Going Deeper

Mark 11-15 (12-4-21)

In Mark 12:1-11, we read the parable of the tenants. This is a powerful story Jesus tells.

Read this passage again and then I want to share with you a story Pastor John Piper wrote years ago that really impacted me. I pray it is a powerful illustration of the gospel application of this story and is a blessing to you as well. Enjoy!

By John Piper:

Once there was a king who reigned over the whole earth. He was a good king and very powerful. He loved his subjects and governed the whole earth with perfect justice. No one could find fault with him. No one ever rebelled because the king was a good king. When there was rebellion, it was only because the people wanted to be kings themselves.

And it came to pass that the king decided to plant a beautiful vineyard, to grow fruit for his court and for all the earth. He supervised the work himself. He planted the vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower.

And then he chose one of the poorest groups of people in his realm to be the tenants of his vineyard, and he promised them all the help they needed if they would but ask him and trust him to give it.

It was an almost unbelievable privilege to be chosen by the great king to tend his vineyard.

And in the early days the tenants loved their work. They could scarcely call it work.

The king gave them all they needed, he let them eat the fruit, he guarded their borders, and sent his messengers to them often. It was as if he were doing the work.

But that became a problem. Because soon the attitudes of the tenants began to change.

They didn’t like the idea of giving the king all the credit for their produce. In fact, they didn’t like the idea of being tenants at all. They began to want to be owners. Owners get the produce; owners get the rent; owners get all the glory, especially when they do so much of the work. So deep inside the tenants wanted to be the owner. They wanted to be their own boss and not rely on the patronizing help of the king.

And so a terrible thing happened. One day the king sent his servants to receive a load of fruit from his vineyard. But they found no one at the winepress or in the barns or in the vineyard. These servants were three of the most faithful messengers of the king.

They were duly commissioned and stood in the king’s place. They became very tense at the strange silence in the vineyard. There were no birds. There had always been birds. There were no children. There had always been children. There was no music. There had always been music.

But then, suddenly from everywhere, the angry tenants emerged, and the servants of the king were surrounded. Those who didn’t have sharp pruning hooks in their hands held large jagged stones. The servants of the king were armed with nothing but the king’s words to them before they left …  He had said,

Though arrogance and rage assail,

Conspiracy will not prevail.

In death recall unerringly

That you will always reign with me.

With his words they were better armed than the wicked tenants. But not against the pruning hooks. The tenants rushed upon them and grabbed the two younger messengers and made them watch while they beheaded the faithful old man with a pruning hook.

They could hear him repeating the king’s promise until he died. He really believed it.

In death recall unerringly

That you will always reign with me.

Then they turned on the younger servants and beat one and stoned the other and sent them back to the king half dead with a message:

We’ve had enough of sovereign care,

We see no need with you to share.

You have your kingdoms, fields and towers,

Go now, rule yours, and we’ll rule ours.

When the king heard this, and how his friend and servant had been slain, he went away and took counsel with himself in the royal chamber. All the court expected him to emerge readied for battle, for they knew he was a mighty warrior and deeply loved his messengers.

But when he appeared, he did not gather an army; he called around him six of his most loyal ambassadors and asked, “Who is willing to go for me and deliver my message to the tenants of the vineyard?” The ambassadors were startled and said, “What message, my lord?”

The king opened the scroll and read,

Of me it has been said of old,
It magnifies my strength to hold

In check my wrath, restrain my woes,
And offer mercy to my foes.

Turn now and bend the knee to me,
And I’ll forgive your treachery.

He looked up again and said, “Who is willing to go for me and deliver my word to the tenants of the vineyard?” And all six stepped forward. For there was no greater honor in the realm than to bear the message of the king. The king took each one by the hand, looked into his eyes, and said, as if he were the only person in the world,

Though arrogance and rage assail,

Conspiracy will not prevail.

In death recall unerringly

That you will always reign with me.

And with his words as their only weapon they journeyed to the king’s vineyard. When they saw guards, they paused outside the gate and renewed their vows of loyalty to the king. They entered a solemn covenant not to avenge one another, even if their hearts should break. As soon as they entered the gate, they were captured, bound, and taken before the leaders. The king’s message was read. And the tenants were enflamed with rage.

Three of the ambassadors they killed, two they stoned almost to death, and one they flogged until he passed out. They loaded the three dying ambassadors with the three mutilated bodies on a cart and sent them back to the king with this message:

If we should ever want a king,

If we should ever want to bring

Our homage to a royal seat,

Know this: we’ll stand upon our feet,

And ask no mercy, bend no knee,

We’ll build our own if need should be.

