The Authority of Jesus
1 Now one day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the gospel, the chief priests and the experts in the law with the elders came up 2 and said to him, “Tell us: By what authority are you doing these things? Or who it is who gave you this authority?” 3 He answered them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell me: 4 John’s baptism – was it from heaven or from people?” 5 So they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From people,’ all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 So they replied that they did not know where it came from. 8 Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by whose authority I do these things.”
The Parable of the Tenants
9 Then he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey for a long time. 10 When harvest time came, he sent a slave to the tenants so that they would give him his portion of the crop. However, the tenants beat his slave and sent him away empty-handed. 11 So he sent another slave. They beat this one too, treated him outrageously, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 So he sent still a third. They even wounded this one, and threw him out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I will send my one dear son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir; let’s kill him so the inheritance will be ours!’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “May this never happen!” 17 But Jesus looked straight at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? 18 Everyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls will be crushed.” 19 Then the experts in the law and the chief priests wanted to arrest him that very hour, because they realised he had told this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
Paying Taxes to Caesar
20 Then they watched him carefully and sent spies who pretended to be sincere. They wanted to take advantage of what he might say so that they could deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21 Thus they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach correctly, and show no partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22 Is it right for us to pay the tribute tax to Caesar or not?” 23 But Jesus perceived their deceit and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 So he said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 Thus they were unable in the presence of the people to trap him with his own words. And stunned by his answer, they fell silent.
Marriage and the Resurrection
27 Now some Sadducees (who contend that there is no resurrection) came to him. 28 They asked him, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies leaving a wife but no children, that man must marry the widow and father children for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died without children. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in this same way all seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally the woman died too. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For all seven had married her.”
34 So Jesus said to them, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are regarded as worthy to share in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 In fact, they can no longer die, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, since they are sons of the resurrection. 37 But even Moses revealed that the dead are raised in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live before him.” 39 Then some of the experts in the law answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well!” 40 For they did not dare any longer to ask him anything.
The Messiah: David’s Son and Lord
41 But he said to them, “How is it that they say that the Christ is David’s son? 42 For David himself says in the book of Psalms,
‘The Lord said to my lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
43 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’
44 If David then calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?”
Jesus Warns the Disciples against Pride
45 As all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the experts in the law. They like walking around in long robes, and they love elaborate greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ property, and as a show make long prayers. They will receive a more severe punishment.”
C H Spurgeon
Luke 20:9. Then began he to speak to the people this parable, A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husband-men, and went into a far country for a long time.
It is a long time since Jesus left us, and he has not yet returned. Many say that he is coming back very soon; others say, “The Lord delay his coming.”
Luke 20:10-11. And at the season he sent a servant to the husband-men, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard but the husband-men beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.
They grow bolder, and more wicked, you see; first beating, and then adding shameful treatment to their former cruelty. Men do not come to ridicule religion, and persecute its advocates, all at once; this is an art which Satan teaches by degrees.
Luke 20:12. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.
They are more violent this time; it comes to actual wounding, and to casting out the servant.
Luke 20:13. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do?
A strange thing happens when the Lord himself comes to pass, and says, “What shall I do?” Here is infinite wisdom, as it were, at a non-plus; and in that extremity this is the Lord’s last expedient: —
Luke 20:13-15. I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husband-men saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
You know the story how this beloved Son of the Highest was all love and pity; and yet, with cruel hands, men cast him out of God’s ancient vineyard, and crucified him, hoping that they should be allowed to remain lords of God’s heritage.
Luke 20:15. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?
What punishment can be sufficient to expiate such a crime? What vengeance will be poured out upon those who have killed him who came to do them good?
Luke 20:16. He shall come and destroy these husband-men, and shall give the vineyard to others.
And he did so; he scattered abroad the Jews, and gave the kingdom, for a while at least, unto the Gentiles, and they hear the gospel which the Jesus refused.
Luke 20:16. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.
That is exactly what you and I would say, for we, too, have ill-treated the blessed Lord of the vineyard and his beloved Son. Lest we should have the heritage taken from us, let us yield up the fruit to him who has the best right to it all.