Difficult Question from Difficult People

…and the Answers They Need

Mark 12:12-34 CSB

They were looking for a way to arrest him but feared the crowd because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. So they left him and went away. [13] Then they sent some of the Pharisees and the Herodians to Jesus to trap him in his words. [14] When they came, they said to him, “Teacher, we know you are truthful and don’t care what anyone thinks, nor do you show partiality but teach the way of God truthfully. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” [15] But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at.” [16] They brought a coin. “Whose image and inscription is this?” he asked them. “Caesar’s,” they replied. [17] Jesus told them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him. [18] Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and questioned him: [19] “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife behind but no child, that man should take the wife and raise up offspring for his brother. [20] There were seven brothers. The first married a woman, and dying, left no offspring. [21] The second also took her, and he died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. [22] None of the seven left offspring. Last of all, the woman died too. [23] In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be, since the seven had married her?” [24] Jesus spoke to them, “Isn’t this the reason why you’re mistaken: you don’t know the Scriptures or 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— haven’t you read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God said to him: I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? [27] He is not the God of the dead but of the living. You are badly mistaken.” [28] One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, “Which command is the most important of all?” [29] Jesus answered, “The most important is Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. [30] Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. [31] The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.” [32] Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, teacher. You have correctly said that he is one, and there is no one else except him. [33] And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.” [34] When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to question him any longer.

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