Gospel of Mark Chapter Twelve

12:1 Then he began to teach them through analogies: “A man planted a vineyard and build a fence around it and dug out a vat under the winepress and built a tower. He leased out the land to some farmers and left on a journey.
12:2 When it was time for harvest he dispatched a servant to the farmers to collect some of the fruit of the harvest from the farmers.
12:3 They grabbed him and beat him and sent him away with nothing.
12:4 So he sent another servant, and they threw rocks at him and wounded him in the head, and sent him away with shame.
12:5 Once again he sent another, and they murdered him. He sent many others – some they beat and others they murdered.
12:6 He had one more to sent – his beloved son. He sent him after these others, thinking, ‘They will surely respect my son.’
12:7 But those farmers said to themselves, ‘This is the heir, let’s go ahead and kill him and the inheritance will be ours.’
12:8 So they grabbed him and murdered him and threw his body outside the vineyard.
12:9 What should the master of the vineyard do now? He will surely go and destroy the farmers and give the vineyard to others.
12:10 Have you not read in the Scripture: ‘The stone that the builders rejected will become the cornerstone;
12:11 this was the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes’?"1
12:12 Then they sought to seize him, but feared the people, because they knew the analogy he used was about them – so they left him alone and went on their way.
12:13 Then they sent out some pharisees and herodians to trap him with his statements.
12:14 When they approached him, they asked him, “Master, we know that you are truthful, and don’t care for the body – because you see the presence within the person – and teach the way of God in Truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?
12:15 Should one pay, or not?” Understanding their hypocrisy, he replied, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to examine.”
12:16 So they brought one, and he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is here?” And they replied, “Caesar’s.”
12:17 Then Jesus said, “Give to Caesar those things that are Ceasar’s – and to God those things that are God’s.” And they were astonished by him.
12:18 Then the sadducees – who say there is no resurrection2 – approached him and asked of him,
12:19 “Master, Moses wrote that if a man’s brother dies, leaving his wife behind without children, the brother should marry his wife and she will raise his brother’s children.
12:20 Now there were seven brothers and the first married the wife but died, having no children.
12:21 And the second married her and died and didn’t have children – the same with the third brother.
12:22 All seven had married her and had no children – and then at last the woman also died.
12:23 Therefore, in the resurrection,2(FN) whose wife will she be? For all seven had married her?
12:24 Jesus answered them, “You are in error do you not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?
12:25 Because when we arise from the dead body we neither marry nor be given in marriage – but will be as angels in the spiritual realm.
12:26 With regard to the arising from the dead body, have you not read in the Scripture of Moses about the burning bush – how from within the bush God spoke to him saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?3
12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living – therefore you are greatly mistaken.”
12:28 Then one of the scribes approached – after hearing their argument, and seeing that Jesus answered wisely – and asked him, “What is the most important instruction4 of all?”
12:29 Jesus replied, “The most important of all the instructions is, ‘Hear O Israel – the Lord our God is our only Lord –5
12:30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’6 – this is the most important instruction.
12:31 And the second is like it – ‘You shall love others7 as yourself.’8 There is no other instruction greater than these.
12:32 Then the scribe said to him, “Excellent, Teacher. You have spoken the Truth, for we have but one God and there is none other except Him.”
12:33 And to love Him with all our heart and with all of our understanding and with all of our soul and with all our strength – and to love ones neighbor as oneself – is greater than any burnt offerings or sacrifices.”
12:34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the realm of God.” And no one ventured to ask him anything more.
12:35 As Jesus taught in the Temple, he told them, “Why do the scribes say the Anointed of God [Messiah, Christ] is the follower of David?
12:36 For David himself said by the Holy Spirit, ‘The Lord said to my master,8 sit at my right sight while I put your enemies under your feet.’9
12:37 David therefore himself called him ‘master,’ from what condition is he his follower?”10 And the large crowd heard this with delight.
12:38 As he taught them, he told him, “Beware of the scribes – who like walking around in long robes receiving respect in the marketplaces.
12:39 And have the important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at the feasts –
12:40 yet they forcibly appropriate widows’ property and for appearances’ sake offer lengthy prayers. They will be especially condemned.”
12:41 Then Jesus sat down in front of the temple offering coffers and saw how the crowd offered coins into the temple coffers. Some rich people offered large amounts.
12:42 A poor widow approached and placed two small coins in – a very small amount of money.
12:43 Then he called over his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has offered more than all of those who made offerings to the coffers.
12:44 Because they may have offered a lot – but she offered all that she had, and all she had to live on.”

