lthe prostitutes go into mthe kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you nin the way of righteousness, and oyou did not believe him, but pthe tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward jchange your minds and believe him.

The Parable of the Tenants

33 q“Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted ra vineyard sand put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and tleased it to tenants, and uwent into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants3 to the tenants tto get his fruit. 35 vAnd the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and wstoned another. 36 xAgain he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, y‘This is the heir. Come, zlet us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and athrew him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 bWhen therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, c“He will put those wretches to a miserable death and dlet out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

42 Jesus said to them, e“Have you never read in the Scriptures:

f“ ‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;4

this was the Lord’s doing,

and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God gwill be taken away from you and given to a people hproducing its fruits. 44 And ithe one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and jwhen it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”5

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And lalthough they were seeking to arrest him, mthey feared the crowds, because they held him to be na prophet.

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

22 And again Jesus ospoke to them in parables, saying, p“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave qa wedding feast for his son, and rsent his servants1 to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. sAgain he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my tdinner, umy oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” ’ But vthey paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, wtreated them shamefully, and xkilled them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and ydestroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not zworthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and bgathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there ca man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, d‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and ecast him into the outer darkness. In that place ethere will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are fcalled, but few are fchosen.”

Paying Taxes to Caesar

15 gThen the Pharisees went and plotted how hto entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent itheir disciples to him, along with jthe Herodians, saying, “Teacher, kwe know that you are true and teach lthe way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for myou are not swayed by appearances.2 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay ntaxes to oCaesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why pput me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius.3 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, q“Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they rleft him and went away.

Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection

23 The same day sSadducees came to him, twho say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, 24 saying, “Teacher, Moses said, u‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. 26 So too the second and third, down to the seventh. 27 After them all, the woman died. 28 In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”

29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, vbecause you know neither the Scriptures nor wthe power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither xmarry nor xare given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, yhave you not read what was said to you by God: 32 z‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the crowd heard it, athey were astonished at his teaching.

The Great Commandment

34 bBut when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced cthe Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 dAnd one of them, ea lawyer, asked him a question fto test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, g“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And ha second is like it: iYou shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 jOn these two commandments depend kall the Law and the Prophets.”

Whose Son Is the Christ?

41 lNow while the Pharisees mwere gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, “What do you think about nthe Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, n“The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, oin the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

44  p“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord,

“Sit at my right hand,

until I put your enemies under your feet” ’?

45 If then David calls him Lord, qhow is he his son?” 46 rAnd no one was able to answer him a word, snor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees

23 Then Jesus tsaid to the crowds and to his disciples, u“The scribes and the Pharisees vsit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, wbut not the works they do. xFor they preach, but do not practice. yThey tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,1 and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. tThey do all their deeds zto be seen by others. For they make atheir phylacteries broad and btheir fringes long, and they clove the place of honor at feasts and dthe best seats in the synagogues and dgreetings in ethe marketplaces and being called frabbi2 by others. gBut you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are hall brothers.3 iAnd call no man your father on earth, for jyou have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, kthe Christ. 11 lThe greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 mWhoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 “But woe nto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you oshut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you pneither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.4 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single qproselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a rchild of shell5 as yourselves.

16 “Woe to tyou, ublind guides, who say, v‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or wthe temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by xthe gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or ythe altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by zhim who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by a

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Or bondservants; also verses 35, 36

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Greek the head of the corner

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Some manuscripts omit verse 44

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Or bondservants; also verses 4, 6, 8, 10

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Greek for you do not look at people’s faces

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A denarius was a day’s wage for a laborer

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Some manuscripts omit hard to bear

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Rabbi means my teacher, or my master; also verse 8

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Or brothers and sisters

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Some manuscripts add here (or after verse 12) verse 14: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation

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Greek Gehenna; also verse 33

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