Luke 20

1 And it came to pass, [that] on one of those days, as he was teaching the people in the temple, and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon [him], with the elders,
2 And spoke to him, saying, Tell us, By what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?
3 And he answered and said to them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:
4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men?
5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?
6 But if we say, From men; all the people will stone us: for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.
7 And they answered, that they could not tell whence [it was].
8 And Jesus said to them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.
9 Then he began to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it to husbandmen, and went into a far country 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: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent [him] away empty.
11 And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and treated [him] shamefully, and sent [him] away empty.
12 And again he sent the third: and they wounded him also, and cast [him] out.
13 Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be when they see him they will reverence him.
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.
15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed [him]. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do to them?
16 He will come and destroy these husbandmen, and will give the vineyard to others. And when they heard [it], they said, may that never be.
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?
18 Whoever shall fall upon that stone, shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
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.
20 And they watched [him], and sent forth spies, who should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him to the power and authority of the governor.
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:
22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Cesar, or not?
23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, Why tempt ye me?
24 Show me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Cesar's.
25 And he said to them, Render therefore to Cesar the things which are Cesar's, and to God the things which are God's.
26 And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marveled at his answer, and held their peace.
27 Then came to [him] certain of the Sadducees (who deny that there is any resurrection) and they asked him,
28 Saying, Master, Moses wrote to us, If any man's brother should die, having a wife, and he should die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed to his brother.
29 There were therefore seven brothers: and the first took a wife, and died without children.
30 And the second took her for a wife, and he died childless.
31 And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: And they left no children, and died.
32 Last of all the woman died also.
33 Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.
34 And Jesus answering, said to them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35 But they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.
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 are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.
39 Then certain of the scribes answering, said, Master, thou hast well said.
40 And after that, they durst not ask him any question at all.
41 And he said to them, How say they that Christ is David's son?
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 therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?
45 Then in the audience of all the people, he said to his disciples,
46 Beware of the scribes, who 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;
47 Who devour widows' houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same 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