Daily Bible Reading

March 25, 2024

Mark 12:1–27(GNT)

God’s Guiding Word: Prayer


Mark 12:1–27: Jesus continues teaching by means of a parable about tenants in a vineyard. The religious leaders question him about paying taxes and about rising from death.

Today’s Key Verse: Mark 12:17a

So Jesus said, “Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.”


12 Then Jesus spoke to them in parables: “Once there was a man who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a hole for the wine press, and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to tenants and left home on a trip. When the time came to gather the grapes, he sent a slave to the tenants to receive from them his share of the harvest. The tenants grabbed the slave, beat him, and sent him back without a thing. Then the owner sent another slave; the tenants beat him over the head and treated him shamefully. The owner sent another slave, and they killed him; and they treated many others the same way, beating some and killing others. The only one left to send was the man’s own dear son. Last of all, then, he sent his son to the tenants. ‘I am sure they will respect my son,’ he said. But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the owner’s son. Come on, let’s kill him, and his property will be ours!’ So they grabbed the son and killed him and threw his body out of the vineyard.

“What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do?” asked Jesus. “He will come and kill those tenants and turn the vineyard over to others. 10 Surely you have read this scripture?

‘The stone which the builders rejected as worthless
    turned out to be the most important of all.
11 This was done by the Lord;
    what a wonderful sight it is!’”

12 The Jewish leaders tried to arrest Jesus, because they knew that he had told this parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away.

13 Some Pharisees and some members of Herod’s party were sent to Jesus to trap him with questions. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you tell the truth, without worrying about what people think. You pay no attention to anyone’s status, but teach the truth about God’s will for people. Tell us, is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor? Should we pay them or not?”

15 But Jesus saw through their trick and answered, “Why are you trying to trap me? Bring a silver coin, and let me see it.”

16 They brought him one, and he asked, “Whose face and name are these?”

“The Emperor’s,” they answered.

17 So Jesus said, “Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.”

And they were amazed at Jesus.

18 Then some Sadducees, who say that people will not rise from death, came to Jesus and said, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote this law for us: ‘If a man dies and leaves a wife but no children, that man’s brother must marry the widow so that they can have children who will be considered the dead man’s children.’ 20 Once there were seven brothers; the oldest got married and died without having children. 21 Then the second one married the woman, and he also died without having children. The same thing happened to the third brother, 22 and then to the rest: all seven brothers married the woman and died without having children. Last of all, the woman died. 23 Now, when all the dead rise to life on the day of resurrection, whose wife will she be? All seven of them had married her.”

24 Jesus answered them, “How wrong you are! And do you know why? It is because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power. 25 For when the dead rise to life, they will be like the angels in heaven and will not marry. 26 Now, as for the dead being raised: haven’t you ever read in the Book of Moses the passage about the burning bush? There it is written that God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 27 He is the God of the living, not of the dead. You are completely wrong!”


The vineyard is a conventional metaphor for Israel, with God as the planter. How do you interpret this parable? How did the religious leaders react? Jewish people in Palestine had to pay taxes to the Romans, who controlled their land. The emperor was the highest Roman leader. If Jesus had told the Pharisees that they didn’t have to pay taxes, then Jesus could have been accused of rebelling against the Romans. How did Jesus respond to the question about paying taxes? Reread verse 17. What is your understanding of this verse?


Holy Jesus, beloved Son of God, plant your teachings within my heart. Nurture my faith so that I may serve you each day as a fruitful disciple. Amen.

And now, join us in thanking and praising God that the Bible Society’s “Healing the Wounds of Teens’ Trauma” program is helping young people in Sri Lanka to find hope and healing from God’s Word. Tens of thousands of infants and children have been abandoned over the years due to war, displacement, family conflict, or extreme poverty and have grown up in orphanages. Lord God, thanks to the generous support of Bible-A-Month Partners, Bible-based trauma healing programs are helping children, youth, and adults find hope and healing from your Word, helping them to recover from the deep emotional scars of physical and sexual abuse and abandonment. Your Word, loving God, is providing peace to hurting men, women, and children and changing lives for eternity. Amen.

Tomorrow’s Reading

Mark 12:28–44: Jesus teaches about the most important commandment and commends a poor widow for her offering.

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