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Luke Chapter 20

Posted by adventbiblestudy on February 4, 2015


Luke Chapter 20

Luke 20:1-47 NLTse One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. (2) They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?” (3) “Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. (4) “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” (5) They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. (6) But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” (7) So they finally replied that they didn’t know. (8) And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.” (9) Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. (10) At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. (11) So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. (12) A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away. (13) “‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’ (14) “But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ (15) So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him. “What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?” Jesus asked. (16) “I’ll tell you–he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.” “How terrible that such a thing should ever happen,” his listeners protested. (17) Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture mean? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ (18) Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.” (19) The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them–they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction. (20) Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent spies pretending to be honest men. They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus. (21) “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. (22) Now tell us–is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (23) He saw through their trickery and said, (24) “Show me a Roman coin. Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. (25) “Well then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” (26) So they failed to trap him by what he said in front of the people. Instead, they were amazed by his answer, and they became silent. (27) Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees–religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. (28) They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. (29) Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. (30) So the second brother married the widow, but he also died. (31) Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children. (32) Finally, the woman also died. (33) So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!” (34) Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth. (35) But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. (36) And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection. (37) “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised–even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ (38) So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.” (39) “Well said, Teacher!” remarked some of the teachers of religious law who were standing there. (40) And then no one dared to ask him any more questions. (41) Then Jesus presented them with a question. “Why is it,” he asked, “that the Messiah is said to be the son of David? (42) For David himself wrote in the book of Psalms: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand (43) until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.’ (44) Since David called the Messiah ‘Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” (45) Then, with the crowds listening, he turned to his disciples and said, (46) “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. (47) Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.”

By What Authority

Luke 20:1-8 NLTse One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. (2) They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?” (3) “Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. (4) “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” (5) They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. (6) But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” (7) So they finally replied that they didn’t know. (8) And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Jesus’ plan worked perfectly. As Jesus stood in the spot occupied by the sacrificial lambs, sheep, goats, and bulls the day before, all the religious leaders, teachers of the law, and Pharisees stood high on the opposite side of the temple court. The sudden disruption of income ensured all of them would be in the courtyard to get operations up and running for the prosperous Passover celebration,

People of all classes gathered around. Jesus’ disciples stood closest to him, not knowing what to think of the scene. A few of His disciples wandered back to the main gate where they got a better look at the scene. From there they could witness the contrast between Jesus taking the place of those sacrificial animals and those religious leaders standing high above everyone on a landing at the top of granite steps. The scene brought scripture to memory. If you use stones to build my altar, use only natural, uncut stones. Do not shape the stones with a tool, for that would make the altar unfit for holy use. And do not approach my altar by going up steps. If you do, someone might look up under your clothing and see your nakedness. (Exodus 20:25-26 NLTse).

The lack of animals didn’t make the courtyard any quieter. People exchanged stories about when they heard Jesus teach and saw Him heal. Others gossiped while mothers took their children to Jesus for a blessing, and the sick crowed close to Him to be healed. After viewing the scene below for some time, a procession of priests, teachers, Pharisees, and other religious leaders started down the steps.

It was so quiet, people could feel their own hearts beat. No one had ever seen all those religious factions together before. And now they were heading towards Jesus. Everyone knew something was up. What, was anyone’s guess.

The crowd opened up as those religious leaders made their way across the court. They looked at their opening as a symbol. They thought is was like the opening of the Red Sea, a sure sign of victory over this man who’d been plaguing them for so long. Now He was on their hallowed ground where they knew God would be with them. They couldn’t have asked for a better plan.

Once we look at the key words highlighted, we can easily see teaching a a big part of this chapter. We may call it the battle of the teachers. Religious teachers on one side and Jesus on the other. Then there is the spiritual battle behind the scene. You don’t think Satan stopped influencing people after those Jewish leaders lost favor with God? That was only one little part in Satan’s ongoing plan to discredit Jesus. It’s character assassination. Satan will do it a little or a lot at a time. He looks at his work as a victory when he can deceive one soul.

The beginning of the story deals with authority. It is a battle over authority with a group of religious leaders facing off against Jesus to see who has the authority to teach. Sounds like an important subject and it is. This was a battle to show the world if religious leaders or Jesus has the authority to teach.

