Took this picture awhile back when birding Canaveral area. John is still in Greece so I’m still sending the Sunday School lessons along to him via internet.
(Luke 20:1a) “And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel…”
A.) Jesus had cleansed the temple of the vendors and moneychangers.
1.) currently in these last few days before His betrayal and crucifixion Jesus teaches in the temple.
2.) Jesus does not just teach, but notice, the Bible said that He also preached the Gospel.
a.) The Greek word for Gospel, (Euaggalizo), from which we get “Evangelize” is defined as “Announce Great News”.
b.) God’s Word clearly delineates between teaching and preaching.
3.) Jesus taught many different things to the people over the course of His ministry; (As Luke here says He did in those last days.)
a.) The golden rule, humility, and how to pray, just name three;
(Luke 6:31) And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
(Luke 14:8) When thou art bidden of any man to a marriage, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
(Luke 11:2-4) And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
4.) Jesus also preached the Gospel to them throughout His ministry.
(John 6:35) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
(John 6:47) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
(John 7:38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
(John 11:25) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
(John 14:1-3) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
(John 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(Luke 20:1b-2) “…the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?”
A.) While Jesus was teaching and preaching in the temple the head men of the Jews came to Him with this question.
1.) “Where do you get the power and authority to come in here and usurp our authority and power?”
a.) The people wanted Jesus for King, the leaders wanted to keep the status quo.
b.) Even though the Romans ruled militarily, they allowed these Jewish leaders to continue their own little fiefdom.
c.) This was their biggest problem, Jesus was a threat to their prestige, power, and position.
(Luke 20:3-4) And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?
(Matthew 21:24) And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
A.) Jesus poses a test for them, which if they pass He will in turn answer their query.
1.) Remember where they are;
a.) They’re in the temple surrounded by Jesus’ followers.
b.) Many of whom have been with him since John Baptist’s ministry and subsequent death.
c.) These folk have seen the miracles, accepted the preaching, and heard the teaching.
d.) This is not a crowd that the leaders can trifle with.
(Luke 20:5-6) And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.
A.) John had been a prophet with the people from his youth, they had great respect for him.
1.) The people held his memory with great regard.
B.) The priests, Pharisees, politicos, and pitiful pretenders were not stupid.
1.) They knew exactly how the people felt about John.
C.) They were between the proverbial “Rock and a hard spot.”
1.) The hard spot was John, the Rock was, of course, Jesus.
(Luke 20:7-8) And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
A.) The fact is, that their question was already answered by Jesus previously, and coincidentally, when speaking of John.
(John 5:36) But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
(Luke 20:9) Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.
A.) Jesus doesn’t really change the subject here when He starts this parable.
1.) The parable is aimed directly at the men who have been questioning Him.
a.) The “certain man” is God the Father.
b.) The “vineyard” is kingdom of God.
c.) The “husbandmen” is Israel.
d.) The “far country” is heaven.
e.) The “long time” is Israel’s time to up to the parable.
(Luke 20:10-12) And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen 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. And again he sent a 3rd: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.
A.) The certain man sends servants to get fruit from the vineyard.
1.) The “servants” are the prophets.
2.) The “fruit” is growth in God’s kingdom.
B.) We know from the history of the O.T. that, with very few notable bright spots, Israel grew methodically away from God.
1.) She bore no fruit in the world, and in fact, the vine became an eyesore.
(Luke 20:13) Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.
A.) God the “certain man and lord of the vineyard” asks Himself a question; “What am I going to do currently?”
1.) Here is God’s problem; He loves mankind, and He is not willing that any should perish. II Peter 3:9
a.) God wants to see fruit in His vineyard. Souls for His kingdom.
B.) The “certain man, the lord of the vineyard” decides to send his beloved son whom he hopes will be respected by the husbandmen.
1.) The “beloved son” is, of course Jesus.
(Luke 20:14) But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.
A.) The husbandmen do not want to bow to the authority of the “lord of the vineyard” they want the power and the kingdom for themselves.
1.) Their decision is to kill the son.
2.) Their logic is that the “lord of the vineyard” will give up on his desire for fruit.
a.) They believe that if they just get rid of the “son” they can continue with the “status quo” and their “little fiefdom”.
B.) Thus far in the parable Jesus has laid the groundwork for what will happen in the next few days in Jerusalem.
(Luke 20:15a) “So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him…”
A.) The husbandmen kill the son.
(Luke 23:20-21) Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
(Luke 20:15b-16a) "…What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others…”
A.) Jesus asks a question and answers it Himself;
1.) The “lord of the vineyard” will destroy the “husbandmen” and let out the “vineyard” to other caretakers.
(Luke 20:16b) “…And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.”
A.) The men that the parable is aimed at miss the point completely.
1.) They judge the husbandmen’s actions to be horrible, shake their heads, and say; “God forbid such a thing to happen to that certain lord’s business and family.”
B.) Jesus, on the other hand, decides to quote Scripture to them which He knows will help them to “get the point”.
(Luke 20:17-18) And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
A.) Jesus uses the Sword of the Word of God in both Psalm 118:22 & Daniel 2:34-35 to send the point of the blade home.
(Psalms 118:22) The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
(Daniel 2:34-35) Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
B.) Look back at the 1st part of verse 16;
1.) In Matthew’s account of this scene he records Jesus as saying this as well;
(Matthew 21:43) Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
a.) The “nation” is the Church, and we must not fail in our duty to bear fruit to God.
(Luke 20:19) And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.
A.) Those in power would like to have taken Jesus away right then and there, but were powerless because of the people.