MARK CHAPTER 12.
The Parable of the Vineyard. Mark 12, 1-12.
The vineyard: V. 1. And He began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the wine fat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. For some time now Jesus had not used the parabolic style of teaching, mainly because He had been teaching His disciples alone. But now He began, He resumed this form of presenting the truth which He wanted to impress, principally upon His enemies that had been challenging His authority. Of the parables which Jesus spoke on that Tuesday, Mark relates only one, that one in which the wickedness of the contemplated murder is shown in the proper light. A vineyard a certain man planted. It was a man of wealth, and incidentally a good business man, as the details of the plan show. Having put in his vines, he drew or set a hedge around the plat to keep out the wild animals. He not only built a wine-press for the treading out of the grapes, but he also constructed under it the vat for receiving the juices that flowed from the wine-press. Finally he built a tower, to serve both for storing the fruit and for watching against thieves and birds. Having thus done all that could be expected of an owner, he let it out, he rented it to certain husbandmen, gardeners, and went on a far journey. The parallelism between this story and that of Is.5, 1-7 must have been evident to the scribes at once. This made the effect of the parable all the more damaging.
The wicked husbandmen: V. 2. And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. V. 3. And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. V. 4. And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. V. 5. And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some and killing some. V. 6. Having yet therefore one son, his well-beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. V. 7. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. V. 8. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. At the season, at the appointed time, when the first fruits were about to be expected, the owner sent a servant as his representative. The amount agreed upon was to be collected, either in the form of fruit, or of a specified sum of rent money, in accordance with the contract. But instead of living up to their contract, the wicked husbandmen caught hold of the servant, gave him a thorough beating, and turned him away without a cent. The master was patient. He sent another servant, with the result that they treated the representative with every sign of disrespect and contempt, wounding him about the head and otherwise making short work of him. A third servant was killed outright. And so matters continued for some time, the owner sending servants, and the husbandmen maltreating, beating, or killing them. Note how the evangelist piles up the records against the husbandmen, as he summarizes the parable of Christ. Mark also how the patience of the owner stands out in the account. Now the master had an only son, whom he loved dearly, and who would incidentally be his heir. Him he sent as the last one to these men, with the hope and expectation that they must surely feel a certain amount of reverence for him, since he so obviously represented the master and was entitled to full honor as the future lord of the vineyard. But the wicked husbandmen discussed the matter among themselves; they wanted to get possession of the vineyard, they wanted to rule in it as they pleased, they wanted to enjoy all its produce without interference. So they planned to kill the heir and calmly take possession of the property. This plan they carried out; when the son of the owner came, they admitted him to the vine. yard, but then cast him out and killed him, or they cast out his body after having killed him.
This was the gruesome parable that the Lord told the elders, and chief priests, and scribes. Its explanation is evident. The owner of the vineyard is God Himself. The vineyard is His kingdom, which He had planted in Israel. Through the covenant which He had made with this people in the wilderness He had accepted them as His peculiar people. And He had taken the very best care of His nation. He had separated them from the Gentiles, He had given them the strong hedge of His Law, He had set the kingdom and dynasty of David as their strong tower against all enemies, and in the Temple at Jerusalem the rich wine of God's mercy flowed in streams. But history shows how the chosen people of God repaid His mercies, for the husbandmen are the individual members of the Jewish Church, but especially their religious leaders. All of these God admonished and warned, again and again, to bring forth fruit that measured up to the standard of God's mercy. But His prophets were treated with contempt, they were abused, as Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah; they were even put to death, Matt. 23, 35; Heb. 11, 36-38. And still God's patience was riot exhausted. In accordance with His eternal plan of love He sent His own, His only beloved Son, Matt. 3, 17; Mark 9, 7. But Him the leaders of the people were even now planning to kill and would carry out their evil design in only a few days. The result, the final outcome, is even now present with Christ. They were jealous of the authority and power of Jesus, they wanted to have the heritage for themselves to do with it as they pleased.
