They came again to Jerusalem, and as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders came to him, and they began saying to him, “By what authority do you do these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?”
Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John—was it from heaven, or from men? Answer me.”
They reasoned with themselves, saying, “If we should say, ‘From heaven;’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ If we should say, ‘From men’”—they feared the people, for all held John to really be a prophet. They answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Jesus said to them, “Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
He began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the wine press, built a tower, rented it out to a farmer, and went into another country. When it was time, he sent a servant to the farmer to get from the farmer his share of the fruit of the vineyard. They took him, beat him, and sent him away empty. Again, he sent another servant to them; and they threw stones at him, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. Again he sent another; and they killed him; and many others, beating some, and killing some. Therefore still having one, his beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those farmers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ They took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and will give the vineyard to others. Haven’t you even read this Scripture:
‘The stone which the builders rejected,
the same was made the head of the corner.
This was from the Lord,
it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
They tried to seize him, but they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spoke the parable against them. They left him, and went away. They sent some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to him, that they might trap him with words. When they had come, they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you are honest, and don’t defer to anyone; for you aren’t partial to anyone, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give?”
But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test me? Bring me a denarius, that I may see it.”
They brought it.
He said to them, “Whose is this image and inscription?”
They said to him, “Caesar’s.”
Jesus answered them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
They marveled greatly at him.