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Gospel of Luke Chapter 20
Theme: Jesus' authority challenged; the parable of the vineyard; Jesus answer about paying tribute to Caesar; Jesus silences the Sadducees about resurrection; Jesus questions the scribes.
The Jewish Rulers Challenge Jesus' Authority (Luke 20:1-8)
(Mat.21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33)
Luke 20:1 And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, (KJV)
And it came to pass, that on one of those days . . . according to Mark, it must be the second day, or two days after His public entrance into Jerusalem; for on the evening of the day He made His triumphal entry, He went out to Bethany with His Apostles. The next morning, as He returned to the Temple, He cursed the barren fig tree (Mk.11:12-14), and when He came to the Temple, He cast out the buyers and sellers. That evening He went out again, either to Bethany, or to the Mount of Olives. The next morning, as He and His apostles returned, the fig tree had dried up. When they came to Jerusalem, as He was walking in the Temple, He was confronted by the Sanhedrim, and had the following discourse with them.
As he taught the people in the temple, and preached the Gospel . . . Jesus taught them by preaching very clearly, faithfully and publicly, because He had been abundantly anointed and qualified to bring the Gospel, and sent by His Father to do it.
The chief priests, and the Scribes, came upon him, with the elders . . . the whole Sanhedrim being deliberately assembled together, came to Him suddenly and unexpectedly, openly speaking against Him, attacking Him with heated forcefulness.
Luke 20:2 And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? (KJV)
And spoke unto him, saying, tell us by what authority doest thou these things? . . . the Sanhedrim seems here to only refer to His preaching the Gospel, and was what He was doing when they came upon Him. It is quite possible though that they meant by “these things,” not only His preaching, but His working miracles and especially His driving the buyers and sellers out of the Temple, which specifically affected them, they losing their rent.
Or who is he that gave thee this authority? . . . WHO is it that gave you authority? (Mat.21:23; Mk.11:27-28).
Luke 20:3 And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: (KJV)
And he answered and said unto them . . . Jesus replies to their utter rudeness.
I will also ask you one thing, and answer me . . . Matthew’s version: Matthew 21:24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. (KJV) . . . Jesus was under absolutely NO obligation to give them an answer. They knew full well, by what authority He did this. He did not conceal His power in working the miracles, and had not hidden the fact that He was the Messiah. I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things . . . great strategy, great line of attack! Answer a question with a question, which the Lord Jesus often did. HOW could they object to this? Jesus tells them that if they would give Him an answer to His question, He would tell them by what authority, and from where He had gotten it. His question to them:
Luke 20:4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? (KJV)
The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? . . . the baptism of John was a new ordinance, and John had to have his authority for administering it either from God, or from men. Jesus wants to know, in their opinion, from where John received his authority. Jesus is suggesting, that by the same authority John, His forerunner, came baptizing, He Himself came preaching and working miracles. (Mat.21:25).
Luke 20:5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? (KJV)
And they reasoned with themselves, saying, if we shall say from heaven . . . within themselves, or they privately conferred together, what answer they should give Him, after they argued the point among themselves.
He will say, why then believed ye him not? . . . if they said, From heaven, He would ask why they did not believe him, because they professed to hear all the prophets.
Luke 20:6 But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. (KJV)
But and if we say Of men, all the people will stone us . . . meaning the common people, that were then in the Temple around Christ, hearing Him preach. If they said, of men, their reputation was gone, for all the people believed that John was a prophet.
They clearly saw that if they said that the baptism and ministry of John’s was divine, they must agree that Jesus was the TRUE Messiah, John bore witness to . . . and so, it was by a divine authority He did what He did; and that put an end to their question. (Mat.21:25-26).
For they be persuaded that John was a prophet . . . the people were fully assured of it (Mat.14:5); and the sentiments and authority of the chief priests could have no weight and influence upon them to weaken their faith in this point; the evidence was so strong, and their faith so firm and sure. Not so with the Sanhedrim.
Luke 20:7 And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. (KJV)
And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was . . . when they said they could not tell whether the baptism of John was of God or men, they no doubt told an untruth. They chose to sacrifice their consciences and pretend ignorance instead of speaking the truth, for they saw that they would be exposed to the resentments of the people.
Luke 20:8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. (KJV)
And Jesus said unto them . . . since they would not give Jesus a direct answer to his question, neither would He answer theirs.
Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things . . . there really was no need, for they very easily might know the answer, by what He had said, from where He had received His authority. It was from God, and not men. (Mat.21:27).
Their question was NOT honest and sincere. If they had been willing to accept John, they would have been willing to accept the Lord Jesus Christ also. If they had believed John, they would NEVER have questioned the authority of the Lord Jesus.
People often pretend to examine the evidence and Truth of the Gospel, when the sad fact is, they are only seeking excuses for their own unbelief and disobedience. Christ Jesus answered these priests and scribes with a simple question about the baptism of John, which the common people could very easily answer. They all knew it was from God in Heaven, it could NOT have come from men. Common sense told them that! SO many people bury any knowledge they have, are therefore denied further knowledge (Lk.19:26). It was perfectly right and just for Jesus to refuse to give account of His authority, to those who full knew that the baptism of John to be from Heaven, yet would not believe in Him, nor own their knowledge. BEWARE!!! Jesus IS GOD! http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
Parable of the Vineyard (Luke 20:9-18)
The parable of the vineyard is also recorded in Matthew and Mark.