The application of the parable: V. 9. What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. V. 10. And have ye not read this Scripture: The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner; V. 11. this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? V. 12. And they sought to lay hold on Him, but feared the people; for they knew that He had spoken the parable against them. And they left Him and went their way. The vivid presentation of Christ in bringing out the cowardliness, greed, and cruelty of the wicked husbandmen must have been most impressive. And so the question which He presented at the climax of the story must have forced the answer in their minds, even if they did not all voice it aloud: He will come and destroy those husbandmen, and give the vineyard to others. The Lord spoke the judgment which His parable forced from the lips of His hearers. Note: The vineyard must not be left desolate after the destruction of the wicked men; it is still capable of producing much fruit if properly cultivated. The evangelists and apostles brought in many a rich result of their labors, even before the destruction of Jerusalem. To bring out the point of His story still more strongly, Jesus refers to a passage of the Psalms, a verse from the great Halley which the Jews sang so proudly at their great festivals, Ps. 118, 22. The stone which the builders rejected, repudiated, thought of no value for their building, for the Church of God, this very one has become the corner-stone, on which the whole building rests, without which it would be insecure and could not stand. This fact is indeed wonderful in our eyes, just as it is represented by Isaiah, 53, 2. 3. The Jews rejected Christ, the Messiah, they delivered Him into the hands of the heathen to be killed, but Jesus arose from the dead and thus became the foundation and corner-stone of the New Testament Church. In Him, and in Him only, there is salvation. Trust in Him as the Savior of the world is absolutely essential for membership in the body which is named after Him.
The obvious application of the parable and of the Scripture-passage to which Jesus referred angered the Jewish authorities beyond measure. They tried most anxiously to lay hold upon Him, but their fear of the people restrained them, as on the day before, chapter 11, 18. Even this earnest admonition did not have any effect upon their calloused hearts; their hatred of Jesus did not permit any feeling of repentance to arise. They felt the sting of the parable and, being foiled in all their attempts to harm Jesus, they gnashed their teeth in helpless rage and marched off.
Various Questions Proposed to Jesus. Mark 12, 13-34.
The question of tribute: V. 13. And they send unto Him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to catch Him in His words. V. 14. And when they were come, they say unto Him, Master, we know that Thou art true and carest for no man; for Thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? V. 15. Shall we give, or shall we not give? But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye Me? Bring Me a penny that I may see it. V. 16. And they brought it. And He saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto Him, Caesar's. V. 17. And Jesus, answering, said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marveled at Him. Having been worsted in the first encounter, the Jewish chiefs lost no time in planning a second attack. They sent to Him, without delay, some keen-minded Pharisees, whose training in sophistical reasoning made them especially valuable at this time, and a few members of the clique of Herodians, whose hopes for the house of Herod made them strong enemies of the Messianic mission of Christ. Cp. Matt. 22, 16. Here ecclesiastical and political ambition was represented, joined in opposition to Christ. They had been instructed and drilled in the part they were to play with great care. With smug hypocrisy and obsequious flattery they come to Jesus. They literally wanted to catch Him with their question, or with His reply. They present their trap with honeyed bait: We know that Thou art truthful, not afraid to say the truth at any time, also that no man's person would deter Thee from saying what Thou believest to be right. But now the wolf shows his fangs: Is it right, is it the lawful thing, should it be done at all times, that census-tribute be paid to the Emperor: or, more urgently: Shall we pay it or not? But their snare was too visible, to the omniscient Christ, above all. They hoped His answer would, in either event, prove His undoing. Should He answer in the negative, the government officials could be informed to that effect; should He answer in the positive, the people, that hated the Roman yoke, could easily be turned against Him. But the Lord read the hypocrisy on their faces, in their words, in their hearts, and told them plainly that He knew their intention. Still He does not deny them an answer. Fetch Me a denarius, He tells them, that I may see. In order to make them feel the disgrace of their action, He acts as though He must make a special study of this grave matter. "The most common Roman silver coin was the denarius, rendered in the Authorized Version 'penny' and in the Revised Version 'shilling.' Its weight varied at different times. In the time of Christ it weighed about 61.3 grains Troy, and was worth 16-2/3 cents of American money.. As the ministry of Christ occurred in the reign of Tiberius, the tribute money shown to Christ was probably a denarius of Tiberius." 49) When they had brought the coin and had given the information that the image and the inscription was that of Caesar, His conclusion and answer were brief : The things of Caesar render to Caesar, and those of God to God. This rule applies at all times and is invaluable in maintaining the proper distinction between Church and State. God's people, the believers of all times, will, above all, give due honor, render due obedience, to God. In things which concern God, the service of God, faith, and conscience, we are obedient to God alone and permit no man to interfere. But in worldly, civil matters, where money, possessions, body, life are concerned. the Christians will cheerfully obey the government. With these words the Lord has incidentally laid down the distinction which is to be observed between the kingdom of God and the authority of the State, He has here forbidden the State to interfere in Church matters, and the Church to meddle with the business of the government.