As I hope you’ve seen in this book, my goal is to teach people different methods to study God’s Word, communicate with Him, draw into a closer relationship with God, and learn to go the Him for answers. There were two people, or one person and one group identified as teachers in the Gospels. The other is Jesus. Here Luke referred to those religious teachers as teachers of the law. This is an important factor when you consider the fact, they taught about the law, but knew nothing about God’s personality.

It’s strange to think, Jesus made an advance, that is to say, drew battle lines in that temple court when He faced off against multiple religious groups. Ordinarily those religious groups argued with one another and couldn’t agree on hardly any subjects. But something brought them together when Jesus came into Herod’s temple.

That wasn’t the only unity in that courtyard that contained more Jewish factions and beliefs than the variety of sacrificial animals and birds usually occupying that section of the temple. Jesus and their faith brought people from all over the region together. They were all there to learn. That left two major groups in that courtyard, those who came to learn, and those who came to debate.

That group of religious leaders wanted to get business up and running as quickly as possible. The gates were supposed to be locked until the courtyard was cleaned and repaired. They could have directly accused Jesus of breaking and entering, disrupting business, property damage, and even held Him responsible for money people picked up from the temple floor. But they didn’t. That’s something to contemplate. Something to think about on your own.

The quickest way to put an end to the scene Jesus created was to challenge His authority. Their fine dress and the fact they ran operations in the temple was enough to prove the authority of the priests, elders, Pharisees, teachers, and other factions. But what proof did Jesus have other than His word? And maybe those miracles those religious leaders constantly questioned.

Jesus prayed long and hard about this day. He knew what He was sent to Jerusalem to accomplish. He also knew His time was short, and His disciples were not learning like expected. Jesus had human expectations just like we do. Tell someone something that amazes you and what’s the reaction? People look at you like your nuts or something. Imagine going through that for thirty years. Did Jesus ever get used to that feeling?

Jesus had one thing going for Him. He never gave up on God’s Spirit. It was a life preserving connection. Jesus felt like He would die if He lost connection for one minute. Connecting with God’s Spirit was as important as breathing, or a beating heart. Jesus tried to teach that in parables this world still can’t understand. A few people get it. But most are too busy using the Bible to come up with strange interpretations of prophecy, or searching for a verse or two supporting each of their doctrines. What else is the Bible good for other than supporting human concepts and ideas? They are using God’s Word in every manner contrary to what Jesus taught.

God’s Spirit told Jesus what to say, and as usual, Jesus followed orders. Jesus answered their question with a question. “Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”

People look at this question without really knowing the answer. But that doesn’t stop them from preaching on this subject. What did John accomplish by baptizing people? Sad to see, Satan’s been able to use this simple process to cause divisions. Now look at the scene. Jesus on one side and religious leaders from different factions on the other side. Those religious leaders disagreed on as many subjects in Jesus’ day as they continue to do today. Jesus not only confused the religious leaders in front of Him, He used one subject He knew the enemy was going to use as a weapon to ask a question, and teach a lesson. United groups will continue to fall for the deception of division.

What would have been the outcome if those religious leaders understand John’s baptism? What would have happened if those religious leaders agreed on a simple subject like baptism with the same dedication that brought them together to put an end to Jesus and His ministry? This is also an acted parable telling what will happen to John’s baptism once new religious leaders got a hold of it. “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” They all turned it into something merely human by allowing such a subject to create segregation, bigotry, and hatred throughout the world. Souls are dying everyday while religious leaders speculate and dictate steps, rules, and regulations for baptism. Like those religious leaders gathered in front of Jesus, not one of those religious leaders will be able to provide an answer when Jesus asks them to explain their actions. And they will never know the extend of Jesus’ authority. If everyone learned to listen to God’s Spirit like Jesus did, we wouldn’t see the problems and disagreements we see today.

Leased a Vineyard to Tenants

Luke 20:9-19 NLTse Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. (10) At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. (11) So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. (12) A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away. (13) “‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’ (14) “But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ (15) So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him. “What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?” Jesus asked. (16) “I’ll tell you–he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.” “How terrible that such a thing should ever happen,” his listeners protested. (17) Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture mean? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ (18) Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.” (19) The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them–they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction.

After praying about this parable for a day, I finally got the message to look at it from the end to the beginning. The religious teachers understood the parable was about them. That showed God’s Spirit was reaching them. There wasn’t a problem with the transmission of the signal. The problem was on the receiving end. Something had to be fixed before the message could be completed.