Luke 20:9 Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. (KJV)
Then began he to speak to the people this parable . . . according to the other writers, this seems to be spoken to the chief priests, Scribes and elders. After Christ Jesus silenced the Sanhedrim, He turned Himself to the people, and delivered the parable of the vineyard to them, though His principal view was to the priests.
A certain man planted a vineyard . . . the Jews are meant by the vineyard, and the "certain man", or "householder" as Matthew calls him, (Mat.21:28,33), is the Lord Jesus, and the planting of it is to be understood of his bringing and settling the people Israel in the land of Canaan. Luke omits certain things which the other writers share, as setting an hedge about it, digging a winepress, and building a tower in it; all which express the care that was taken to cultivate and protect the vineyard; and mean the various blessings and privileges the Jew's enjoyed under the former dispensation. (Mat.21:33; Mk.12:1).
And let it out to husbandmen . . . husbandmen are tenant farmers. There were different methods of hiring and letting out fields and vineyards among the Jews: one was he, who let out to his neighbor a field or vineyard to reap the fruit of it, for a certain sum of money annually (Song 8:11); another was one that let out a field, or a vineyard, agreeing to give the owner of it so much of the fruit each year, whether it yielded more or less; and there was a third who agreed to give the owner half, or a third, or a fourth part of the increase of the field, or vineyard. It is the letting out and farming, that this is to be understood; NOT of letting it out for money, but for fruit, as appears from Mat.21:34. The husbandmen are meant to be the rulers of the Jews, civil and religious, especially the religious ones, the priests, Levites, and Scribes, who were entrusted with the care of the Jewish people, to guide and instruct them, and cultivate the knowledge of divine things among them, that they might bring forth fruits of righteousness; and to offer their gifts and sacrifices, which are meant by letting out the vineyard to them.
And went into a far country for a long time . . . which must be interpreted consistent with the omnipresence of God, Who is everywhere, all the time, and cannot be said correctly to move from place to place; but fills Heaven and Earth with His Presence (Jer.23:24), and cannot be contained in either (2 Chron.2:6). God did NOT appear to them in that visible manner He had done before; but set up their order of government, worship and duty, then left them to themselves and their rulers; for many years; in which He expressed much longsuffering and patience towards them.
Luke 20:10 And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. (KJV)
And at the season . . . or when it the time of fruit (Mat.21:34).
He sent a servant to the husbandmen . . . or servants, as in (Mat.21:34,36), meaning the prophets of the Lord, His messengers, whom He sent to the Jews, to have them to bring forth the fruits of righteousness.
That they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard . . . Matthew says, "when the time of the fruit drew near" (Mat.21:34). The "season" was the fourth year from the planting of it; and then it was holy to the Lord; and was not be eaten until the fifth year (Lev.19:23-25). The "servant" is intended for the prophets of the Old Testament, who were sent to the Jews to call upon them to bring forth fruits of righteousness. I don’t know why Luke and Mark uses servant (singular), because this was NOT just one single person, but several prophets. I think Matthew expresses it better when he says "servants" (Mat.21:34,36).
But the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty . . . again we find Luke and Mark fixing the attention on a single individual when more than one was actually engaged in the transaction (Mk.12:3).
This Passage reveals the utter rudeness and extreme violence with which the prophets of the Lord were used by the Jewish nation. They were beaten with their fists, with rods, and scourges, until the skin was flayed off. The prophets had NO fruit to carry with him or them, or give an account of, to the owner of the vineyard (God).
For just two instances of the cruelty and violence of the Old Testament: #1 it is believed that Isaiah was martyred by being sawed in half during the early reign of King Manessah, although it is not documented in the Bible or in history. Biblically there were N.T. references to prophets dying this way and it is a belief in oral Jewish tradition (Heb.11:37). And #2. Jeremiah suffered horribly under the Jews: (Jer.32; 33:1; 37:15-21; 38:6-13; 39:15-18; Lam.3:53-55).
Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. KJV) . . . The Jews did NOT want the Truth, just as the people today, Jews AND Gentiles, do NOT want the Truth. BEWARE!!!
All in all, the Jews were cruel and violent to the prophets: (1 Ki.18:13; 2 Ki.6:28-31; 2 Chron.36:11-17; Amos 2:12; Jer.2:30; Mat.23:37; Mk.12:5; Lk.13:34; 1 Thes.2:15; Heb.11:35-38; Rev.16:6)
Luke 20:11 And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. (KJV)
And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully . . .
putting him to open shame, using him in a very ignominious and shameful manner, which it was a shame to relate, and which was shameful for them to do.
And sent him away empty . . . as they had done the other.
Luke 20:12 And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. (KJV)
And again he sent the third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out . . . this may refer to the times of the Maccabees, or maybe after the return of the Jews from captivity, and between that time and the coming of Christ, in which time many good men were used in a very inhuman manner. They beat them with rods, they killed them with the sword, and stoned them (Heb.11:36-37). (Mat.21:36; Mk.12:4).
Luke 20:13 Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. (KJV)
Then said the Lord of the vineyard . . . Who planted it, and let it out to husbandmen, and expected fruit from it, and sent his servants from time to time for it.
What shall I do? . . . or what can be done more than has been done? (Isa.5-7). Who else can be sent that can do any good with such an ungrateful and unfruitful people?
I will send my beloved Son . . . the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son (Lk.3:22; 9:35; 20:13), the Son of God, Who lay in his bosom (Jn.1:18) was the darling (ps.22:20; 35:17)of his soul, His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16), Him He determined to send, and Him He did send to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mat.10:6; 15:24).