The question of the Sadducees: V. 18. Then come unto Him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked Him, saying, V. 19. Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. V. 20. Now there were seven brethren; and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. V. 21. And the second took her and died, neither left he any seed; and the third likewise. V. 22. And the seven had her and left no seed. Last of all the woman died also. V. 23. In the resurrection, therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? For the seven had her to wife. The Herodians and the Pharisees had been obliged to retreat with little glory. Now come the Sadducees, the deniers of the resurrection of the dead. They hope to have much better success. In fact, their confident manner is tinged with facetiousness, as though they were perpetrating a huge joke upon the Galilean Rabbi. They had no idea that the joke would be turned upon them so quickly and easily. They preface their remarks with the announcement that Moses had given them a certain precept. They were referring to the so-called levirate marriage, "the ancient custom of marriage between a man and the widow of his brother, required by the Mosaic law when there was no male issue." Deut. 25, 5-10. Whether their story was taken from facts or fancy is immaterial. They recite it with much circumstantial detail, to make it all the more ridiculous by the long explanation. Seven brothers, one after another, had this woman for their wife. Surely the situation at the time of resurrection, in case all the seven should claim her for wife, would be disagreeable, to say the least. Arguments of this kind are being used by unbelievers even to the present day; their great wisdom will not permit them to believe in such an unreasonable fact as the resurrection of the dead.
The decisive answer of Jesus: V. 24. And Jesus, answering, said unto them, Do ye not therefore err because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God? V. 25. For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels which are in heaven. V. 26. And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? V. 27. He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living; ye therefore do greatly err. The question which Jesus uses: Do ye not err on account of this fact?. is stronger than a positive statement as to their wrong belief and argument. He says, in effect: Don't you see how absolutely foolish you are in your belief and in your discussion? The point of your story is based upon a wrong supposition. Two grave facts must be noted against the Sadducees and all that follow them in similar arguments: 1) They do not know the Scriptures; 2) they do not know the power of God. Most of the most rabid and radical enemies of the Bible-truths have never even read the Bible, and yet they presume to judge it in the minutest details. And they have no conception of the great power of God; their finite minds cannot grasp infinity, and yet they make futile attempts to make matters beyond their ken clear to themselves and to others by theories that are subject to change without notice. Marrying and giving in marriage will no longer be practiced in heaven, after the resurrection. All physical needs will then be ended definitely, and all the believers in bliss will be sexless. The terms male and female, husband and wife, will no longer be in use, because there will be no need of them. The loved ones will be in heaven, not in the former relation of blood, but in the closer, happier relation of spirit, in union with Christ the Savior. But Jesus gives the Sadducees a lesson also concerning the resurrection of the dead. Since they rejected all the Old Testament writings but the five books of Moses, He takes His proof from one of these, from Ex. 3, 6. 15. In speaking to Moses at the burning bush, God expressly called Himself the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. All of these patriarchs, at this time, had died, and they were presumably dead, so far as men could see and judge. But, Jesus explains to the Sadducees, the fact that God so designates Himself, shows that these men, though dead in body, were yet alive, that their soul, the most essential part of them, was alive. The living God is the God of the living only, His work concerns the living only. This is true of all believers. All, to whom the Lord is God, live unto God, even when they have closed their eyes in temporal death. Death, to them, is only a temporary sleep, in the midst of which God considers them as living. And therefore God will truly awaken all the dead that have fallen asleep in Him to a new and blessed life in all eternity.
The foremost commandment: V. 28. And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, Which is the first commandment of all? V. 29. And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord, our God, is one Lord; V. 30. and thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. V. 31. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. It was not a mere harmless question or request for information which this scribe here uttered. He was rather one of the sharp-witted ones of the Pharisees, whose object was to tempt Christ and lead Him to make a statement which would in some way compromise Him. But it spoke in this man's favor that he realized and was conscious that Jesus answered them well. Approaching, therefore, he put his question as to which was the first of all commandments. If Christ had singled out a separate precept, He might have been charged with unwarranted emphasis upon some individual form to the exclusion of the rest. Thus the Pharisees laid the greatest stress upon the law of circumcision, the keeping of the Sabbath, the proper width of the fringes of the mantles, the correct size of the phylacteries, etc. By giving the summary of the entire Moral Law, in all its various branches, in all its various precepts, Jesus intercepted and warded off any accusation regarding any disregard, on His part, of the sanctity of the Law. He places first of all the Shema of the Jews, Deut. 6, 4. The fulfillment of the entire Law flows from love of God, which, in turn, is the fruit, the outgrowth of faith. The one Lord, who has revealed Himself in three persons, is the only Lord in earth and heaven; He requires the whole, undivided service and worship of the man that trusts in Him. With heart, soul, mind, and strength every believer should love Him, that is, to the uttermost degree, with every ounce of everything that is within, throwing all into the scales for the Lord and His service. And to this must be added the second great commandment: Thou shalt love thy neighbors thyself. The love toward one's neighbor flows from the love toward God. He that truly loves God will also love his neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the entire Law, and all commandments can be summarized in that one word, love, Rom. 13, 10. Beyond this, higher than this, there is no commandment; this represents the pinnacle of accomplishment in fulfilling the Law.
