Luke 20

1 And it came to pass that on one of the days, as he was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes, with the ancients, met together,
2 And spoke to him, saying: Tell us, by what authority dost thou these things? Or, who is he that hath given thee this authority?
3 And Jesus answering, said to them: I will also ask you one thing. Answer me:
4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?
5 But they thought within themselves, saying: If we shall say, From heaven: he will say: Why then did you not believe in him?
6 But if we say, of men: the whole people will stone us. For they are persuaded that John was a prophet.
7 And they answered that they knew not whence it was.
8 And Jesus said to them: Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.
9 And he began to speak to the people this parable: A certain man planted a vineyard and let it out to husbandmen: and he was abroad for a long time.
10 And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard. Who, beating him, sent him away empty.
11 And again he sent another servant. But they beat him also and, treating him reproachfully, sent him away empty.
12 And again he sent the third: and they wounded him also and cast him out.
13 Then the lord of the vineyard said: What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. It may be, when they see him, they will reverence him.
14 Whom, when the husbandmen saw, they thought within themselves, saying: This is the heir. Let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.
15 So casting him out of the vineyard, they killed him. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do to them?
16 He will come and will destroy these husbandmen and will give the vineyard to others. Which they hearing, said to him: God forbid.
17 But he looking on them, said: What is this then that is written, The stone, which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?
18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be bruised: and upon whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
19 And the chief priests and the scribes sought to lay hands on him the same hour: but they feared the people, for they knew that he spoke this parable to them.
20 And being upon the watch, they sent spies, who should feign themselves just, that they might take hold of him in his words, that they might deliver him up to the authority and power of the governor.
21 And they asked him, saying: Master, we know that thou speakest and teachest rightly: and thou dost not respect any person, but teachest the way of God in truth.
22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or no?
23 But he, considering their guile, said to them: Why tempt you me?
24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and inscription hath it? They answering, said to him: Caesar’s.
25 And he said to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things, that are Caesar’s: and to God the things that are God’s.
26 And they could not reprehend his word before the people: and wondering at his answer, they held their peace.
27 And there came to him some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is any resurrection: and they asked him,
28 Saying: Master, Moses wrote unto us: If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he leave no children, that his brother should take her to wife and raise up seed unto his brother.
29 There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife and died without children.
30 And the next took her to wife: and he also died childless.
31 And the third took her. And in like manner, all the seven: and they left no children and died.
32 Last of all the woman died also.
33 In the resurrection therefore, whose wife of them shall she be? For all the seven had her to wife.
34 And Jesus said to them: The children of this world marry and are given in marriage:
35 But they that shall be accounted worthy of that world and of the resurrection from the dead shall neither be married nor take wives.
36 Neither can they die any more for they are equal to the angels and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
37 Now that the dead rise again, Moses also shewed at the bush, when he called the Lord: The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.
38 For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.
39 And some of the scribes answering, said to him: Master, thou hast said well.
40 And after that they durst not ask him any more questions.
41 But he said to them: How say they that Christ is the son of David?
42 And David himself saith in the book of Psalms: The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand,
43 Till I make thy enemies thy footstool.
44 David then calleth him Lord. And how is he his son?
45 And in the hearing of all the people, he said to his disciples:
46 Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes and love salutations in the market place and the first chairs in the synagogues and the chief rooms at feasts:
47 Who devour the houses of widows, feigning long prayer. These shall receive greater damnation.

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.

Luke 20 Commentaries