Those religious teachers were stumbling all over that stone. But they couldn’t see it at the time. They didn’t see it when Jesus was out in the wilderness teaching. They couldn’t see that when they questioned the way He healed, and they couldn’t see themselves stumbling in the courtyard.

Whenever we see Old Testament texts quoted in the New Testament, we need to look back to see what the author is pointing to. Especially when Jesus quoted scripture. Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will go in and thank the LORD. These gates lead to the presence of the LORD, and the godly enter there. I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory! The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success. Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD. (Psalms 118:19-26 NLTse).

Another important Bible Study rule is, when you see scripture quoted by an author, always look up the original texts. An inspired writer will only quote a small portion of scripture. Just enough to point you back to the original texts. It’s your job to open up and read the original texts. And remember to check to introduction and summation for the chapter the original scripture is located. This a a major way God uses to communicate with us. An easy way to locate the original texts is to use a chain reference in a Study Bible. Or you can use the TSK (Treasury of Scripture Knowledge) you can download and use with E-Sword, and other Bible computer programs.

Now we can see how God’s power opened the gates to the temple. After Jesus disrupted business inside the temple walls, religious leaders ordered the gates locked until repairs could be completed. Work could progress a lot quicker without people wandering around. When Jesus approached those locked and heavily guarded gates, God’s Spirit opened the way, fulfilling the prophecy written by David generations ago.

This was the first time God’s temple entered Herod’s temple in such a dramatic way. Opening those gates should have sent those religious teachers back to David’s Psalm. To make sure they didn’t miss the message, Jesus quoted adjacent scripture.

We see another reference to this event in the introduction to Psalms 118. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Let all Israel repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests, repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” Let all who fear the LORD repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” (Psalms 118:1-4 NLTse). Jesus also wanted them to see this portion of the message. Jesus wanted those priests to see God calling them. Look at how the introduction to Psalms 118 compares to the introduction in Luke 20.

One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?” Look at the connection between faithfulness and authority. When we are faithful to Christ, we have to respect His authority as well as know the boundless extents of that authority.

What told those religious teachers that parable was about them? Did they see the priesthood was about to be taken from them and given to others? Did they see Jesus knew they were about to cast out God’s Son, beat and kill Him? Their minds were focused on plans to kill Jesus. How could they miss the connection? What did they think when Jesus showed, He knew their plans?

Jesus already told them how wicked they were. Jesus told them how their ancestors killed the prophets. Did the religious leaders see how the landlord’s servants represented God’s prophets? Did they see how the farmer’s greed represented their own? Did they see how that vineyard represented the world those priests were supposed to be working to save?

When we look at the work the land owner put into that vineyard, we see a correlation to God’s creation. Every vine was planted by hand. The vines were trained, pruned, and cared for. The owner carried water in dry times and worries about them in seasons of extreme heat and cold. The owner built a wall to protect all the crops. He dug a well to provide water whenever it was needed. He built a tower to look out over all the land for any kind of danger. He also build a house for the tenants to live in. He gave them everything they needed. Why couldn’t the religious teachers of the law see that part of the parable? Why couldn’t they see, God gave them everything?

Should We Pay Taxes

Luke 20:20-26 NLTse Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent spies pretending to be honest men. They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus. (21) “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. (22) Now tell us–is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (23) He saw through their trickery and said, (24) “Show me a Roman coin. Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. (25) “Well then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” (26) So they failed to trap him by what he said in front of the people. Instead, they were amazed by his answer, and they became silent.

The last parable ended with those religious leaders, referred to as teachers, finally figuring out Jesus’ parables were pointed at them. That should have been a good sign. It showed God’s Spirit was making contact with them to some extent.

Those religious leaders took that parable in a negative way based on the fact, they shut out God’s Spirit and interpreted it on their own. A sign of what happens whenever men rely on their own wisdom which is always influenced by the world around them.

Those religious leaders went a step further. They wanted to trap Jesus, or at least get Him to say something they could debate. They had to carefully choose a subject. Looking at Jesus, and based on the fact they were at the temple that day to get their business up and running, money seemed to be the perfect subject.