When the good king read this message and saw the bodies of his beloved ambassadors, he paused only an instant, then he turned and walked to the chamber of his son, spoke briefly, and the two of them went on a long journey into the hills, alone.

Meanwhile, the palace of the king was full of commotion and noise and planning. The mighty men were preparing for war. The blood of the martyr-messengers was screaming for justice to be done. The desecration of the king’s name was an intolerable offense to those who loved him and served him day and night. The chariots were assembled. The armor was shined, the swords and spears sharpened, and thousands upon thousands gathered at the palace of the king and waited. And at the head of the camp stood the great white stallion—the largest, strongest, most beautiful horse in the realm.

Only one person could ride the stallion and lead the king’s forces against the treacherous tenants—the son, the king’s only son. Soon the king and his son would come out of their silence arrayed for battle. Soon the strategy of the hills would be revealed. It would be an incomparable battle plan—the son upon his mighty stallion, and ten thousand warriors in his train.

Early one morning they were spotted coming down out of the hills. And a great silence fell across the armies. What they saw was utterly beyond comprehension. The king was dressed in mourning garments, leading a donkey with a hemp rope, and on the donkey sat the son dressed like a common beggar. They entered and passed through the camp, and as they passed, the warriors bowed to the ground.

What had happened in the hills? What strange plan had these two made? It had not been done in haste. And no one has been consulted. (There are no counselors in the court of this king.)  It was a strategy from the depths of the king’s love and wisdom. And the son had joyfully agreed.

They passed through the armies without a word. At the far edge of the palace grounds nearest the territory of the vineyard they stopped. The king embraced the son and whispered just for him:

Though arrogance and rage assail,

Conspiracy will not prevail.

In death recall unerringly

That you will always reign with me.

After the son rode off alone on the donkey, the king turned back to his loyal subjects.

They suspected what he was doing, but could scarcely believe it. The wicked tenants wouldn’t just kill him. They would humiliate him and torture him. It was hard enough to understand that the all-wise king would send his six beloved ambassadors to certain death. But now his son, his only son, to be toyed with and destroyed by worthless scoundrels.

The king knew the armies expected some word of explanation. So he took his stand before them in his mourning garments and simply said:

When we have given all we can

Then we will fight, but only then.

So the armies of the King kept themselves in readiness. And the king sat down on his throne.

The word spread everywhere and ran ahead of the king’s son. By the time he arrived at the gate of the vineyard, there was quite a stir. The king’s son had never left the palace. He had never visited any realm. Most of the people found it incredible—the king’s son does not dress like a beggar and ride on a donkey. He wears white and purple robes and rides a white stallion, as the old books say. But the loyal old subjects of the king, who knew him well, recognized the son. They knew when they had seen the son, they had seen the king. And they were fearful of what was about to happen.

And the children! All the children loved him. Even as he entered the gate of the vineyard, no one could stop the children. They ran and leaped and cheered and threw branches in his path. It didn’t make any difference to the children that he looked poor. Children haven’t learned yet that a person must be rich to be happy. They saw the eyes of love. They had no trouble with childlike submission to the king. So for them the visit of the son was wonderful.

          “Long live the king! Long live the king’s son!” they cried.

The wicked grown-up tenants watched from a distance. They could hardly believe that the king was so foolish. They said to each other, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance for ourselves.” And as they plotted the death of the king’s son, the children chanted over and over (as children do):

Great is the son! Great is the son! Who comes in the name of the king.

He is the one! He is the one! All homage to him we bring.

Finally the chanting faded. The children returned home. The king’s son looked out over the vineyards. The soil was rich and moist. The vines were thick and strong. The branches were heavy with the finest grapes—the king’s grapes. And he wept over the treason of the wicked tenants and the desecration of his father’s name.

When he lifted up his head, he was surrounded by armed men. He steadied himself with the king’s promise. Then, reaching into his simple cloak, he pulled out a scroll and said,

“I have a word from the king.” “And we a word for him,” the leader replied.

“Come, let us trade our messages.” The king’s son opened the scroll and read these words,

It is not seemly for a king    

To beg his subjects that they bring

Him love. But I do not delight

In mustering my awesome might

To end your lives for evermore.

I send my only son, therefore,

With news that I will yet forgive

And let those who repent still live.

“Is that all?” they sneered. “No; my father said I should add this:

Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate.

For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you sing with the children,

‘Great is the son! Great is the son! Who comes in the name of the king.'”

 “And what is that supposed to mean?” they snarled.

“It means that for you mercy has almost come to an end.

Soon your houses will be empty and you will be no more.