The Pharisee is convinced: V. 32. And the scribe said unto Him, Well, Master, Thou hast said the truth; for there is one God ; and there is none other but He; V. 33. and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. V. 34. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, He said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask Him any question. The clear-cut statement from Scriptures which Jesus gave him in answer to his tempting question made a deep impression upon the scribe. There was not a single point which could be gainsaid, there was not a single flaw, on account of which one might start an argument. It was clear, unmistakable Bible-truth. It is always thus where the Word of God is concerned. If the believer is only sure of his Bible-passages, of his proof-texts! They are the eternal truth of the great God, that will stand in spite of all jeering and all arguments to the contrary. The scribe was obliged to assent absolutely: Good, Master, in truth Thou hast said. When the Word of God has spoken, all argumentation must cease. Almost mechanically the scribe repeated the substance of Christ's instruction. But that he was fully convinced, appears from the fact that he varies Christ's words somewhat and demands love of God also with full understanding. The entire intellect and understanding, the entire ability to reason, is not shut off and put out of commission in a Christian, but rather strengthens his position over against God, since it is taken captive under the obedience of Christ. Every effort of the believing Christian is strained toward that end, of demonstrating his love toward God, of penetrating into the mysteries of God's holy Word by comparing the various sections concerning fundamental doctrines and also by showing the foolishness of the attacks upon the Bible. And if heart, soul, mind, and understanding are thus bound up in the service of God, the entire life of such a Christian will be a continual worshiping, far more valuable in the sight of God than burnt offerings and all offerings; it will be a worshiping in spirit and in truth, John 4, 24. The assent of the scribe pleased Jesus very much, since He saw that he had given the matter careful thought, that he had really understood the distinction which Jesus wished to present, that he grasped the meaning of the Lord. Joyfully He tells him: Not far art thou from the kingdom of God. The answer of the Lord had brought him to his senses. He had gained confidence in the Master of Israel and in His doctrine; he had come to the conclusion that this man must be the Messiah of Israel. The first faint movements of faith had begun in his heart. The divine Word always has the power to convince even the enemies and gainsayers.
David's Son and Lord. Mark 12. 35-40.
V. 35. And Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the Temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? V. 36. For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. V. 37. David therefore himself calleth Him Lord; and whence is He, then, his Son? And the common people heard Him gladly. All the sects and organizations among the Jews had now had their tilt with the Lord, and in every case His word had prevailed. So thoroughly had He vanquished His enemies that no one dared to ask Him any more questions. But now His turn had come. He had a question to propose which is of prime importance, not only for the Jews, but for every person in the wide World to this day and hour: What think ye of Christ ? Whose Son is He? The answer to this question has become so important that it may well be called the touchstone to determine a man's theology and faith. Jesus asks: How is it that the scribes call Christ the Son of David? With what right do they do that? The appellation "Son of David" for the expected Messiah was so common in that day that the two names were used as synonyms, Matt. 1, 1; 15, 22; 20, 30; 22, 42; 9, 27; 12, 23; 21, 9. And the scribes were right in calling the Messiah thus, for He was a true descendant of David, 2 Sam. 7, 12-16. Incidentally, however, it was also true what David said in Psalm 110, calling the Messiah his Lord. The Lord, the eternal God and Father, had, in that great everlasting to-day, said to David's Lord, to the only-begotten Son of His glory, Sit Thou on My right hand till I put Thine enemies below the footstool of Thy feet, till they are vanquished completely. Evidently the Messiah was here placed on an equality with God the Father. Now the question was how to reconcile the two statements, how to harmonize the apparent contradiction: David's Lord, yet David's Son. Note: Jesus expressly states that it was the Holy Ghost that inspired David to write these words as he did. Every believer has the answer ready and is firmly convinced of the truth of both statements: David's Son, true man, a descendant of David according to the flesh, through His mother Mary possessing the true human nature, is, at the same time, true God, the Lord over all, indued with the power of the deity from eternity, and now sitting at the right hand of the power of God, also according to His human nature. In Him, according to both natures, is our trust; through Him, and through Him alone, we hope to be saved, we have salvation. While therefore the Jewish chiefs, the religious leaders, silently withdrew from the scene, the great multitude, among whom were also many pilgrims, heard Him gladly. And many a soul, weary with the stones of the doctrine of works, may, in these last days, have learned to believe in the Savior.