At first their plan seemed to work. Jesus had to borrow a penny to make a point. They smiled from ear to ear when Jesus showed that crowd how poor He was. Jesus’ answer wasn’t at all what they expected. Those religious leaders who planned everything so carefully didn’t see that answer coming. Thinking they led Jesus into the perfect inescapable trap, fell in that trap themselves. The wicked conceive evil; they are pregnant with trouble and give birth to lies. They dig a deep pit to trap others, then fall into it themselves. The trouble they make for others backfires on them. The violence they plan falls on their own heads. I will thank the LORD because he is just; I will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. (Psalms 7:14-17 NLTse).

That wasn’t the only scripture their trap pointed to. When we look deeper, their trap pointed to a prophecy about Jesus. You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace. You see all that my enemies are doing. Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst. Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare and their prosperity become a trap. Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and make their bodies shake continually. (Psalms 69:19-23 NLTse).

Taxes are a very touchy subject that’s not discussed much in the Bible. Rome wasn’t the only one imposing taxes on people. Those religious leaders introduced a long list of taxes they invented. One of those other taxes is mentioned in the account of Jesus cleaning the temple. Those tables He over turned were set up to exchange Roman coins for temple shekels for a fee of course. Jesus used the opportunity to point out another man made tradition God considered a sin.

Taxes point us back to the previous chapter. A very good contrast to this lesson. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who changed His ways. He listened to Jesus and changed His life around. Those Pharisees were also at Zacchaeus’ home. They saw that transformation.

Nothing seemed to effect those religious leaders. Nothing Jesus did, no matter how hard He tried to reach them, and God’s Spirit tried to reach them, they just wouldn’t budge. They were set in their ways and that was it.

Compare this event to the introduction in this chapter. See the lesson? The first battle was for authority. Those religious leaders showed how money was their main factor to show authority. Look at the contrast of how they were dressed compared to Jesus. Look how Jesus had to borrow a penny to make a point. Their reliance on money was so strong, it blinded them to the banquet spread in front of them. Instead of feasting on Jesus’ words, they rejected them. Now you can see why Jesus used financial matters as examples to turn down the invitation to the wedding feast. It happened then and it still happens today.

The word taxes is found only once in the Old Testament. Taxes are one of the few links to identify the forth beast in Daniel. “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. But after a very brief reign, he will die, though not from anger or in battle. “The next to come to power will be a despicable man who is not in line for royal succession. He will slip in when least expected and take over the kingdom by flattery and intrigue. Before him great armies will be swept away, including a covenant prince. With deceitful promises, he will make various alliances. He will become strong despite having only a handful of followers. (Daniel 11:20-23 NLTse).

A close study of Daniel 11 with show the chapter begins with the reign of Darius the Mede which was the second world kingdom. The vision moves into a battle between the second and third world power. Then introduced another factor, the forth kingdom, and its transformation from one type of power to another, like Daniel said, “unlike the others.”

There is so much information in this short event that took place in the courtyard, we can’t help but see how this illustrated one important lesson. This shows what happens when people proceed based on their own knowledge and what happens when someone, Jesus in this case, follows God’s Spirit. If you can’t see how God’s Spirit saw this test coming, your not paying attention. This is only a small list of details God’s Spirit took and turned into a blessing. A number of messages revealing a vast array of information. God’s Spirit accomplished so much by simply introducing a few key words related to scripture recorded generations before those religious leaders invented their trap. If that is not proof of a living, all knowing, Infinite God, I don’t know what is.

Whose Wife Will She Be

Luke 20:27-40 NLTse Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees–religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. (28) They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. (29) Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. (30) So the second brother married the widow, but he also died. (31) Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children. (32) Finally, the woman also died. (33) So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!” (34) Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth. (35) But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. (36) And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection. (37) “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised–even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ (38) So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.” (39) “Well said, Teacher!” remarked some of the teachers of religious law who were standing there. (40) And then no one dared to ask him any more questions.

It may be difficult to see a relationship between the last question about taxes and this one about the resurrection. But Luke provided that connection in the form of another contrast. Jesus was approached by some Sadducees–religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. Those religious leaders moved from a subject they considered themselves experts on, which was money, to a subject they disagreed on, or at least one they had little or no knowledge about because they rejected the concept.

