Luke Chapter 20

November 4, 2010

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of Luke. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

or you can watch it below:

Luke Chapter 20 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Luke 20:1-47 (NIV)
1 One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?” 3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me, 4 John’s baptism–was it from heaven, or from men?” 5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.” 8 Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” 9 He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. 13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and 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 kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “May this never be!” 17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone’? 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” 19 The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people. 20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21 So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?” 25 “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent. 27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” 34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” 39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions. 41 Then Jesus said to them, “How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David? 42 David himself declares 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 David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” 45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.”

In Luke 19 the idea of the cost of being a disciple was developed. The ultimate cost of being a disciple is obedience, and yet true discipleship is not really costly, it is great gain!

As the rest of Luke unfolds we will be looking at two more costs. The cost of choosing not to follow Jesus, and the cost to Jesus of the new life He came to bring to us.
Luke 20 starts illustrating the cost of not following Jesus. The decision not to follow Jesus is a tragedy. At the end of Luke 19 Jesus wept over the destruction that was coming to Jerusalem for rejecting Jesus as their King, as their Messiah.

His tears demonstrate His concern for lost people, and at the same time as He enters Jerusalem he expels those who were defiling God’s house. Jesus cares about people, but He is also committed to do right. The cost of rejection is judgment.

Luke 20:1-8

The Pharisees were not pleased with Jesus, (they were busy trying to kill Him) and they were certainly not happy about how He had cleansed the temple (it was affecting their pocketbooks).
Jesus was in the temple daily confronting the chief priests, the experts in the Law and the other rulers of the nation of Israel. These were the men who claimed divine authority to rule and govern. Not liking where things are headed they challenge Jesus authority to do what He is doing. Jesus responds to them with a question about John the Baptist. Was he from God, or was his ministry merely human?
The men who claim to have divine authority to rule are so afraid of the people that they can’t answer the question.

This reminds me of an email I got recently. (I don’t think it is true, but it is interesting)

Texas Beer Joint Sues Church

In Mt. Vernon, Texas, Drummond’s Bar began construction on expansion of their building to increase their business.

In response, the local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from expanding with petitions and prayers.
Work progressed right up until the week before the grand reopening when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.

After the bar burning to the ground by a lightning strike the church folks were rather smug in their outlook, bragging about “the power of prayer”, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church “was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means”.

In its reply to the court, the church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise.

The judge read through the plaintiff’s complaint and the defendant’s reply and at the opening hearing he commented, “I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, but it appears from the paperwork that we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that now does not.”

Back on track. The authority of Jesus (who had clearly demonstrated His power through miracles and had openly claimed to be the Son of God) was being challenged. It is this very thing, the questioning of God’s authority and the attempt to set up our own authorities that is at the root of rejection.

Luke 20:9-18

The parable of the tenant farmers is a picture of people trying to set up their own authorities rather than to submit to God. They killed the heir to the vineyard thinking that it would then become theirs. People want to be in control and in effect they want to be their own little g god. This is what the evil one did.

Isaiah 14:12-15 (NIV)
12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 15 But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.

Two groups that rejected Jesus and chose to trust in themselves now come to challenge the authority of God.

Luke 20:19-26

First up are the chief priests who think they can trap Jesus on the question of taxes. Remember that the people of Israel hate paying taxes to the Romans, which is why the tax collectors are the lowest of the low. The chief priests think they have Jesus trapped. Tell the people to pay taxes and they will turn on Him, tell them not to pay taxes and they can turn Jesus in to the Roman authorities. Jesus answer stops them cold.

“give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

The chief priests had sold out to Rome for monetary gain, and in the process they had lost the most important thing, a relationship with the living God.

The Sadducees were up next.

Luke 20:27-44

They challenge Jesus on a point about the resurrection, while all the while not believing in the resurrection (which is why they are sad you see). Jesus response is fascinating, because instead of saying that God was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He says that God is their God and that these men are alive, and not dead.

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