It may be they will reverence him, when they see him . . . after all the prophets had been sent, and finished their course, then came the Greatest Prophet of all, to seal up the vision and prophecy. The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, was sent at first only to the house of Israel. He was the minister of the circumcision; He was the Greatest Prophet ever raised up among them (Deut.18:18), and was sent to bless them, by turning them away from their iniquities. He came to His own (Jn.1:11), to them of His own nation, but they received him not.
Saying, they will reverence my son . . . the Son of God was/is to be reverenced equally as His Father, because He is in nature and glory equal to Him (Jn.10:30); and it is the will of His Father that He should be so reverenced, as He is by the angels in Heaven, and by the saints, both in Heaven and in Earth. BUT . . . these wicked husbandmen did NOT reverence Him! Just the opposite! They despised Him, they rejected Him; they reproached and slandered Him as the vilest of men, and used Him in the most cruel and savage manner.
It might be thought that considering the greatness and majesty of this Person, as the Son of God, the nature of His office, as the Redeemer and Saviour of mankind, the doctrines which He preached, the miracles which He did, and the goodness, humility and innocence of His lifestyle and conversation, and the good that He did both to the bodies and souls of men, that He would have been accepted in great respect and reverence by men, to whom He was sent . . . but, when they saw Him, they saw NO beauty, NO excellency in Him, and NOT one thing which was desired by them. SO SAD!!! Please do not turn your back on this Man who alone can bring salvation to your soul.
Luke 20:14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. (KJV)
But when the husbandmen saw him . . . the husbandmen are the rulers of the Jews. They heard Him preach, and they saw the miracles done by Him.
They reasoned among themselves . . . as the Scribes and Pharisees, and elders of the people often did.
Saying, this is the heir . . . the heir of God, being God’s only begotten Son; He would be the heir of the vineyard, and heir of all things, and by His descent from David, heir to the Kingdom of Israel. Jesus as the Messiah, is absolutely Heir of all things. As the Son of God, and as the Mediator of the new covenant: He is Heir of all that His Father has, for He is God’s only begotten Son; and as Mediator, He is Heir of all things, physical, spiritual and eternal, for the use and benefit of His church and His people, who are also His portion and His inheritance.
Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours . . . they concluded that could they would be rid of Him, and their nation would be in peace, their Temple would stand, and Temple worship and service continue, and they would remain in their office and authority undisturbed. Just the opposite happened. That which they feared the most, came to pass, and the end result of His death, was far beyond anything they ever expected.
Luke 20:15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? (KJV)
So they cast him out of the vineyard . . . they rejected Him as the Messiah, and delivered Him to the Gentiles that were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel; and had Him put to death without the city (Lev.14:40-41; Heb.13:11-12).
And killed him . . . the Prince of life, the Lord of glory, and heir of all things. (Acts 2:23,36; 3:15; 5:30; 10:39).
What therefore shall the Lord of the vineyard do unto them? . . . seized Him in a rude and violent manner, just as they had done to some of the servants (prophets) before. This speaks of their apprehending Jesus in the garden (John 18), by a band of soldiers and officers, sent by the chief priests and Pharisees, who with swords and staves took Him, bound Him, and led Him away.
And cast him out of the vineyard . . . this is not to be understood of their casting Him out of the synagogue, which is never said of them; nor does it refer to the leading Him outside the gates of Jerusalem, where they crucified Him. I think this may mean the delivery of Jesus to those, which were outside the vineyard of the Jewish nation, meaning the Gentiles; to be mocked, scourged, and put to death by them.
And slew him . . . although the sentence of death was pronounced on Him by Pilate, a Heathen governor, and He was executed by the Roman soldiers . . . it must be remembered that it was through the start and the persistent demands of these husbandmen, these Jewish rulers; and who were afterwards often charged by the apostles with the murder of Him. The husbandmen, were the chief priests, elders, Scribes, and Pharisees; who demanded the life of His Son and Heir, be taken away; by which He must be greatly provoked and enraged.
Luke 20:16 He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. (KJV)
He shall come and destroy these husbandmen . . . this was accomplished at the destruction of Jerusalem: according to the other Gospel writers
And shall give the vineyard to others . . . the land of Judea to the Romans, and the church state, with the Gospel and ordinances of it, to the Gentiles in general, sometimes called others. (Lk.5:29; 18:11).
And when they heard it, they said, God forbid . . . though they were their own words, yet repeated and confirmed by Christ, and perceiving that they were the persons intended, denounce the fulfilment of them.
Luke 20:17 And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? (KJV)
And he beheld them . . . looked sadly at them, speaking as it were by His looks, indicating, that as He had said; that they would reject the Messiah, and put Him to death, and bring utter ruin upon themselves, and deprive their posterity of many advantages and privileges.
And said, What is this then that is written, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? . . . Matthew says: Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? (KJV) . . . Did ye never read the Scriptures . . . Psalm 118:22-23 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23 This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. (KJV)
The stone which the builders rejected, the SAME is become the head of the corner! Very appropriate is this Scripture here, which expresses the rejection of the Messiah by the Jewish builders, priests, and scribes. That whole Psalm may be understood of the Messiah. Some say that the Psalm speaks of David, and others say that it speaks of the days of the Messiah. Become the head of the corner . . . Jesus is the Corner Stone in the building which knits and cements together, Jews and Gentiles.