And the vineyard will be given to a new and faithful people.

And I will return to this place on the great white stallion.

And by the magnificent mercy of my father a new generation

will welcome me with palms and grapes and love and happy submission to the king.”

The wicked tenants stopped their ears when they heard the word “submission,” and the leader cried out, “Now, here is our message for your king.” And they rushed upon the king’s son, beat him mercilessly, dragged him out of the city to the highest hill for all to see, and nailed his hands and feet like a poster to a tree, and mocked.

If the wicked tenants had been able to read his lips, they would have known what carried him through the ordeal:

Though arrogance and rage assail,

Conspiracy will not prevail.

In death recall unerringly

That you will always reign with me.

As he died, he lifted up his eyes toward the region of the palace of his father, and he saw the armies of the king, ten thousand, with arms lifted in salute to the valor of the king’s son.

And standing alone before the myriads, the king himself, holding the golden reigns of the great white stallion, 

waiting,    waiting,    waiting.

By His grace and for His glory,


Soldiers for Jesus MC

Chaplain Council


Gospel of Mark 15

Mark 15

Jesus Delivered to Pilate

15:1 And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified

Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged1 Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Jesus Is Mocked

16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters),2 and they called together the whole battalion.3 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.

The Crucifixion

21 And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. 22 And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour4 when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.5 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.

The Death of Jesus

33 And when the sixth hour6 had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.7 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he8 breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son9 of God!”

40 There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

Jesus Is Buried

42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died.10 And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And Joseph11 bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.


[1] 15:15 A Roman judicial penalty, consisting of a severe beating with a multi-lashed whip containing embedded pieces of bone and metal

[2] 15:16 Greek the praetorium

[3] 15:16 Greek cohort; a tenth of a Roman legion, usually about 600 men

[4] 15:25 That is, 9 a.m.

[5] 15:27 Some manuscripts insert verse 28: And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “He was numbered with the transgressors”

[6] 15:33 That is, noon

[7] 15:33 That is, 3 p.m.

[8] 15:39 Some manuscripts insert cried out and

[9] 15:39 Or a son

[10] 15:44 Or Pilate wondered whether he had already died

[11] 15:46 Greek he



Gospel of Mark 14

Mark 14

The Plot to Kill Jesus

14:1 It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,1 as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii2 and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Judas to Betray Jesus

10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

The Passover with the Disciples

12 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” 16 And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the3 covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”4 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant5 of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled.

A Young Man Flees

51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

Jesus Before the Council

53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council6 were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”7 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.

Peter Denies Jesus

66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway8 and the rooster crowed.9 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.10


[1] 14:3 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13

[2] 14:5 A denarius was a day’s wage for a laborer

[3] 14:24 Some manuscripts insert new

[4] 14:34 Or keep awake; also verses 37, 38

[5] 14:47 Or bondservant

[6] 14:55 Greek Sanhedrin

[7] 14:60 Or Have you no answer to what these men testify against you?

[8] 14:68 Or forecourt

[9] 14:68 Some manuscripts omit and the rooster crowed

[10] 14:72 Or And when he had thought about it, he wept



Gospel of Mark 13

Mark 13

Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple

13:1 And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Signs of the End of the Age

And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

The Abomination of Desolation

14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

The Coming of the Son of Man

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

No One Knows That Day or Hour

32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake.1 For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants2 in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows,3 or in the morning—36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”


[1] 13:33 Some manuscripts add and pray

[2] 13:34 Or bondservants

[3] 13:35 That is, the third watch of the night, between midnight and 3 a.m.



Gospel of Mark 12

Mark 12

The Parable of the Tenants

12:1 And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant1 to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this Scripture:

  “‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;2
11   this was the Lord’s doing,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

12 And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.

Paying Taxes to Caesar

13 And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. 14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances,3 but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” 15 But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius4 and let me look at it.” 16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

The Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection

18 And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man5 must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”

24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

The Great Commandment

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Whose Son Is the Christ?

35 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared,

  “‘The Lord said to my Lord,
  “Sit at my right hand,
    until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

37 David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.

Beware of the Scribes

38 And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

The Widow’s Offering

41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.6 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”


[1] 12:2 Or bondservant; also verse 4

[2] 12:10 Greek the head of the corner

[3] 12:14 Greek you do not look at people’s faces

[4] 12:15 A denarius was a day’s wage for a laborer

[5] 12:19 Greek his brother

[6] 12:42 Greek two lepta, which make a kodrantes; a kodrantes (Latin quadrans) was a Roman copper coin worth about 1/64 of a denarius (which was a day’s wage for a laborer)