Footnotes:

1. Verse 12:11.
The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:22)
2. Verses 12:18 and 12:23. The Greek word ἀνάστασις (anastasis) is typically translated to “resurrection” but means, “raising up” and “rising from the dead” according to the lexicon. At the time of death of the physical body, the spirit-person or living being (soul) “rises up” from the body. Within the context of these statements, Jesus is teaching that the spirit-person continues to live outside of the confines of the physical body. Jesus is describing the ascension of the spirit-person to the spiritual world, as confirmed in Verse 12:25. These verses also indicate this teaching circulated prior to Jesus’ time. Verse 12:18 indicates that the sadducees did not teach resurrection –indicating that others did, including the pharisees, the prophets, Jesus and Jesus’ disciples. These teachings included that the spirit-person that doesn’t ascend will continue to live in the physical universe, within another physical body. This teaching was continued in the early Christian Church for at least three centuries following Jesus’ departure. Jesus and his disciples confirmed this teaching with their question in John 9:1-2. The following verse from the Book of Hebrews also confirms this ancient teaching:
Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. (Hebrews 11:35 NIV)
3. Verse 12:26. Jesus is referencing Exodus 3:
Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:6)
In 12:26, Jesus indicates that even though Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had passed away by the time God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, God spoke to Moses in present tense, meaning that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were still alive and with God – this is confirmed by Jesus’ next statement in 12:27.

4. Verse 12:28. The Greek word ἐντολή (entolē) means, “an order, command, charge, precept, injunction:” in whole, instructions. While some translations have assumed the translation of “commandment” – neither of the two of Moses’ instructions were part of the ‘Ten Commandments.’ Therefore, the discussion did not comprise of a comparison of the ‘Ten Commandments’ as some translations imply.

5. Verse 12:29. This is quoted from Moses’ teaching:
“Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone." (Deuteronomy 6:4 NLT)
6. Verse 12:30. Referencing Moses’ statement:
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5 NKJV)
6. Verse 12:31. The Greek word πλησίον (plēsion) is translated to “neighbor” in some translations. However, according to the lexicon, the word means “any other person and where two are concerned the other.” This indicates that one’s love for others should not be limited to a neighbor.

7. Verse 12:31. Spoken by God through Moses:
“’Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor [fellow, fellow-citizen, another person] as yourself. I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:18 NIV)
8. Verse 12:36. The Greek word κύριος (kyrios) means according to the lexicon, “he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord” and “is a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master.”
9. Verse 12:36.
Of David. A psalm. The LORD says to my lord: [master] "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." (Psalm 110:1 NIV)
10. Verse 12:37. Jesus is speaking of David’s condition – his devotion and dedication to his Teacher, who Jesus sees as God’s representative – the Anointed of God. Some translations have assumed that Jesus is speaking of himself as being David’s master. But the context of Jesus’ statement and Psalm 110 indicates clearly that David is discussing someone who was currently his spiritual teacher – addressed as “master” or “lord.” This is likely Saul, because throughout Psalm 110, David was discussing the coming battles – led by King Saul – where Saul would conquer his enemies. This could also be interpreted as the order of Samuel, since Samuel was Saul’s teacher, and Samuel appointed Saul as king and advised him. David was a student of Samuel as well as a subject and student of Saul by the order of Samuel. Samuel, and thus Saul through his anointing by Samuel, are both considered to be priests in the order of Melchizedek – who was Abraham’s spiritual teacher. Thus Jesus is illustrating the condition of devotion of David for his spiritual teachers and lineage – illustrating the position and potency of the Anointed of God [Messiah, Christ] as role. He is thus indicating that not only was David devoted to his spiritual teacher the Anointed of God – making David also the Anointed of God – and Jesus, as a devoted servant of the servants of David, and is also the Anointed of God. The indication from the original texts is that the Anointed of God was seen as a role or position rather than a single person in history.
Here is Psalm 110 in its entirety:

Of David. A psalm. The LORD says to my lord [master]: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."
The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying, "Rule in the midst of your enemies!"
Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy splendor, your young men will come to you like dew from the morning's womb.
The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."
The LORD is at your right hand; He will crush kings on the day of His wrath.
He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
He will drink from a brook along the way, and so He will lift His head high.
(Psalm 110 NIV)