Jesus was stirring up much
attention from the rulers. One after another, every faction that opposed Jesus
came to attack Him with difficult questions. In response, Jesus amazed them all
with His wise answers.
“Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘The
stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was
the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (12:10-11).
Did You Know…?
Elders (11:27): Non-clergy members of the
Sanhedrin (Jewish high court).
Vineyard (12:1): A vineyard’s preparation was
the most costly and troublesome of all the agricultural operations in
Wine vat/winepress (12:1): The Greek word refers
to a winepress’s receiving vat, which was used to hold the rapidly fermenting
juice. After about a week, the wine was transferred to wineskins for storage
(cf. Lesson 5, Did You Know 4).
Tower (12:1): Used for shelter, storage, and
Wealthy landowners leased their large estates to
vinedressers (tenant farmers). The tenants were allowed to cultivate the land
and to care for the vineyards. In return, at harvest time, they paid a portion
of the crop as rent.
According to Jewish law, a piece of property
unclaimed by an heir was declared ownerless and could be claimed by anyone.
Chief cornerstone/capstone (12:10): The most
important stone of a building. It held together the corner of two adjoining
walls, which might otherwise fall apart.
Herodians (12:13): See Lesson 5, Did You Know 8
and Lesson 10, Did You Know 8-10 for a description of the Herodians and the
behaviors they condoned.
Caesar (12:14): A title of Roman emperors,
analogous to Pharaoh in Egypt.
Taxes (12:14): Jews in Judea were required to
pay tribute money to the emperor. The tax was highly unpopular; some refused to
pay it.The Pharisees (cf. Lesson 4, Did You Know 5) privately
objected to the tax for religious reasons, while the Herodians favored the tax
for political reasons.3/161
Denarius (12:15): A Roman silver coin
worth a laborer’s daily wage.It was used for paying tax to Caesar.7/1471
The coin probably had an image of Tiberius Caesar. Its inscription described
the emperor as divine, which to the Jews was a repulsive claim.
Sadducees (12:18): A Jewish political party
composed of mostly priests and the upper class. Though smaller and less popular
than the Pharisees, they occupied influential positions on the Sanhedrin and
generally cooperated with the Roman authorities. Because they accepted the
authority of only the five books of Moses, they rejected the Pharisees’ oral
traditions (cf. Lesson 4, Did You Know 5) as well as the doctrines of the
resurrection, future judgment, and angels and spirits.
1a. List the parties who came to question Jesus.
1b. Considering the conflicting beliefs among these parties, what does
their alliance tell you about the enemies of the gospel?
1c. Contrast the alliance of the
chief priests, scribes, etc. to the unity of the twelve disciples. What does
this tell you about standing up for the gospel?
1. How was the question on Jesus’
authority a trap?
2. Why did Jesus ask about John’s
baptism? What does His response (11:33) tell you about His wisdom?
3. What does the discussion among
the chief priests, scribes, and elders (11:31-32) tell you about their values?
What does their answer tell you about their wisdom, or lack thereof?
4. Why did Jesus refuse to answer
5. When someone questions the
church’s authority and doctrines, how should you answer?
6. List the landowner’s actions.
What do they tell you about the vineyard’s importance?
7. List the tenants’ actions.
What do they tell you about the tenants’ intentions?
8. Why did the tenants kill the
son? (cf. Did You Know 6).
9. What does each of the
9a. Vineyard (Isa 3:14; 27:2)
9b. Landowner (Mt 20:1; 25:14)
9c. Tenants (Mk 10:12)
9d. Servants sent to collect
9e. Landowner’s son (Acts 7:52)
9f. Others who are given the
vineyard (Acts 13:46; Rom 11:11)
10. Read 12:10-11. How is Jesus
like the stone? How has the Lord done this? How is it marvelous in our eyes?
(cf. Zech 10:4; Acts 4:11-12; 1Pet 2:4-8).
11a. Why did the Pharisees and
Herodians praise Jesus?
11b. What is the biblical
attitude toward praises?
12. How was the question on
paying taxes to Caesar a trap? (cf. Did You Know 9).
13. What does Jesus’ reply
(12:17) tell you about His wisdom?
14. What is the biblical teaching
on paying taxes?
15. How was the question on
resurrection a trap?
16. How were the Sadducees
“greatly mistaken” (12:24, 27)?
17. How is Exodus 3:6 (quoted in
12:26) a proof of resurrection?
18. What does Jesus’ reply
(12:24) tell you about His wisdom?
19. List examples of puzzles
intended to disprove our faith. What is the biblical view to these?
20. When someone presents a
puzzle to question your faith, how should you answer?