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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 20

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-23

44 Compare Mic_3:12 ; Mat_24:2 .

45-48 Compare Mat_21:12-17 ; Mar_11:11 ; Mar_11:15-19 .

45 His kingdom will be a combination of church and state and He will be the Head of both. Hence He not only presents Himself as King, but enters the temple and cleanses it of its unlawful traffic.

46 Compare Isa_56:7 ; Jer_7:11 .

48 Compare Joh_12:17-19 .

1.8 Compare Mat_21:23-27 ; Mar_11:27-33 .

2 The Rabbis had a great conceit of their powers of debate, so they deemed it best to lay a snare for Him. The question itself seems innocent enough, and had they honestly asked for information, He doubtless would have answered them. But He seldom listened to men's words. He read their hearts. Those who sought to catch Him were always taken in their own toils. In an indirect way His question contained the answer that they desired. If the baptist was commissioned by God to prepare His path, surely then His authority must far exceed that of John for he repeatedly renounced himself in favor of the One Whose sandal thong he was not worthy to loose. What a humiliating confession they were forced to make to cover their hypocrisy! Of what use is truth to such men ? So He wisely refuses to tell them what any blind man could see if he did not wish to hold to his error at any cost.

9-12 Compare Mat_21:33-36 ; Mar_12:1-5 ; Isa_5:1-7 .

9 The parable grows out of the attitude of the Pharisees, as just made manifest. Most skillfully He uses incidents well known to them and figures with which they are familiar to trace the attitude of Israel toward those who had been sent with divine authority in the past. All the prophets-even Moses-suffered at their unbelieving hands. They always persecuted the messengers of God, and, for that reason, they were about to kill Him. The sad history of Israel, their continual defection and rejection of God, does not seem to affect their hearts. They are ready to do as did their forefathers, even though they condemn them. They boast in the very prophets that their fathers persecuted. Does not all this show the total failure of law and ritual as a link between God and man? Religion so radically vitiates the standard of human morals that it is reserved for religious men to commit the crime of crimes.

11 Compare Act_7:52 .

13-15 Compare Mat_21:37-39 ; Mar_12:6-8 ; 1Th_2:15 .

13 It was only reasonable to suppose that even if the nation had maltreated the messengers of God, they would not be nearly so likely to mistreat the Son. Previous messengers often came unannounced, with few credentials, and often with a most unpalatable message. But the Son came according to many prophecies which foretold minute details of His career. He was the only Prophet to be introduced by a forerunner. None approached Him in the number and wonders of His works.

15-18 Compare Mat_21:40-44 ; Mar_12:9-11 ; See Act_4:11 ; 1Pe_2:4-7 .

16 The destruction of Jerusalem and the nation was directly due to the murder of Messiah. Their misfortunes from that day to this and the evils still in store for them in the greatest of all afflictions, at the time of the end, all would have been avoided, humanly speaking, had they hailed Him as their King.

17 Compare Eph_1:10 ; Eph_2:14 ; Psa_118:22 .

17 The head corner stone of a building is the most ornamental and honorable in the whole structure. Lying on the ground, they stumbled over it and refused it. So have the builders of Israel hurt themselves on Him.

18 Compare Dan_2:34-35 .

19 Compare Mat_21:45-46 ; Mar_12:12 .

19 The object of the scribes and chief priests now seems to be to put Him in a quandary, Either He will be discredited in the eyes of the people or come to a clash with the civil rulers. So long as He had a following they were afraid. Nor were they willing to risk an open debate. So they keep out of it entirely and send others with what, at first sight, seems to be a simple question of conscience. They hope to get Him to say that they should not pay taxes to Rome so they can accuse Him to the government. So they use fine flatteries to destruction. But His first response tears off the veil of hypocrisy and reveals the true intent of their inquiry. They wish to try Him, not to quiet their conscience.

20-26 Compare Mat_22:15-22 ; Mar_12:13-17 .