A last warning of Jesus: V. 38. And He said unto them in His doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, V. 39. and the chief seats in the synagogs, and the uppermost room at feasts; V. 40. which devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. Mark gives only a very short section of the last woe of Jesus upon the scribes and Pharisees, but a passage which exhibits very well the hollowness and the mockery of their hypocrisy. Jesus warns the people against the scribes and their hypocritical ways. They should look, they should watch out for them. And now He characterizes them properly, He shows up their sham and deceit. Their desire, their one supreme wish is to wear garments which called men's attention to them; they take a childish pleasure in bedecking themselves. Long robes they affected, like persons of great distinction, with exceptionally large tassels trailing along the ground. In these they loved to walk about, with no other object than to attract the attention of the multitude. They also loved to be greeted in the market-place; they liked the salutation Master; it gratified their vanity and their self-importance. For the same reason they chose the most prominent seats in the synagogs, those reserved for the elders of the congregation, where they would be sure to be noticed. When they were invited to dinner, they did not wait to be placed by the host, but chose the sofa of the honored guest, often usurping the place of guests more honorable than they. And to this vanity was added selfishness and greed. By promising prayers to widows, and then pompously delivering such intercessions for their welfare, they obtained money. For these prayers, purposely long and pompous, were only a blind to hide their real aim, namely, that of getting money, thus devouring the property, the houses, of the widows. This special form of avarice seems to be rampant in many parts of Christendom to this very hour, for the masses for the dead in the Roman Church certainly come under this heading, and the many prayers in the various cults are not one whit better. Christ's judgment upon them all is short and severe: They will receive the greater damnation. Their hypocrisy is open before the eyes of the Judge and will receive the punishment commensurate with its damnableness.
The Widow's Mite. Mark 12, 41-44. V. 41. And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury; and many that were rich cast in much. V. 42. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. V. 43. And He called unto Him His disciples and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in than all they which have cast into the treasury; V. 44. for all they did cast in of their abundance, but she of her want did cast in all she had, even all her living. The Temple treasuries, thirteen in number according to transmitted accounts, were located in the Court of the Women. Jesus, being weary of His labors of teaching and arguing all day, sat down near these collection boxes, or repositories, the money of each of which was designated for special purposes,. and carefully watched the multitude as they cast money into the Temple treasury. The evangelist states that many rich people, perhaps some of the merchants that came to Jerusalem only for the great festivals, threw in much. A few pieces of gold more or less made very little difference to them. It gave them the satisfied feeling of having done their duty when they dropped their superfluous money into the box. But suddenly a woman attracted the interest of the Lord. A poor widow she was, that probably had to support herself as best she could. Two mites she had in her possession, and, though she might have kept at least one of them, she threw them both into the treasury. "Another coin, translated 'mite,' is in Greek lepton, 'the small one, 'Or the 'bit' It was two of these that the widow cast into the treasury, where it is said that two of them equaled a quadrans. The 'mite' was, then, of the value of 1/8 of a cent. It was doubtless the smallest coin in circulation, but it has not yet been identified with certainty with any coin that archeology has discovered." 50) There was a lesson for the disciples in this act of the poor widow, and therefore Jesus called them over quickly and pointed out the greatness of the sacrifice. In proportion, she had given more than all the rest that had cast money into the treasury. For, though many of them may have given money equal to thousands of dollars, it was all given from their surplus; these amounts they would never miss; theirs was no sacrifice in any sense. But how different the gift of the widow! She had, out of the depth of her want, in her destitute state, given all that she possessed, her whole means of living; she had sacrificed the last necessities of life to the Lord, and apparently out of a heart filled with free love for the God of Israel, since Jesus in no way censures her manner of giving. That is, in truth, cheerful giving, and such givers the Lord loveth. A special warning is in place here, since many people try to excuse their infinitesimal gifts for the Lord with a reference to the widow's mite. If cases like hers would actually happen in our days, the treasuries of the Church would be filled to the bursting point, so that the disposal of the money would become a real problem. Let the Christians of the present time learn to be only one tenth as liberal and sacrificing in their gifts to the Lord as this poor widow, and there would never be need of any more cries for help.
Summary. Christ tells the parable of the wicked husbandmen, is tempted by the Herodians and Pharisees with regard to the tribute to Caesar, answers a question of the Sadducees concerning the resurrection, names the foremost commandment of the Law, asks a question concerning David's Son and Lord, warns against the scribes, and praises the poor widow for her gift to the Temple treasury.