Luke 20 The Day Of Questions

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Luke, New Testament

This chapter describes what is usually called the Day of Questions.
It was a day when the Jewish authorities, in all their different sections, came to Jesus with question after question designed to trap him, and when, in his wisdom, he answered them in such a way as routed them and left them speechless.

Jesus has turned over the tables in the Temple.
He has allowed and arranged for Himself to be called Messiah, King.
The religious leaders object.
They ask Jesus from where He has received authority.

There can be two possibilities here, and with people today.
They are asking b/c they are searching. They want to know the truth, so that they can follow and embrace the truth. Many people search for the truth of God with sincere hearts. When they ask questions, they are sincere. They do not have their minds made up ahead of time.
Others ask where Jesus received authority from b/c they want to challenge His right to have lordship over their lives. It is not a questioning of wanting to find truth. It is a questioning designed to disqualify Jesus from having to be accepted and obeyed.
Jesus asks them to examine and interpret the evidence made available to them. Instead of seeking the truth about the evidence presented to them, they worry about how they can maintain their positions of rulership over the people. They care not for truth; they care for maintaining the status quo. They don’t want to have to change for the sake of truth, so they avoid having to deal with a true search of their hearts. They pretend to be ignorant, but their silence is b/c they don’t want to face the truth.

A parable which describes what kind of people they were.
Certain man, the owner of the vineyard- God
Vineyard- Israel
Vinedressers- The religious leaders of Israel.
They neither created the vineyard, nor purchased it.
They were allowed to use it, and given a responsibility to use it.
Servants that get beaten-prophets
Beloved son- Jesus
This is a commentary on the nation of Israel, their history with the prophets, and how they were about to treat Jesus, The Son of God.
They protested in v. 16
KJV, RSV And when they heard it, they said, God forbid
NIV When the people heard this, they said, “May this never be!”

Those who heard the parable, realized the wickedness of those who killed the son.
They protested that it should not be that way.
But Jesus knew what was in their hearts, and told them that that was the truth, and that He was the rejected stone of men, but accepted by God.

Jesus instructs them from the “Hosanna Psalm” (Psalm 118:22-28), because the Messiah has been officially presented to Israel – and the hostility of the Jewish leaders shows that He is being rejected, even if He was initially greeted with hosannas

Jesus is often likened unto a stone or a rock in the Bible:
He is the rock of provision that followed Israel in the desert (1 Corinthians 10:4);
He is the stone of stumbling (1 Peter 2:8);
He is the stone cut without hands that crushes the kingdoms of this world (Daniel 2:45)

Anyone who comes to Jesus will be broken of their pride and self-will, but those who refuse to come will be crushed by Christ in judgment.

Jesus then claimed superiority over them. This infuriated them.
They saw themselves as the leaders.
They proved that He was right, b/c they immediately planned His death.
Even people who say they would never reject God, do reject Him.

Public opinion had kept them from laying hold of Jesus; so now they try to turn the tide of public opinion against Him, by making Jesus appear to side with the Roman government
Since the year 6 AD, the Jews were forced to pay taxes directly into the emperor’s treasury. Some Jewish patriots (the Zealots) refused, not wanting to recognize Roman rule as legitimate – but most others grudgingly paid it
They seemed to put Jesus on the horns of a dilemma: if He agrees the tax should be paid, He seems to deny the sovereignty of God over Israel (and will lose popular support) if He says that it should not be paid, He declares Himself an enemy of Rome (a dangerous proposition)
Again we see the same kind of questioning. Insincere, and veiled in religious verbage.
V. 20 They pretended to be righteous. People who are self-serving have to pretend to be comfortable around Jesus.
V. 21 They say religious things, but their motives are for self, and not for God.
Followers of Jesus have dual citizenship. One citizenship is temporary, the other is permanent. a. a. We owe certain things to both kingdoms. We must render our obligations to both kingdoms.
The only time we do not obey the kingdoms of man is when they contradict the kingdom of God.
They asked if they should obey man or God. The answer was: both. Usually people that ask that question, don’t want to obey man or God.
Jesus asked what image was on the coin.
That which bore the image of Caesar should be given to Caesar.
But that which bears the image of God should be given to God.

The Sadduccees were the liberal humanists. They did not believe in the resurrection, yet they insincerely asked about it.
Jesus responded in Matthew 22:29: Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not
knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.
Jesus corrects them and gives them even more than they wanted to hear. He is teaching them about the things of this life, that they might enter into the life of God, instead of practicing a self-designed religion. He corrects them that they might have life.
They answer with spiritual sounding words, but they are dead inside. If they had received what He said, the dialogue would have continued, that they might learn. But they did not want truth, they wanted their way.

Jesus goes on to show His divinity to all who will receive Him, and He warns against those who deceive the people b/c their hearts are hard.

Jesus asks a question: how can the Messiah be both the Son of David and the Lord of David?

With the questions of the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees to Jesus, they were trying to make Him look bad or trap Him. But Jesus does not do the same with His questions to them – He gets to the heart of the matter: “do you really know who I am?”

Jesus is testing their notion that they know all about the Messiah already; He is asking them to consider that they may not know all about the Messiah, and have something to learn – as we may as well

Jesus is not only the Son of David (a popular title) He is also the Lord of David; as Revelation 22:16 says, He is both the root and offspring of David

Jesus warns about the hypocrisy of the scribes

Long robes: the scribes are men of leisure, who watch while others work.
Love greetings: they demand recognition from others in their walk with God.
The best seats: they demand the “perks” of status and privilege.
Devour widows’ houses: they sin but excuse it because they are so “spiritual.”
For a pretense make long prayers: their relationship with God is far more show than substance

In that day, a Jewish teacher could not be paid for teaching – but he could receive gifts.
Apparently, many scribes used flattery and manipulation to get big gifts from those who could least afford to give them – such as widows

The Jews of Jesus’ day taught that teachers were to be respected almost as God; they said that they deserved more honor and respect than any other people in life.
They taught that the greatest act someone could do is give money to a teacher.
Of course, it was the teachers themselves who taught this!