22 Compare Deu_28:47-48 .

Verses 24-47

24 Two kinds of coins were in circulation, the Roman and the Jewish. The temple taxes had to be paid in the Jewish shekel, the Roman in the foreign currency. The fact that they had accepted the conqueror's money shows that they regarded themselves as his subjects. Indeed, not long after this they insisted that they had no king but Caesar. To pay taxes, therefore, was only the fulfillment of an obligation they had already undertaken. Hence, instead of branding Him with sedition, as they hoped, He fastens on them the disgrace of national servitude. And, to emphasize the divine obligations, He insists on their paying the shekel of the sanctuary, which they doubtless did in fact but not in spirit. Our attitude toward rulers is set forth in Rom_13:1-7 . We look at the civil authorities as but a part of the sovereign supervising government of God, even though they are oblivious of Him or actually opposed to Him.

27-36 Compare Mat_22:28-30 ; Mar_12:18-25 .

27 Compare Act_23:6-8 .

27 The law made extraordinary provision for the perpetuation of the name and family of an Israelite. Should he die without issue, it was the duty of his brother to marry his widow and the son of such a union would take his name, so that it would not be blotted out ( Deu_25:5-6 ). The Sadducees seize on this custom to formulate a difficulty which was evidently a stock argument in their encounters with the Pharisees. It is evident that they had a most superficial understanding of the law and paid no attention to the underlying reason for its enactments. The law in question was necessitated by the disturbing element of death. Apart from this it has no place. In the resurrection of the just, where there is no more death, it can have no application. Marriage, similarly, has no place in the resurrection, so the question really revealed the ignorance of the Sadducees, rather than their fancied acuteness.

28 Compare Deu_25:5 .

37 Compare Mat_22:31-32 ; Mar_12:26-27 ; Exo_3:6 .

37 The real issue is now taken up by the Lord. They denied the resurrection. They appealed to Moses, so He also uses Moses as the basis of His argument. The God of Abraham is preeminently the God of promises and covenants. These have not been fulfilled and cannot be carried out if Abraham is not roused from the dead. All the virtue of the title "the God of Abraham" is lost if we consider it merely in connection with the past life of the patriarch. He did not receive the promises. It demands that he shall be raised from the dead.

38 There is no question here of the death state. Abraham is not living now. It is only in a secondary sense that all are living to God. He deals with His creatures in life, not in death. The Lord is not seeking to prove that death is life, but that there is a life after death in resurrection.

39-44 Compare Mat_22:23-46 ; Mar_12:28-37 .

41 He has brought them to a point where they no longer dare to question Him, so now He turns to question them. He goes straight to the heart of the whole situation. Often had He been hailed as the Son of David, and He always acknowledged this evidence of faith in Him. But how few, even among His disciples, knew Him as David's Lord! That this Lord, Who was in the form of God, should empty Himself and be found in fashion as a Man ( Php_2:5-8 ) , was a truth so utterly beyond their comprehension that He did not even stop for an answer. The

Hebrew scriptures use the titles "Lord", "God", etc. of the Image of God as freely as of absolute Deity. There are two Personalities Who bear these divine appellations, nor need we often be concerned which One is uppermost in any passage, for They are one, as the Image is one with Him Whom It represents. The lowly Man of the evangelists is the divine Lord of the prophets.

42 Compare Psa_110:1 .

45-47 Compare Mat_23:1-7 ; Mat_23:14 ; Mar_12:38-40 .

1-4 Compare Mar_12:41-44 .

3 Compare 2Co_8:12 .

1 God values a gift according to the sacrifices of the giver. Its commercial value means little to Him, Who owns all things, and Who accepts nothing except as a token of esteem. The rich seldom labor for a living, hence their offerings, unless very great, can mean little to them or to God. But such a drudge as this widow, who had nothing except the pittance she could earn, was at a great advantage. However little she might give, it would be great in God's eyes. And if she should give all, as this dear woman did, she would actually bring greater wealth to God than the combined total or all the large oblations. No one lacks the means to give much to God.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Luke 20". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/luke-20.html. 1968.
 
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