20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courtsg and proclaiming the good news,h the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”i
3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: 4 John’s baptismj—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the peoplek will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”l
9 He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard,m rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time.n 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.
13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love;o perhaps they will respect him.’
14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenantsp and give the vineyard to others.”
When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”
“ ‘The stone the builders rejected
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”r
20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said,u so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.v
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