Have you ever been in a debate with a so called Christian about some doctrine? What usually happens? They present their side of the issue, if you don’t agree, they change the subject. They usually quote a few texts they’ve memorized, something about prophets. They try to establish themselves as prophets like they have some power reserved only for themselves. If that doesn’t work, they throw in a text or two suggesting your controlled by the devil. Or they end up quoting some texts to make you think you’ll miss out on eternal life if you don’t believe exactly like them.

The way that story about seven dead brothers is constructed to show how people create unbelievable stories to make their point about doctrine. In this case, the story showed how those religious leaders used a subject they didn’t understand to try and throw Jesus off guard. What would those religious leaders do if Jesus tried to explain the resurrection? What would they have done if Jesus agreed with their concepts about the dead? We could speculate all day. The fact of the matter is, lack of planning placed them in a position there was no right or wrong answer in this situation. Of course that is based on the fact the question came from a religious group that didn’t believe in the resurrection. Were they planning on using a few choice texts like people use today when you don’t agree with their doctrine?

Jesus also showed how He avoided doctrine. Jesus didn’t try to explain how He was the only path to the resurrection leading to eternal life. Or without Him, a resurrection to eternal death. Jesus waited patiently for an answer from God’s Spirit. Once again, Jesus pointed them back to scripture. Jesus sent them to Moses and the burning bush.

Once again, Jesus sent them to scripture that should have taught them a lesson. Did they bother to think about that lesson? What did God tell Moses to do? Free the slaves in Egypt. That’s what those religious leaders were supposed to be doing – freeing people. But their questions showed what they thought was more important. They not only misunderstood the resurrection, they misunderstood their roles as priests and religious leaders. They couldn’t see the freedom standing in front to them.

LORD Said to My Lord

Luke 20:41-44 NLTse Then Jesus presented them with a question. “Why is it,” he asked, “that the Messiah is said to be the son of David? (42) For David himself wrote in the book of Psalms: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand (43) until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.’ (44) Since David called the Messiah ‘Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?”

Jesus waited a long time before continuing. You could cut the tension in that courtyard with a knife. People waited for the next religious leader to step forward with a question. But it was Jesus’ turn to ask a question. Jesus asked a question about David. When we pay attention to the translation here, we notice Lord is either written with all capital letters, or only the first letter capitalized. Some people may ask why. We have to look at the original translation for the answer. As usual, we can use the KJV+ version with Strong’s numbers.

Here is a Bible Study step you want to learn:

I use a free Bible Study program called E-Sword. With this free program, you can add a number of free Bibles. One you have to download is called the KJV+. This is the version containing Strong’s numbers and works with the Strong Concordance, a very important Bible Study tool containing Hebrew and Greek dictionaries. In this example, I looked up the word Herod in the KVJ+, looked at the Strong’s number to find it was the name of four kings in Jerusalem. One of the Bibles you may want to buy is the NLTse (New Living Translation, second edition).

In this case, we have no other choice but to look at the original Hebrew to see the lesson. We have to look up the Text Jesus quoted.

A PsalmH4210 of David.H1732 The LORDH3068 saidH5002 unto my Lord,H113 SitH3427 thou at my right hand,H3225 untilH5704 I makeH7896 thine enemiesH341 thy footstool.H1916 H7272

(Psalms 110:1 KJV+)

H3068 יהוה yehôvâh yeh-ho-vaw’

From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: – Jehovah, the Lord. Compare H3050, H3069.

H113אדן אדון ‘âdôn ‘âdôn aw-done’, aw-done’

From an unused root (meaning to rule); sovereign, that is, controller (human or divine): – lord, master, owner. Compare also names beginning with “Adoni-”.

We can see the difference when we look up the original Hebrew. LORD refers to God. Lord refers to one that rules. Looking at the original texts, we see God was talking to one that ruled. The question is, was God talking to David as king, or to Jesus? The answer is both. God talked to David in his lifetime. The prophecy also talked to Jesus. Why didn’t the prophecy say anything to those religious leaders?

Beware of Those Teachers

Luke 20:45-47 NLTse Then, with the crowds listening, he turned to his disciples and said, (46) “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. (47) Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.”

This chapter ended with a warning from Jesus. After showing what influenced those religious leaders, He explained details so clear, no one could misunderstand. Jesus used widows as a symbol to show how far those religious leaders will go to make money. They would stop at nothing. Not only did they neglect their duty to free people from the bondage of this world, they enslaved people by taking advantage of them.