This is the Lord's doing . . . this Stone is laid in the building by Him: the rejection of Him is according to His determinate counsel and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23); and the exaltation of Him, above every Name (Phil.2:9), is owing to Him, and He is by and at God’s own Right Hand. Right Hand of God: (Mk.16:19; Lk.22:69; Acts 2:33; 7:55-56; Rom.8:34; Col.3:1; Heb.10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet.3:22).
And it is marvellous in our eyes . . . in the eyes of all TRUE believers; because there is such a wonderful display of the love, faithfulness, grace, mercy, power and wisdom of God. The Stone: (Ps.118:22; Isa.28:16; Zec.3:9; Mat.21:42; Mk.12:10-11; Acts 4:11; Eph.2:20-22; 1 Pet.2:4-8).
Luke 20:18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (KJV)
Whosoever shall fall on that stone, shall be broken . . . some say this could means those who stumble at Him, and are offended by or with Him, those who deny and reject Him and fall by stubborn unbelief and hardness of heart. All these shall expose themselves to eternal danger and ruin. These people are bidding for condemnation to Hell. . . . But, I think this phrase means those who fall on Christ by faith, and build upon Him as the Foundation Stone (1 Cor.3:10-15), shall be saved!
But on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder . . . just as it did, with its full weight upon the Jews at their destruction, and just as it shall on all Christ-less sinners at the last day. The ruin of such people will be unavoidable, and there shall be NO recovery. (Mat.21:44; Dan.2:34-35).
"Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken" relates to Christ's First Coming. He is the Rock on which the church is built. "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor.3:11). I think “to fall on that Stone” is to come to Christ for salvation in this day of grace. To reject Christ is to have the Stone fall later in the judgment, about which Daniel prophesied (Dan.2:34;44-45), which relates to Christ's Second Coming. When the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they supposed that He spoke of them. There is without a doubt, an allusion here to Isaiah 8:14-15. Having made an allusion to Himself as a Stone, or a Rock in verse 17, He proceeds to state the results of coming in contact with it.
Luke 20:19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. (KJV)
And the chief priests, and the Scribes, that same hour . . . as soon as He had spoken the above parable,
Sought to lay hands on him . . . they were exceedingly annoyed with the question he put to them concerning John's baptism, which confused them, and put them to silence; and with the parables He delivered, in which they were so clearly pointed to,
And they feared the people . . . lest they should rise and stone them, as in (Lk.20:6), or rescue Him out of their hands.
For they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them . . . and that they were the husbandmen that had used the servants of God so badly, and would put to death the Son of God, the Messiah; and who would eventually be destroyed themselves, and the Kingdom of God be taken from them . . . even though they seem to hate and denounce it, saying in verse 16, God forbid; that we should kill the heir, or that we should be destroyed, and the vineyard given to others. All these things grievously offended them, and infuriated them against Jesus; but they did not know what to do about it.
Jesus spoke the Parable of the Vineyard and Husbandmen, against those who resolved not to accept His authority, although the proof of it was so full. There are many today, who are like the Jews, who murdered the prophets and crucified Christ, in their enmity to God, and their hatred and disobedience to Him. They want to live solely according to their lusts, without any control!
Let all those who have chosen God and His Word, stand by it that they make proper use of their advantages. SO horribly awful will be the doom, both of those who reject the Son, and of those who profess to reverence Him, yet do NOT render the fruits in due season. It is the folly of sinners, that they persevere in their sinful ways, and even though they know destruction lies at the end of those ways; they continue on in disobedience to God and rejection and denial of His Son.
Jesus Is Questioned About Paying Tribute to Caesar (Luke 20:19-25)
(Mat.22:15-22; Mark 12:13-27)
Luke 20:20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. (KJV)
And they watched him . . . His enemies were always watching Him, to see what He did, what He said, where He went, who He was with, etc.
And sent forth spies which should feign themselves just men . . . these enemies were great pretenders of virtue and religion.
That might take hold of his words . . . they were eager to twist His words, to form a charge upon Him for sedition and treason.
That so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor . . . the Roman governor, and by him be put to death. Some of these were disciples of the Pharisees, and others were Herodians. (Mat.22:16).
Luke 20:21 And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: (KJV)
And they asked him, saying, Master . . . Rabbi, or doctor; hoping, by this flattering title, and the flattering words used by them, to prod Him to an openness and freedom of conversation with them.
We know that thou sayest and teachest rightly . . . rightly dividing the Word of God, and bringing sound doctrine according to it, which He certainly did! They were hypocrites!
Neither acceptest thou the person of any . . . Jesus taught rigidly, without any bending or twisting the Truth, as some do today, to suit their purpose. Jesus was not moved to favor any man. Jesus never judged anyone by outward circumstances, as we often do, for to judge according to this, there will be those whom He will judge differently, for He judges the heart.
But teachest the way of God truly . . . the way of worshipping God, and enjoying Him, both in this world, and in that to come.
Luke 20:22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? (KJV)
Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? . . . the other writers render it, "tribute money". (Mat.22:19).
Luke 20:23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? (KJV)
But he perceived their craftiness . . . He knew what was in them, for He was a discerner of the thoughts and intents of their hearts (Heb.4:12). He clearly saw that their plan was that they might have a charge against Him to the Roman governor, should He declare against payment of tribute.
And said unto them, Why tempt ye me? . . . with this trapping question.
Luke 20:24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's. (KJV)
Show me a penny . . . a Roman denarius, value seven pence, halfpenny of our money.
Whose image and superscription hath it . . . the penny had a head on it, with something written, such as the name of the emperor, whose image it was, or some motto on it.
