Religious Leaders Question Christ’s Authority
Verse 1 – Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him
Verse 2 – and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”
In other words they asked, “What right do You have to throw out the moneychangers, perform miracles, and preach the gospel?”
Verse 3 – But He answered and said to them, “I will also ask you one thing, and answer Me:
Verse 4 – “The baptism of John – was it from heaven or from men?”
Verse 5 – And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
Verse 6 – “But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
There are many churches today that won’t give the pastor permission to preach the full gospel. Some will tell him to “Tone it down,” or, “We don’t believe that in this church.” They have boards set up that have to approve or disapprove everything. They take away the authority that is placed on a pastor. These priests and scribes are still active today.
Verse 7 – So they answered that they did not know where it was from.
Verse 8 – And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Parable of the Vineyard Owner
Verse 9 – Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time.
This is to be understood as the Lord settling the people of Israel in the land of Canaan. From the time of Moses and Joshua, when the first settlement was made, to the time of Christ, fourteen or fifteen hundred years, the owner of the land was absent.
Verse 10 – “Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
The Lord sent forth prophets and messengers, to bring forth fruits of righteousness. The Jews not only mocked these prophets and messengers of the Lord, but despised them and beat them.
Verse 11 – “Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed.
Verse 12 – “And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.
Verse 13 – “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.
Verse 14 – “But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’
The Jewish religious leaders did not kill Jesus to claim His inheritance, but rather to forcefully and finally reject Him as Messiah and heir to David’s throne.
Verse 15 – “So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
Verse 16 – “He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.” And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”
Verse 17 – And He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’?
Verse 18 – “Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
Jesus looks ahead to the Gentiles being added to God’s plan for His new covenant people, the church. This is one of Luke’s major focuses in his next book, the Acts of the Apostles. The people who are in the temple and hearing Jesus could not imagine God doing such a thing. Jesus is the cornerstone whom the builders, the religious leaders, rejected (Psalm 118: 22).
Verse 19 – And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people – for they knew that He had spoken this parable against them.
Verse 20 – So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.
Verse 21 – And they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You don not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God truly:
These spies, pretending to be honest and righteous, flattered Jesus before asking Him a trick question, hoping to catch Him off guard.
Verse 22 – “Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
Verse 23 – But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Why do you test Me?
Verse 24 – “Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” They answered and said, “Caesar’s.”
Verse 25 – And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Verse 26 – But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.
Give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, was a proper recognition of the legitimate role of human government in God’s plan. Jesus statement demonstrated that all facets of life have reference to God, including the need for us to submit to government rule.
Sadducees Question Resurrection
Verse 27 – Then some of the Sadducees, who deny there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him,
Verse 28 – saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.
Verse 29 – “Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife and died without children.
Verse 30 – “And the second took her as wife, and he died childless.
Verse 31 – “Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children and died.
Verse 32 – “Last of all the woman died also.
Verse 33 – “Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.”
Verse 34 – And Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage.
Verse 35 – “But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;
Verse 36 – “nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Heaven is not an extension of this life as we know it on earth. Our relationships tied to this life are limited by death. In heaven we will not marry or reproduce. As Christ is the Son of God by His resurrection, believers will be son’s of God by our resurrection to eternal life.
Verse 37 – “Now even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised when he called the Lord God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’
Verse 38 – “For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were dead to men, but not to God, because their spirit and souls were alive with Him. Remember, God calls things that are not, as though they were.
Christ Questions the Scribes
Verse 39 – Then some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.”
Verse 40 – But after that they dared not question Him anymore.
Verse 41 – And He said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s Son?
Verse 42 – “Now David himself said in the Book of Psalms, ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,
Verse 43 – till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ‘
Verse 44 – “David therefore calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”
In other words; How can He be both Lord and Son? The Pharisees knew that the Messiah would be a descendant of David, but they did not understand that He would be more than a human descendant – He was God in the flesh! Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1 to show that David knew that the Messiah would be both human and divine.
The point being: Whom do we say Jesus is? Other spiritual questions are irrelevant unless we first decide to believe Jesus is who He says He is.
Verse 45 – Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to the disciples,
Verse 46 – “Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts,
Verse 47 – “who devour widows houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”
Beware of rich evangelist who are always begging for money, but yet they themselves live like kings, never spending the money on anyone else but themselves. This is what the Sadducees and Pharisees did.