Mark 12 – There is One God – The Gospels

Book of Mark Bible StudyAnd Jesus began to speak to them in parables: “A man once planted a vineyard, put a fence round it, dug a wine–press, built a tower, and then let it out to tenants and went abroad. 2 At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants, to receive from them a share of the produce of the vintage; 3 But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty– handed.”

4 “A second time the owner sent a servant to them; this man, too, the tenants struck on the head, and insulted. 5 He sent another, but him they killed; and so with many others, some they beat and some they killed. 6 He had still one son, who was very dear to him; and him he sent to them last of all. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 7 But those tenants said to one another: ‘Here is the heir! Come, let us kill him, and his inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they seized him, and killed him, and threw his body outside the vineyard.”

9 “What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and put the tenants to death, and he will let the vineyard to others. 10 Have you never read this passage of scripture?: ‘The very stone which the builders despised has now itself become the corner– stone; 11 This corner–stone has come from the Lord, and is marvelous in our eyes.’“ 12 After this his enemies were eager to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd; for they saw that it was at them that he had aimed the parable. So they let him alone, and went away.

13 Afterwards they sent to Jesus some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to set a trap for him in the course of conversation. 14 These men came to him and said: “Teacher, we know that you are an honest man, and are not afraid of anyone, for you pay no regard to a man’s position, but teach the way of God honestly; are we right in paying taxes to Caesar, or not? 15 Should we pay, or should we not pay?”

Knowing their hypocrisy, Jesus said to them: “Why are you testing me? Bring me a florin to look at.” 16 And, when they had brought it, he asked: “Whose head and title are these?” “The Emperor’s,” they said; 17 And Jesus replied: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they wondered at him.

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18 Next came some Sadducees, the men who maintain that there is no resurrection. Their question was this: 9 “Teacher, in our scriptures Moses decreed that, should a man’s brother die, leaving a widow but no child, the man should take the widow as his wife, and raise up a family for his brother. 20 There were once seven brothers; of whom the eldest took a wife, but died and left no family; 21 And the second took her, and died without family; and so did the third. 22 All the seven died and left no family. The woman herself died last of all. 23 At the resurrection whose wife will she be, all seven brothers having had her as their wife?”

24 “Is not the reason of your mistake,” answered Jesus, “your ignorance of the scriptures and of the power of God? 25 When men rise from the dead, there is no marrying or being married; but they are as angels in heaven. 26 As to the dead, and the fact that they rise, have you never read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him thus: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of dead men, but of living. You are greatly mistaken.”

28 Then came up one of the teachers of the law who had heard their discussions. Knowing that Jesus had answered them wisely, he asked him this question: “What is the first of all the commandments?” 29 “The first,” answered Jesus, “is: ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is the 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.’1 31 The second is this: ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thou dost love thyself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Wisely answered, teacher!” exclaimed the teacher of the law. “It is true, as you say, that ‘there is one God,’ and that ‘there is no other besides him’; 33 And to ‘love him with all one’s heart, and with all one’s understanding, and with all one’s strength,’ and to ‘love one’s neighbor as one loves oneself’ is far beyond all ‘burnt–offerings and sacrifices.’“ 34 Seeing that he had answered with discernment, Jesus said to him: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”2 After that no one ventured to question him further.

35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked: “How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is to be David’s son? 36 David said himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: ‘The Lord said to my lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I put thy enemies beneath thy feet.’“ 37 David himself calls him ‘lord,’ how comes it, then, that he is to be his son?” The mass of the people listened to Jesus with delight.

38 In the course of his teaching, Jesus said: “See that you are on your guard against the teachers of the law, who delight to walk about in long robes, and to be greeted in the streets with respect, 39 And to have the best seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at dinner. 40 They are the men that rob widows of their homes, and make a pretense of saying long prayers. Their sentence will be all the heavier.”

41 Then Jesus sat down opposite the chests for the temple offerings, and watched how the people put money into them. Many rich people were putting in large sums; 42 But one poor widow came and put in two farthings, which make a half–penny. 43 On this, calling his disciples to him, Jesus said: “I tell you that this poor widow has put in more than all the others who were putting money into the chests; 44 For everyone else put in something from what they had to spare, while she, in her need, put in all she had, everything that she had to live on.”


To read Chapter 13 of the Book of Matthew, please go to: False Christs.

  1. For Bible commentary on this Gospel of Mark passage about the first of the commandments that God delivered Moses, go to: The Lord’s Prayer in Daily Life. []
  2. Read discussion of this Gospel of Mark passage and the true nature of the kingdom of God at: On Earth as it is in Heaven. []