They answered and said, Caesar's . . . the question of the Herodians was a deceptive one designed to trap Jesus. Had He said "Yes" . . . to pay tribute to Caesar, then He would have put Caesar ahead of Moses and ahead of their Messiah. If He had said "No" . . . not to pay tribute to Caesar, then He would have been subject to arrest by Rome. The Lord Jesus was/is brilliant! The way Jesus answered this question is a masterpiece. (Mat.20-21).
Luke 20:25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's. (KJV)
And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's . . . the Jews were using the legal money of the Roman Empire. Rome did provide certain advantages and privileges. Rome kept law and order by her standards and provided protection. Rome made and maintained roads and kept the sea lanes open. The Jews owed Rome something for the use of coins, roads, and law and order. Caesar had something coming to him.
And unto God the things which be God's . . . but God has something coming to Him too, that being that which relates to His worship, honor, interest and Kingdom. (Mat.22:21). In both these areas of life, we have a responsibility. Man has both an earthly and a heavenly obligation. He has both a physical and a spiritual responsibility. Citizens of Heaven pay must taxes down here, but pilgrims (Heb.11:13) down here should deposit treasures in Heaven (Mat.6:20).
Luke 20:26 And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace. (KJV)
And they could not take hold of his words before the people . . . Jesus enemies could not get what they wanted. Their hopes of any rebellious and mutinous expressions against Rome had to be dropped.
And they marvelled at his answer . . . which was so designed, as to give them absolutely NO control against Him in any way.
And held their peace . . . they were completely silenced, and had nothing more to say to Him, nor against Him, but went their way. The All-Wise Jesus clearly detected their wickedness, and hindered their plot so that they were utterly confused, and retreated in shame. They were not able to get any advantage against Him, neither could they bring Him into contempt with the people, nor could they alienate the people’s affections from Him . . . nor could they charge Him with sedition (incitement to rebellion) or treason to the Roman governor, which was utmost in their minds. (Mat.22:22; Mk.12:13; 3:6).
Those who are most sneaky and shrewd in their plans against Christ and His Gospel, CANNOT conceal them from the all-knowing God! Jesus did not give them a direct answer, but rebuked them for trying to trap Him. They could NOT grasp anything from His Words to stir up either the governor or the people against Him. The wisdom which is from above (Jam.3:17), will direct ALL who teach the way of God in truth, to avoid cunning snares laid for them by wicked men; and will teach us that our duty is to God, to our rulers, and to all men so clearly, that those who oppose us will have NO evil to say of us.
Jesus Silences the Sadducees about Resurrection (Luke 20:27-38)
Luke 20:27 Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, (KJV)
Then came to him certain of the Sadducees . . . now, more enemies come to try to trap Jesus. These Sadducees, it seems came the same day, on which the disciples of the Pharisees and the Herodians, had been with Him, putting the question about tribute to Him (Mat.22:16).
Which deny that there is any resurrection . . . the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection of the dead, being ignorant of the Scriptures, and the power of God (Mat.22:23,29). The do not believe in angels nor spirits either . . . it seems that they did not believe there was any such creatures as angels, nor any spirits whatever, which were immaterial or immortal for as for the spirit or soul of man. They believed that the body, when it died, did not exist in any separate state after this life. Josephus says, that they deny the permanence of the soul, and rewards and punishments in the invisible state. And, according to the Talmudic writers, they denied that there was any other world than this . . . NO Heaven, NO Hell. Many of these around today! Once you're dead, you're dead . . . is what millions today believe! They are WRONG! Jesus said: Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV) . . . These people are fools and should reconsider what they believe!
The Pharisees confess both . . . the Pharisees believe in BOTH the resurrection of the dead, and that there are spirits, both angels and the souls of men, which are immortal, as the Bible teaches! Josephus says that the Pharisees hold that every soul is incorruptible or immortal; and that they held the resurrection of the dead. (Acts 23:8).
Luke 20:28 Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. (KJV)
Saying, master, Moses wrote unto us . . . in Deut.25:5, that if a man died without a child, and left a wife behind him, his next brother, if unmarried, was to marry his wife, and the first child born of her, was to be considered to be the deceased's, and would inherit his estate. (Mat.22:24).
Luke 20:29 There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. (KJV)
There were therefore seven brethren . . . in the place where these Sadducees lived; or that they supposed such a case, and it might be fact.
And the first took a wife, and died without children . . . son or daughter, and so had none to keep up his name, and to possess his inheritance.
Luke 20:30 And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. (KJV)
And the second took her to wife, and he died childless . . . as he was obliged by the above law, to do as his eldest brother before him.
Luke 20:31 And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died. (KJV)
And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died . . . to wife, according to the same law, and the other four, one after another, when all seven had married her, and they died, leaving no children behind them.
Luke 20:32 Last of all the woman died also. (KJV)
Last of all the woman died also . . . she had no children by any of her seven husbands.
Luke 20:33 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. (KJV)
Therefore in the resurrection . . . at the time of the resurrection of the dead, in that state, supposing there will be such a thing, which they denied,
Whose wife of them is she . . . the first, or the last, or any of the middle ones?
For seven had her to wife . . . and she had no child by any of them. Their claim, to them, seems unanswerable, and to them, was sufficient to set aside the idea of a resurrection.
Luke 20:34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: (KJV)
And Jesus answering, said unto them . . . He saw that their error came from ignorance of the Scriptures, and the power of God.
The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage . . . meaning those who live in this world, in the present mortal and imperfect state, of being mortal men, who die and leave their estates and possessions. These marry, and have wives given them in marriage; and it is very right, and fit, that so it should be, in order to keep up a progression of men, and that they may have heirs to enjoy their substance when they are gone.
