Luke 20

Those who question Christ’s authority, if they would but catechize themselves in the most evident principles of religion, will have their folly made manifest, for the evidence of His authority is complete and convincing. Those who are resolved not to recognize His authority, disowning Him as Lord of the Vineyard, will find themselves eventually thrown out of their lease, and stripped of all their title, for He will yet become the headstone of the corner.

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,

2 And spake unto 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 unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:

4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of 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 and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

7 And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.

8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

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.

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 entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.

12 And again he sent a 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 they will reverence him when they see 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 our’s.

15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?

16 He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

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 Whosoever 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, 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.

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 unto Caesar, or no?

23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?

24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.

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.

26 And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.

27 ¶ Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which 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 die without children, that his brother should take his 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 second took her to 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 unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:

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:

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.

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.

38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto 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 unto them, How say they that Christ is David’s son?

42 And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

43 Till I make thine 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 unto his disciples,

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;

47 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.

Luke 20:1-8 – ​The Unanswered Question

   When anyone has received a divine commission, he does not need to prove it. His credentials are written large upon his life and message. It was so with John the Baptist. There was no need for him to argue his claims. The crowds in the Jordan valley; the multitudes in the baptismal waters, were sufficient to attest him as God’s servant. What he said about God and sin found corroboration in their hearts. So it was with our Lord. The masses of people that followed Him and hung on His words had no doubt that He was the heir of the vineyard. The leaders professed to doubt it, because, to use the language of the parable that follows, they were reluctant to surrender their claims to the ownership of the vineyard. Probably, sufficient stress has not been laid upon the supreme intellectual power of our Lord, which shone out so clearly in these conflicts with Hebrew casuists, and in which He always came off conqueror, by the sheer force of His mind. “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 20:9-18 – ​“The Stone Which the Builders Rejected”

   The vineyard represents the privileges and blessings of the Hebrew race. The servants are evidently the prophets and others sent from God. Whatever our position in life, God expects a revenue from it. We are not owners, but tenants; not proprietors, but stewards. Are you sure that you are giving God the dues which He may justly claim?
   Notice how our Lord severs Himself from all human messengers, as the Son. When He said my beloved Son, He anticipated John 3:16. The warm kiss of the father’s love was on His cheek. He realized that He was the heir, Hebrews 1:2; Romans 8:17.
   It is said that in the building of Solomon’s Temple, a valuable carved stone was cast aside and neglected, till a part of the structure absolutely called for it. You may build society as you like, but there will come a time when Christ will be needed to give the finishing touch. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 20:19-26 – ​Tribute to Caesar and to God

   Fearing to touch Him themselves, and finding no foothold against Him according to the Mosaic law, His enemies sought to bring Christ into collision with the civil power. To do this, no hypocrisy was too mean.
   So poor was our Lord that He must needs ask them to furnish the penny. Caesar has a certain claim on us. He has earned certain rights of homage and tribute by preserving the good order of society and the safety of our persons; but there his authority ends. When he intrudes into the realm of conscience, he is a usurper. In that kingdom he has no claims whatever. 
   We must give Caesar his dues. They can be paid in the coin of earth’s mintage; but he has no claim on our conscience, faith, love. These bear the mint-mark of God, and to God they must be rendered. Ah, soul! Thou belongest to the great King; thou art stamped with His image and superscription! Give Him thyself! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 20:24—Whose image and superscription hath it?

​   Our Lord more than once compared men to coins. lie spoke of the woman who lost one piece of silver, and searched till she had found it. The analogy might be carried out in many particulars; for as the ore passes through the crucible, and many another process, before it is stamped with the image of the sovereign, so do souls experience many fiery trials ere they can receive and keep the impression of heaven’s mint, which is the face of Jesus.
   Whose image dost thou bear?—Is there a clear-cut outline of the features of Christ, so manifest that those who touch and handle you are irresistibly reminded of Him; or have the features of your King, which were once clear-cut, become effaced?
   Whose is thy superscription? Is A.D. there?—the year in which you were born into the kingdom of God, the year of our Lord, the year of your eternal life? Is “Dei gratis” there? (By the grace of God). So that all the while those who know you magnify the exceeding riches of his love as manifested in you. Is “Christus Rex” there? (Christ the King). Are you absolutely Christ’s—to serve and to obey? Is “Fid. Def.” there? (Defender of the Faith). Do you keep the deposit of Christ’s holy Gospel, as you look to Him to keep the deposit which you have committed to Him? Is the lion on the quarterings?—speaking of the strength of the Lion of Judah imparted to your soul. Is the harp amongst them? indicating the subjection of every string of your life to his finger. Is the crown there?—indicating how absolutely you have placed the empire of your nature upon the brow of your Lord. Then weave together the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley as the symbol of his reign. —Our Daily Homily

Luke 20:27-40 – ​The God of the Living 
   Here our Lord answers the materialism of His time. He speaks with the note of absolute certainty concerning the unseen, Hebrews 11:27. Its inhabitants do not die or marry, nor are they subject to the conditions of our earthly life. These are the children of the resurrection. What an inspiring title! May it be applied to us as in Colossians 3:1-4? Too many are “the children of this world,” Luke 20:34! They adopt this transient earth as their foster parent! We cannot belong to both, though some, like Bunyan’s waterman, row in one direction, while they look in another.
   How wonderful to find a proof of immortality in that passage about the bush, Exodus 3:6! The fact that Jehovah said, “I am… the God of Abraham,” proved that the patriarch was in existence somewhere at that moment. Those whom we describe as dead are living people who have died. Death is but a passage, a step. There is no break in the chain of existence. Yonder and here all live unto God, Romans 14:8. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 20:41-47 – ​David’s Lord Testing Men and Women 
   It was the Master’s turn to question. As man, He was David’s descendant and son; as the Son of God, He was his Lord. Though it sealed His doom, our Lord tore the veil from before these hypocrites, that when He had passed, His followers might be warned against these sunken rocks, Jude 12. —Through the Bible Day by Day