This is the part of the study I love, looking back at all the lessons to draw a conclusion on what they have in common. This is one of the most important chapters to look at the common thread. These are some of the last lessons Jesus was going to teach. He had to reach this world before leaving it.

We see the biggest lesson by comparing the introduction to the summation. We can tell by the summation, Jesus didn’t change those religious leaders. Jesus told His disciples to, “Beware of these teachers of religious law!” When we compare that to the introduction, we can see why. This chapter began like the day began for Jesus, with a battle for authority. Even after being defeated a number of times on a variety of subjects, most of them carefully chosen by those religious teachers, they still questioned Jesus’ authority. They still claimed they had authority and were God’s teachers on earth. This was a battle of more than authority. It was a battle to show the world who is God’s chosen vessel of communication. Was it the religious order, or Jesus, God’s Son? That question exists today and is still contested.

God’s Spirit was trying to reach those religious teachers, but they resisted Him. They understood small parts about the parable Jesus told. They could see the evil tenants represented them, but they couldn’t understand how the owner’s servants represented God’s prophets, and the son represented Jesus. Even thought the events lined up, they couldn’t get their minds around the issue. That shows how religious teachers are able to see a small portion of a parable, story, lesson, or prophecy, but not the entire picture. What they teach may sound good. As a matter of fact, if you carefully listen, you’ll see how their lesson begins with a few true facts, then quickly goes into a series of opinions, not really related to the subject, nor the Bible. The sequence they use is a little trick to get people with little knowledge of God’s Word, and no relationship with His Spirit to follow them. Today we still have religious teachers claiming authority where they have none.

Also note, those religious leaders weren’t the only people who didn’t understand. Jesus’ disciples still had problems understanding. The big difference was, at least the disciples were listening to Jesus. But they had a problem understanding authority. The disciples understood Jesus was in charge. That was no problem. But they thought they were obviously next in line. Their concept of Jesus’ ministry was as messed up as the religious teacher’s understanding of the resurrection.

The conversation moved from a parable about evil tenants in a vineyard to taxes. Those religious teachers showed why they couldn’t understand all of that simple parable. Their minds were clouded by money. All of these lessons showed how a half-hearted effort to serve God is caused, as well as the results. God used an extreme measure to teach this lesson – those people wanted to kill His Son. They did kill His Son. They not only killed Him, but demanded the most cruel punishment on the face of the earth. Those religious teachers not only stood there and watched, they intentionally cast aside law after law to get their way. They convinced people to lie. They lied themselves. Once their course was set, there was no stopping them. Those religious teachers were bound by a force greater than that army of demons that possessed the man on the Gentile side of the lake. Did those demons parish with those pigs, or did they find new homes on the Jewish side of the lake?

On the other side of the courtyard, we find not only Jesus, but His disciples. One of them let money get the best of him. Jesus said He had a devil in him. For thirty pieces of silver, he turned Jesus over to His enemies. Money forms bonds and relationships, but not the type God is looking for.

The other disciples were as poor as Jesus. They gave up a lot to follow Him, and Jesus asked for more. We can’t be certain why His disciples had such a difficult time learning, and understanding all the parables and lessons Jesus taught, until after He came back from the grave. All we can do is look at those two examples – the disciples and religious teachers, and ask which group we’re closest to.

Looking back at the parable Jesus explained, the one about the farmer and the seeds he scattered, we can see how Jesus worked to teach people how to go to God’s Spirit. Jesus told them, those parables will led them to God’s Kingdom. We get there when we sit at God’s throne and allow Him to explain spiritual details about the parables. As long as we maintain access to God’s Kingdom, we’re able to learn, we maintain the ability to change at God’s will. But when we sever that connection, we loose more than we can imagine. That connection is cut whenever we place someone between us and God. And that happens everyday in just about every religion. The vast majority of religious teachers today are fighting with Jesus for authority. The authority they are fighting for is a symbol of the path Jesus opened to God’s throne. And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. (Hebrews 10:19-27 NLTse).

There has never been another religious leader who died to open a path to God’s throne. Then why is most of the world following another path, and not the one Jesus paved with His life?

One Response to “Luke Chapter 20”

  1. adventbiblestudy said

    Sorry about the changing font sizes. It seems the combination of colors makes the convertor on this site go nuts.

    Like

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