Luke 20:35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: (KJV)
But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world . . . “that world” is the world to come, with eternal life and happiness; NOT by their own works and merits, but through the Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), Sacrifice (Heb.7:27), and righteousness (1 Cor.1:30) of the Messiah;
And the resurrection from the dead . . . meaning the first resurrection (Rev.20:5-6), the resurrection unto life, which only the dead in Christ (1 Thes.4:16) will enjoy. Other than that, all others shall be raised: but many to the resurrection of damnation (Jn.5:29; Dan.12:2).
These neither marry, nor are given in marriage . . . there will be no need of marriage in Heaven, for the reasons that follow.
Luke 20:36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. (KJV)
Neither can they die any more . . . there will be no need of marrying to procreate children, to keep up a succession of men. Angels do not marry nor procreate.
For they are equal unto the angels . . . in spirituality, purity and immortality. (Mat.22:30).
And are the children of God . . . as they are now by His adopting grace (Rom.8:16-17,21); but, it does not appear as it will then, what they will be like (1 Cor.15:44,49; Phil.3:21; Col.3:4).
Being the children of the resurrection . . . as Christ Jesus was declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection, so will they appear to be the children of God by their resurrection to eternal life, and thus appearing to be children of God, they will also be heirs of God, and enjoy their incorruptible inheritance (1 Pet.1:4-5), which they will forever live to possess.
As you see from this, marriage is for the reason to procreate children, to keep up a succession of the human race. Same sex marriage is an abomination to Almighty God (Lev.18:22-24; 20:13-16; Rom.1:24-32; 1 Cor.6:9-11; 1 Tim.1:8-11). Believe it! BEWARE!!!
Luke 20:37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. (KJV)
Now that the dead are raised . . . there shall be a resurrection of the dead, this is a proof of it.
Even Moses showed at the bush . . . when the Lord appeared to Moses out of it, and he saw it burning with fire, and not consumed; when the Lord called to him out of it by the following name, as He has recorded it in: Exodus 3:6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. (KJV) . . . The conclusion is, that these patriarchs were NOT dead in the Sadducees sense of the term; and as the conclusion applies only to their spirits, it proves that spirits continue to be alive after the bodies which they inhabited are dead. Resurrection from the dead: (Job 14:14; Ps.49:15; 71:20; Ecc.3:21; 12:7; Isa.25:8-9; Dan.12:2-3; Hos.13:14).
Some say that the conclusion of this argument falls short, in its terms and of the demands of the subject. The subject is the resurrection of the dead, while the conclusion affects only the question whether the spirits of the dead are still alive. Some suppose that the resurrection spoken of is that of the spirit, not that of the body . . . they are wrong, because there is NO such thing as a resurrection of the spirit. The spirit does NOT die, and therefore it does NOT rise from the dead. The spirit (soul) leaves the body when a person dies (2 Cior.5:6,8). This departure is immediately at death, and it departs in the full possession of life. SO . . . WHERE does this spirit go? Back to God who gave it! Ecc. 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (KJV)
When he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob . . . the Lord called Himself so, Moses also calls Him by these names, when he gives an account of this affair, and when he went from Him to the children Israel. (Mat.22:32).
When the resurrection is spoken of in the Bible, it refers to the BODY. "Thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and rise up" (Deut.31:16). "But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God, are alive every one of you this day" (Deut.4:4). Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (KJV) . . . See the following: http://www.hisservants.org/the_soul_is_eternal_h_s.htm http://www.hisservants.org/what_happens_to_souls_h_s.htm
This Passage proves that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had an existence then, when God spoke to Moses (Ex.3:6, above), and it proves that their souls were alive at that time, which the Sadducees denied, and this was the main point in dispute. If this were admitted . . . if there is a state of rewards and punishments . . . then it would easily follow that the bodies of the dead would be raised. Rewards and punishments in the resurrection: (Ps.62:12; Dan.12:3; Mat.5:11-12; 10:41-42; 16:27; 24:45-47; 25:21-23; Jn.4:36-38; Rom.2:6; 1 Cor.3:8,14; 4:5; Gal.6:7-8; 1 Thes.2:19; Heb.6:10; 1 Pet.5:1,4; 2 Jn.1:8; Rev.2:8-11,23; 22:12)
Luke 20:38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. (KJV)
For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living . . . (Mat.22:32).
For all live unto him . . . namely, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for although they are dead to men, they are NOT dead to God! Their souls live on with Him, and their bodies shall one day be raised by Him! "All live unto him" . . . as the souls of ALL departed saints do. (Acts 17:28).
It is common for those who plan to undermine any Truth of God, to load it with difficulties. But they wrong themselves, and do great wrong to the Truth of Christ Jesus! There are more worlds than one: there is this present visible world in which we live, and a future unseen world, which includes two specific location: Heaven and Hell! ALL believers in Christ Jesus shall obtain the resurrection from the dead, which is the blessed resurrection. The blissful and happy state of the inhabitants of that world, cannot be expressed or understood (1 Cor.2:9). Those that have entered into the joy of their Lord, shall have a perfection of holiness, like that of Jesus.
After Jesus had answered the Herodians and the Pharisees, the Sadducees bring this old cliché to Him with the thought that anyone answering their question would be ridiculous. The Sadducees would be like the liberal section of the contemporary church, while the Pharisees could be compared with the conservatives. The Sadducees rejected the supernatural. So, they did not believe in the Resurrection.
