Luke 20

Jesus' Authority Questioned

1 1On one of the days while 2He was teaching the people in the temple and 3preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders 4confronted 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 5prophet."
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."

Parable of the Vine-growers

9 6And 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.
13 "The owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will 7respect 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 8destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others." When they heard it, they said, "9May it never be!"
17 But Jesus looked at them and said, "What then is this that is written: '10THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME 11THE CHIEF CORNER stone'?
18 "12Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever * it falls, it will scatter him like dust."

Tribute to Caesar

19 The scribes and the chief priests 13tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them.
20 14So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order 15that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of 16the 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 17to 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 18render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
26 And they were unable * to 19catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and being amazed at His answer, they became silent.

Is There a Resurrection?

27 20Now there came to Him some of the 21Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection ),
28 and they questioned Him, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that 22IF 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
31 and 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 23this age marry and are given in marriage,
35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to 24that 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 25sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
37 "But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in 26the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord 27THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB.
38 "28Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for 29all live to Him."
39 Some of the scribes answered and said, "Teacher, You have spoken well."
40 For 30they did not have courage to question Him any longer about anything.
41 31Then He said to them, "How is it that they say the Christ is 32David's son?
42 "For David himself says in the book of Psalms, '33THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
43 34UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET."'
44 "Therefore David calls Him 'Lord,' and how is He his son?"
45 35And while all the people were listening, He said to the disciples,
46 "Beware of the scribes, 36who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets,
47 who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."

Luke 20 Commentary

Chapter 20

The priests and scribes question Christ's authority. (1-8) The parable of the vineyard and husbandmen. (9-19) Of giving tribute. (20-26) Concerning the resurrection. (27-38) The scribes silenced. (39-47)

Verses 1-8 Men often pretend to examine the evidences of revelation, and the truth of the gospel, when only seeking excuses for their own unbelief and disobedience. Christ answered these priests and scribes with a plain question about the baptism of John, which the common people could answer. They all knew it was from heaven, nothing in it had an earthly tendency. Those that bury the knowledge they have, are justly denied further knowledge. It was just with Christ to refuse to give account of his authority, to those who knew the baptism of John to be from heaven, yet would not believe in him, nor own their knowledge.

Verses 9-19 Christ spake this parable against those who resolved not to own his authority, though the evidence of it was so full. How many resemble the Jews who murdered the prophets and crucified Christ, in their enmity to God, and aversion to his service, desiring to live according to their lusts, without control! Let all who are favoured with God's word, look to it that they make proper use of their advantages. Awful will be the doom, both of those who reject the Son, and of those who profess to reverence Him, yet render not the fruits in due season. Though they could not but own that for such a sin, such a punishment was just, yet they could not bear to hear of it. It is the folly of sinners, that they persevere in sinful ways, though they dread the destruction at the end of those ways.

Verses 20-26 Those who are most crafty in their designs against Christ and his gospel, cannot hide them. He did not give a direct answer, but reproved them for offering to impose upon him; and they could not fasten upon any thing wherewith to stir up either the governor or the people against him. The wisdom which is from above, will direct all who teach the way of God truly, to avoid the snares laid for them by wicked men; and will teach our duty to God, to our rulers, and to all men, so clearly, that opposers will have no evil to say of us.

Verses 27-38 It is common for those who design to undermine any truth of God, to load it with difficulties. But we wrong ourselves, and wrong the truth of Christ, when we form our notions of the world of spirits by this world of sense. There are more worlds than one; a present visible world, and a future unseen world; and let every one compare this world and that world, and give the preference in his thoughts and cares to that which deserves them. Believers shall obtain the resurrection from the dead, that is the blessed resurrection. What shall be the happy state of the inhabitants of that world, we cannot express or conceive, ( 1 Corinthians. 2:9 ) are entirely taken up therewith; when there is perfection of holiness there will be no occasion for preservatives from sin. And when God called himself the God of these patriarchs, he meant that he was a God all-sufficient to them, ( Genesis 17:1 ) , their exceeding great Reward, ( Genesis 15:1 ) . He never did that for them in this world, which answered the full extent of his undertaking; therefore there must be another life, in which he will do that for them, which will completely fulfil the promise.

Verses 39-47 The scribes commended the reply Christ made to the Sadducees about the resurrection, but they were silenced by a question concerning the Messiah. Christ, as God, was David's Lord; but Christ, as man, was David's son. The scribes would receive the severest judgement for defrauding the poor widows, and for their abuse of religion, particularly of prayer, which they used as a pretence for carrying on worldly and wicked plans. Dissembled piety is double sin. Then let us beg of God to keep us from pride, ambition, covetousness, and every evil thing; and to teach us to seek that honour which comes from him alone.

Cross References 36

  • 1. Luke 20:1-8: {Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33}
  • 2. Matthew 26:55
  • 3. Luke 8:1
  • 4. Acts 4:1; Acts 6:12
  • 5. Matthew 11:9; Luke 7:29, 30
  • 6. Luke 20:9-19: {Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12}
  • 7. Luke 18:2
  • 8. Matthew 21:41; Mark 12:9; Luke 19:27
  • 9. Rom 3:4, 6, 31; Romans 6:2, 15; Romans 7:7, 13; Romans 9:14; Romans 11:1, 11; 1 Corinthians 6:15; Galatians 2:17; Galatians 3:21; Galatians 6:14
  • 10. Psalms 118:22
  • 11. Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6
  • 12. Matthew 21:44
  • 13. Luke 19:47
  • 14. Luke 20:20-26: {Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17;} Mark 3:2
  • 15. Luke 11:54; Luke 20:26
  • 16. Matthew 27:2
  • 17. Matthew 17:25; Luke 23:2
  • 18. Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17
  • 19. Luke 11:54
  • 20. Luke 20:27-40: {Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27}
  • 21. Acts 23:8
  • 22. Deuteronomy 25:5
  • 23. Matthew 12:32; Luke 16:8
  • 24. Matthew 12:32; Luke 16:8
  • 25. Romans 8:16; 1 John 3:1, 2
  • 26. Mark 12:26
  • 27. Exodus 3:6
  • 28. Matthew 22:32; Mark 12:27
  • 29. Romans 14:8
  • 30. Matthew 22:46; Luke 14:6
  • 31. Luke 20:41-44: {Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37}
  • 32. Matthew 9:27
  • 33. Psalms 110:1
  • 34. Psalms 110:1
  • 35. Luke 20:45-47: {Matthew 23:1-7; Mark 12:38-40}
  • 36. Luke 11:43; Luke 14:7

Footnotes 20

Luke 20 Commentaries