The Gospel According to Mark

Chapter 12

In a parable of the vineyard lent out to wicked farmers, Christ foretells the reprobation of the Jews and the calling of the Gentiles, 1-12. He avoids the snare of the Pharisees and Herodians about paying tribute to Caesar, 13-17; convicts the Sadducees of error, who denied the resurrection, 18-27; resolves the scribe who questioned of the first commandment, 28-34; refutes the opinion that the scribes held of Christ, 35-37; bidding the people to beware of their ambition and hypocrisy, 38-40; and commends the poor widow above all for her two mites, 41-44.

1 And he began to speak to them by parables. "A certain man planted a vineyard, set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine-vat, built a tower, lent it out to farmers, and went into a far country. 2 And at the season, he sent to the farmers a servant so that he might receive from the farmers some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they caught him, beat him, and sent him away empty. 4 And again, he sent to them another servant, and at him they cast stones and wounded him in the head and sent him away shamefully handled. 5 And again he sent another, and they killed him, and many others, beating some and killing some. 6 Having yet therefore one son, his well-beloved, he sent him also last to them, saying, 'They will reverence my son.' 7 But those farmers said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and the inheritance will be ours.' 8 And they took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 9 What therefore will the Lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers and will give the vineyard to others. 10 "And have you not read this Scripture:

'The stone which the builders rejected/
has become the head of the corner.

11 This was the Lord's doing/
and it is marvelous in our eyes

12 And they sought to lay hold upon him, but feared the people, for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them. And they left him and departed.

13 And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to catch him in his words. 14 And when they had come, they say to him, "Master, we know that you are true and care for no man, for you do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? 15 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 so that I may see it." 16 And they brought it, and he says to them, "Whose image and superscription is this?" And they said to him, "Caesar's." 17 And Jesus answering, said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they wondered at him.

18 Then the Sadducees came to him, who say there is no resurrection, and they asked him, saying, 19 "Master, Moses wrote to us, 'If a man's brother dies and leaves his wife and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise children for his brother.' 20 Now there were seven brothers: the first took a wife, and dying left no children; 21 And the second took her and died, neither did he leave any children; and the third likewise; 22 And the seven had her and left no children. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection therefore, when they rise, whose wife shall she be of them? For the seven had her for a wife." 24 And Jesus answering, said to them, "Do you not therefore err because you do not know the Scriptures, neither the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels who are in heaven. 26 And concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You therefore greatly err."

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?" 29 And Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is, 'Hear, O Israel. The Lord our God is one Lord. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like it, namely this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 32 And the scribe said to him, "Right, Master, you have said the truth, for there 'is one God,' 'and there is no other but he.' 33 And to love him with all the heart, with all the understanding, 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." 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And no man after that dared ask him any question.

35 And while he taught in the temple, Jesus answered and said, "How do the scribes say that Christ is the son of David? 36 For David himself said by the Holy Spirit,

'The LORD said to my Lord,/
"Sit on my right hand/
until I make your enemies your footstool for your feet."

37 Therefore, David himself calls him Lord, and how is he then his son?" And the common people heard him gladly.

38 And he said to them in his doctrine, "Beware of the scribes who love to go in long clothing, love salutations in the market-places, 39 The chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts, 40 Who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These shall receive greater condemnation."

41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury. And many who were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 And he called his disciples and says to them, "Truly I say to you, that this poor widow has cast in more than all those who have cast into the treasury. 44 For they all cast in of their abundance, but she of her lack cast in all that she had, even all her living."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Mark, Chapter 12[➚]


[v.1-9] - Gospel Link: Matthew 21:33-41; Luke 20:9-16.

[v.1] - This parable is taken from Isaiah 5:1-7.

[v.10-11] - Gospel Link: Matthew 21:42; Luke 20:17.

[v.10] - Quoting Psalm 118:22 (LXX).

[v.11] - Quoting Psalm 118:23 (LXX).

[v.13-17] - Gospel Link: Matthew 22:15-22; Luke 20:20-26.

[v.14] - "and care for no man, for you do not regard the person of men" - Reference, Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:16-17, 16:19; Proverbs 24:23, 28:21; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11.

[v.18-27] - Gospel Link: Matthew 22:23-33; Luke 20:27-39.

[v.19] - Quoting Deuteronomy 25:5.

[v.26] - Quoting Exodus 3:6.

[v.28-31] - Gospel Link: Matthew 22:34-40. See also Luke 10:25-28.

[v.29] - Quoting Deuteronomy 6:4 (LXX).

[v.30] - Quoting Deuteronomy 6:5.

[v.31] - Quoting Leviticus 19:18 (LXX).

[v.32a] - "is one God" - Quoting Deuteronomy 6:4 (LXX). Other manuscripts read as, "he is One," which may better fit what the scribe says in reply to Jesus.

[v.32b] - "and there is no other but he" - Quoting Deuteronomy 4:35 (LXX—paraphrased).

[v.35-37] - Gospel Link: Matthew 22:41-45; Luke 20:41-44.

[v.36] - Quoting Psalm 110:1 (LXX).

[v.38-39] - Gospel Link: Matthew 23:5-7; Luke 11:43, 20:46.

[v.40] - Gospel Link: Matthew 23:14; Luke 20:47.

[v.41-44] - Gospel Link: Luke 21:1-4.

[v.42] - "mites" - Think of a mite as the smallest amount of money a person can give, such as a penny in U.S. currency. In comparison, the mite would be valued at a fraction of a penny.