The Sadducees were the greatest enemies which Christ had and were the main instigators of the first persecution of the church. The Pharisees, along with the Sadduccees were the leaders in the persecution of the Lord Jesus. After the death of the Lord, the Pharisees dropped the entire affair. They were no longer interested in persecuting Him or His followers; in fact, many of them became Christians. BUT . . . the Sadducees went on with the persecution of the church. You can read about it in the third and fourth chapters of Acts. The Sadducees were the worst enemies that the Gospel of Christ ever had, whether in the first or the twentieth centuries. BEWARE!!!
Jesus Questions the Scribes (Luke 20:39-47)
The Lord concludes this question-and-answer period by asking the scribes a question.
Luke 20:39 Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said. (KJV)
Then certain of the Scribes, answering said . . . the scribes did believe the doctrine of the resurrection, which the Sadducees denied, and so were pleased with our Lord's reasoning on this matter. Scribes were lawyers, interpreters of the Law.
Master, thou hast well said . . . this scribe thought that Jesus had answered in a beautiful way, and had put the Sadducees to their utter confusion and silence (Mk.12:28).
Luke 20:40 And after that they durst not ask him any question at all. (KJV)
And after that, they durst not ask him any question at all . . . neither the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, nor Herodians.
Luke 20:41 And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's son? (KJV)
And he said unto them . . . it seems He speaks to the Pharisees. Jesus had confounded the great parties of the Jews, and now proceeds to take His turn to offer a question to them, for their solution. This was NOT done because of a vain display and triumph, but instead to:
#1. To show them how uninformed they were of their prophecies.
#2. To humble them when He reveals their ignorance.
#3. To make them consider the TRUE doctrine relating to the Messiah: His possessing a character superior to that of their revered David, the most mighty king of Israel, and being David’s Lord, at the same time that He was His descendant. (Mat.22:41).
How say they that Christ is David's son? . . . in (Mk.12:35) it reads: "how say the Scribes?" Jesus did not mean to deny or nullify the Truth of this; for the Messiah certainly was the son of David, but He wanted to know, if the people believed that He was David's Son. Mark omits the part that the Pharisees played in this conversation (Mat.22:41), and just gives a summary of the argument made by Jesus.
If this question were asked to people today, there would be MANY different answers. The atheist believes there is no God; so there could be no Christ, the Son of God. The epicurean thinks only of his carnal lusts and pleasures. Those of the world, the covetous man, thinks only of worldly things, and of how much he has laid up for himself. NO thought whatsoever of Jesus enters their mind. Heathens have wrong thoughts of Christ Jesus, which are ugly and belittling. Some think He is a created God, like, but not of the same nature as the Father. Some think He is a God by office, and did not exist until He was born of the Virgin Mary, and have no idea whatsoever of His Sacrifice, and forgiveness for the sins of men (1 Pet.1:18-19). Some think horribly of His righteousness, and utterly DENY that it is attributed to those who believe (Rom.5:1,9). It is no wonder that those unbelievers, who do not bear His Name, “Christian”, consider wrong and degrading thoughts of Christ Jesus. The Jews thought He was just a mere man, and the carpenter's son. The Pharisees thought He was a loose and immoral Person, that had no regard for the Law and good works and as a result came these words of His, "think not that I am come to destroy the law" (Mat.5:17). Some thought He was a Samaritan, and had a devil (Jn.8:48). Only those who believe and trust in God and His Holy Word could answer correctly. (Mat.22:42-43). Are you one of these? Do you believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13) and trust Jesus to save your soul? Do you believe that Jesus is Who He said He was?
Son of David, Jesus: (2 Sam.7:16; Ps.89:36; 132:11; Isa.9:6-7; 11:1; Jer.23:5; 33:15-17,26; Amos 9:11; Zec.12:8; Mat.9:27; 15:22; 22:42-45; Lk.1:31-32,69-70; Jn.7:42; Acts 2:30; 13:22; Rom.1:3; Rev.22:16)
Blood of Christ: (Ex.12:13; Zec.13:1; Mat.26:28; Mk.14:24; Lk.22:20; Jn.6:55-56; 19:34; Acts 20:28; Rom.3:25; 5:9; 1 Cor.10:16; 11:25; Eph.1:7; 2:13; Col.1:14,20; Heb.1:3; 9:12,14; 10:19,29; 12:24; 13:20; 1 Pet.1:2,18-19; 1 Jn.1:7; 5:6; Rev.1:5; 5:9; 7:14; 12:11; 19:13).
Luke 20:42 And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, (KJV)
And David himself saith in the book of Psalms . . . in: Psalm 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (KJV)
The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand . . . Jesus quoting David, who was inspired by the Spirit of God; writing words of God the Father to His Son Jesus Christ, upon His ascension to Heaven, after His sufferings, death, and resurrection from the dead. After returning to Heaven, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God, in token of having done His work on Earth to full satisfaction. David calls Christ his Lord; and is the reason of their being mentioned. Right Hand of God: (Mk.16:19; Lk.22:69; Acts 2:33; 7:55-56; Rom.8:34; Col.3:1; Heb.10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet.3:22)
Luke 20:43 Till I make thine enemies thy footstool. (KJV)
Till I make thine enemies thy footstool . . . these words continue the quote out of the above Psalm. One day all the enemies of Christ Jesus, and His people, shall be subdued under Him. Hypocritical professors such as the Pharisees, immoral and profane sinners, the world, the devil, the Antichrist, and all the powers of darkness, and the last enemy, death itself shall one day be utterly destroyed. These words were spoken of the Messiah, and therefore were appropriately cited, and properly applied to Him. It is evident from the silence of the Pharisees; this was generally received by the Jews, or they would have immediately objected to Him. By their silence they acknowledged, that the Psalm was written by David; that it was written by him under the inspiration of the Spirit of God; and that the Messiah was the Subject of it. (Mat.22:44).
