Luke 20:1-40

1 On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him, 2 and they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?” 3 Jesus answered and said to them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell Me: 4 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” 5 They reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8 And Jesus said to them, “Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

9 And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. 10 At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. 13The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” When they heard it, they said, “ May it never be!” 17 But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

‘ The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone’?

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.

19 The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them. 20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor. 21 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 23 But He detected their trickery and said to them, 24 “Show Me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were unable to catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and being amazed at His answer, they became silent.

27 Now there came to Him some of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection), 28 and they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he is childless, his brother should marry the wife and raise up children to his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers; and the first took a wife and died childless; 30 and the second 31and the third married her; and in the same way all seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally the woman died also. 33 In the resurrection therefore, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had married her.”

34 Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him.” 39 Some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” 40 For they did not have courage to question Him any longer about anything.

Observation – What does it say?

  • Jesus was teaching several day chapter 19
  • Chief Priest and Scribes confronted Jesus
  • They spoke to him they did not ask.
  • They demanded to know the authority by which Jesus did things. He was in the middle of teaching. This appears to be more than a assault on his teaching.
  • The chief priest and scribe were well aware of John’s ministry
  • Jesus gave 2 options for John source of John ministry heaven and men
  • chief priest and scribes knew if it was from heaven they should have obeyed it
  • chief priest and scribes were in fear of the people
  • The chief priest and scribes gave an answer they knew to be false.
  • Parable of the vine-growers was told about the chief priest and scribes.
  • The owner of the vineyard sent a servant for only some of the produce.
  • The chief priest and scribes understood the vine-growers were very wrong and said “may it never be”
  • The chief priests and scribe tried to take Jesus at the time he spoke against them but again they feared the people
  • The chief priests and scribe watched Jesus
  • The chief priest and the scribe sent spies
  • The spies pretended to be righteous
  • The spies pretended to be righteous so the could catch Jesus say something wrong
  • The intent of the spies were to deliver Jesus to the governor
  • The spies questioned Jesus
  • Spies called Jesus teacher
  • Spies said they new Jesus would only speak the truth of God
  • The spies asked if it was permissible to pay taxes.
  • Jesus responded to give to Caesar what what owned by Caesar and give to God what God owned.
  • The spies were unable to catch Jesus in saying something that others could hear they could use.
  • The spies gave up trying to trap Jesus
  • Sadducees believed they had a conundrum witch could prove there was no resurrection.
  • According to the law a man was required to marry a woman under certain conditions (Deuteronomy 25:5)
  • The Sadducees ask, if the woman end up being married to several men whose wife will she be after the resurrection?
  • We marry in this age.
  • Not everyone will be resurrected.
  • Those considered worthy to attain that age and to the resurrection will not marry.
  • Jesus say there will be no marriage after the resurrection
  • Those resurrected can not die anymore.
  • God IS the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
  • Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive.
  • Some, not all but some, of the Sadducees said Jesus spoke well
  • The Sadducees did not ask Jesus anymore questions
  • Jesus asks the Sadducees a question
  • Cross reference Psalms 110
  • David called the Christ Lord
  • So everyone could hear, but to his disciples, Jesus warnings of the scribes.
  • Jesus describe the scribes as
    • liking to walk around in long robes
    • loving greetings in the marketplace
    • loving the best seat in the synagogues
    • loving places of honor at feast
    • devourers of widows houses
    • making long prayers for a pretense
    • will be condemned

Interpretation – What does it Mean?

In this chapter of Luke Jesus is asked 3 questions

  • “Where did you receive your authority?”
  • “Is it permissible to pay taxed to Caesar?”
  • “In the resurrection, whose wife will the woman be who had several husbands?”

Chief priests and scribes were asking Jesus who do you think you are? It was like the taunt children use, “Who died and made you King.” The chief priest and scribes believed they were the ones with the ultimate authority. They were the ones the Romans used and trusted. They were the ones with the credentials the degrees. They were not only teachers but they were the teachers teachers. They had not conferred on Jesus any degree or certificate or authorization to teach in the temple or any synagogue. It was not a question to which they cared about the answer. They already knew answer, “no one.” No one with any authority had given Jesus authority. And of course God did not give Jesus authority because God was using them to confer authority. Jesus’ answer I think is very interesting. Jesus goes back to John. John had not receive any certificates or degrees. No chief priest nor any scribe had authorized John to teach. John too, from their view point, was a illegitimate teacher. So if John had any authority at all, it came from God. Jesus’ implication I,s he receive his authority from the same place John received his authority. So in not answering their question, Jesus answered their question. They wrongly assumed only a degreed teacher (of course they conferred the degrees) had the authority to teach.

From chapter 19 we know that The chief priest and scribes wanted to destroy Jesus. They were keeping a watchful eye on Jesus trying to catch him in a statement or act they could use to destroy him. They sent spies to catch him in a statement they could use against him, hopefully, in a Roman court. But if not in a Roman court, They wanted to discredit him amongst the Jewish population who saw the Roman Empire as gentiles and illegitimate rulers. It appears they had the perfect question. Is it or is it not permissible to pay taxes to the Roman government? If Jesus answers no, then they can turn him in to the Roman authorities as a subversive. If he answers yes, then he is denying God His right to the tithe. Jesus point out the false dichotomy by saying do both.

A false dichotomy is a logical fallacy. It is a situation where only two choices are considered when there are more options available. Jesus pointed out their logical error.

The Sadducees asked Jesus a question they thought proved that ridiculousness of the resurrection. In there mind the question was unanswerable. If the resurrection were true there would be a violation of God’s law. The if a woman had several husband. And everyone was living according to the law. No one man could her husband at the resurrection. Having more than one husband was contrary to the law. Therefore, the idea of the resurrection was irrational. This time the logic is correct but the assumptions are incorrect.

Application – How does it work?

Jesus in every case shows that when we find a supposed error or problem in the word of God either our logic or our assumptions are incorrect. God word is true.

There are times that God’s word does not make sense. It appears illogical, irrational and some have even said evil. When those situations appear, do not run away for the problem of understanding and simply say, “Something are beyond our understanding.” or “You just have to take it by faith.” Too many have done that. Our Lord does not receive honor from that. His word and His bride, the church, are held up to ridicule by the world when Christians are lazy in there logic and understanding. Instead of giving up examine the assumptions, review the logic. God is not a God of chaos and contradiction, but of God of order.

If your assumptions are incorrect. And your logical is sound your conclusions will incorrect. If your assumptions are correct and logic is erroneous, your conclusions will be incorrect. If both your assumptions and your logic is incorrect your conclusions are incorrect.

The bible can be thought of an algebra book in high school with the answers in the back. It has the correct answer even if everyone else got a different answer. You may be tempted to just rely on the answers “in the back of the book” but that is not faith. It is superstition. American Heritage dictionary defines superstition as a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. We are called on to why we believe not simply believe.



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