Luke 20:44 David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son? (KJV)
David therefore called him Lord . . . or "my Lord", hence the following question is asked,
How is he then his son? . . . HOW can these things be reconciled? HOW can Jesus the Messiah be both David’s Lord and David’s Son? (Mat.22:45).
This is the deep and probing question which the Lord Jesus asked the Pharisees. There are several supposition in this question which are remarkable. Our Lord said that David wrote Psalm 110, that he wrote it by the Holy Spirit, and that he wrote it about the Messiah. "If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?" How could David call his Son superior (Lord) unless He really was? There is only one logical answer to this question, and that is the virgin birth. Jesus is David's son, but He is greater than David. A son of David cannot be greater than David unless there is something greater introduced into the line to make a greater Son. The records of the supernatural birth of Jesus, prophesied in the Bible, gives the only satisfactory answer (Isa.7:14; 9:6; Jer.23:5-6; Dan.9:24-25; Mic.5:4). The Lord of David was of David's line, as stated in Luke's Gospel, "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" Lk.1:35). David’s Son is greater than David because He is the Lord from Heaven. The Lord Jesus was forcing the Pharisees to face the real issue and to admit that Jesus was David's son and David's Lord. The Pharisees would have to admit that the Son would have to be supernaturally born for David to call him "my Lord," and He was! David’s Son was/is the Messiah, the Christ, our Lord and Saviour!
Luke 20:45 Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, (KJV)
Then in the audience of all the people . . . when the people were all around Him, and hearing Him, and for their sakes too,
He said unto his disciples . . . He spoke to the multitude, as well as to the disciples, as appears from (Mat.23:1).
Luke 20:46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; (KJV)
Beware of the Scribes . . . and also the Pharisees; for they are joined together in Matthew 23:2.
Which desire to walk in long robes . . . The rule for the length of a scholar's garment was to be long enough to cover the whole body, even down to their heels, but not any longer. Some had their garments so long as to have a train after them. (Mat.23:5). They dressed so as to be noticed by others. All their prayers, alms, deeds and fasting, were done in a public way, so people could see them, and they might have praise and glory from them. They did NOT seek the glory of God, nor the good of their fellow man. Like so many in today's world.
And love greetings in the markets . . . or in courts of justice; they loved to be saluted with the titles of Rabbi, Master, etc. They ate it up! Like so many today.
And the highest seats in the synagogues . . . which were next to the place where the book of the law was read and expounded, and where they might be seen by the people:
And the chief rooms at feasts . . . I do not think the word rooms, here expresses the meaning of the original. I think it would be more correctly rendered the uppermost places or couches at feasts. To understand this it is necessary to mention, that the custom among the Jews was not to eat sitting, as we do, but reclining on couches. The table was three tables, raised like ours, and placed so as to form a square, with a clear space in the middle, and one end open, probably for servants to bring food. On the sides of the tables, there were placed cushions, capable of containing three or-more persons, or couches on which they reclined. That is what happened in (Lk.7:37-38), while Jesus reclined in this manner, that a woman that had been a sinner came to His Feet behind him, and washed them with her tears, and wiped with the hairs of her head. She stood on the outside of the couches. So too, the Saviour washed the feet of His apostles as they reclined on a couch in this manner (Jn.13:4-12). Whenever we read in the New Testament of sitting at meals, it always means reclining in this manner, and not sitting as we do. The chief seat, or the uppermost one, was the middle couch at the upper end of the table. This the Pharisees loved, as a post of honor or distinction.
And the chief seats in the synagogues . . . the elders sit with their faces towards the people, and their backs are to the temple, or holy place. The common people sit in rows, and the faces of one row are to the backs of the row that is before them; so that the faces of all the people are to the holy place, and to the elders, and to the ark. The seats usually occupied by the elders of the synagogue, were near the pulpit. They loved a place of distinctive honor (Lk.11:43). (Mat.23:6-7).
Luke 20:47 Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. (KJV)
Which devour widows' houses . . . these scribes expose their pride, shows their greed; and that they were very insatiable and cruel. They did not spare widows, but devoured their substance.
And for a show make long prayers . . . to cover up their wickedness, pretending great devotion and religion,
The same shall receive greater damnation . . . than openly profane sinners; for they did their wickedness very deceptively, under a cloak of religion. (Mat.23:14).
The scribes praised the reply Christ made to the Sadducees about the resurrection, but they were quickly silenced by a question by Jesus concerning the Messiah. Christ, as God, was David's Lord; but Christ, as Man, was also David's Son.
The scribes would receive the most severe judgment for defrauding the poor widows, and for their abuse of religion, especially of prayer, which they used as a deception for carrying on worldly and wicked plans. Pretended piety or godliness, is a double sin. Let us always beg the Lord to keep us from pride, ambition, covetousness and every evil thing; and to teach us to seek humility, goodness and honesty which comes from Him alone.
Thank You Jesus!
Gospel of Luke
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9 . . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . .ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16 . . ch.17 . . ch.18 . . ch.19 . . ch.20 . . ch.21 . . ch.22 . . ch.23 . . ch.24