Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
We are taking food to Ukrainians still living near the front lines. You can help by getting your church involved.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Luke 20

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New TestamentRobertson's Word Pictures

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verse 1

On one of the days (εν μια των ημερων). Luke's favourite way of indicating time. It was the last day of the temple teaching (Tuesday). Luke 20:1-19 is to be compared with Mark 11:27-12; Matthew 21:23-46.

There came upon him (επεστησαν). Second aorist active indicative, ingressive aorist of εφιστημ, old and common verb, stood up against him, with the notion of sudden appearance. These leaders (cf. Luke 19:47) had determined to attack Jesus on this morning, both Sadducees (chief priests) and Pharisees (scribes), a formal delegation from the Sanhedrin.

Verse 2

Tell us (ειπον ημιν). Luke adds these words to what Mark and Matthew have. Second aorist active imperative for the old form ειπε and with ending -ον of the first aorist active. Westcott and Hort punctuate the rest of the sentence as an indirect question after ειπον, but the Revised Version puts a semicolon after "us" and retains the direct question. The Greek manuscripts have no punctuation.

Verse 3

Question (λογον). Literally, word. So in Mark 11:29; Matthew 21:24.

Verse 5

They reasoned with themselves (συνελογισαντο). First aorist middle of συλλογιζομα, to bring together accounts, an old word, only here in the N.T. Mark and Matthew have διελογιζοντο (imperfect middle of διαλογιζομα, a kindred verb, to reckon between one another, confer). This form (διελογιζοντο) in verse Luke 20:14 below.

If we shall say (εαν ειπωμεν). Third-class condition with second aorist active subjunctive. Suppose we say! So in verse Luke 20:6.

Verse 6

Will stone us (καταλιθασε). Late verb and here only in the N.T. Literally, will throw stones down on us, stone us down, overwhelm us with stones.

They be persuaded (πεπεισμενος εστιν). Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of πειθω, to persuade, a settled state of persuasion, "is persuaded" (no reason for use of "be" here).

That John was a prophet (Ιωανην προφητην εινα). Accusative and infinitive in indirect assertion.

Verse 7

That they knew not (μη ειδενα). Accusative and infinitive in indirect assertion again with the negative μη rather than ου.

Verse 9

Vineyard (αμπελωνα). Late word from αμπελος (vine), place of vines. So in Mark 12:1; Matthew 21:33.

Let it out (εξεδετο). Second aorist middle of εκδιδωμ, but with variable vowel ε in place of ο of the stem δο (εξεδοτο). Same form in Mark and Matthew.

For a long time (χρονους ικανους). Accusative of extent of time, considerable times or periods of time. Not in Mark and Matthew, though all three have απεδημησεν (went off from home). See on Luke 7:6 for ικανος.

Verse 10

At the season (καιρω). The definite season for the fruit like ο καιρος των καρπων (Matthew 21:34). That they should give (ινα δωσουσιν). Future indicative with ινα for purpose like the aorist subjunctive, though not so frequent.

Verse 11

He sent yet another (προσεθετο ετερον πεμψα). Literally,

he added to send another . A clear Hebraism repeated in verse Luke 20:12 and also in Luke 19:11.

Verse 12

They wounded (τραυματισαντες). First aorist active participle of τραυματιζω. An old verb, from τραυμα, a wound, but in the N.T. only here and Acts 19:16.

Verse 13

What shall I do? (Τ ποιησω;). Deliberative future indicative or aorist subjunctive (same form). This detail only in Luke. Note the variations in all three Gospels. All three have "will reverence" (εντραπησοντα) for which see Matthew and Mark.

It may be (ισως). Perhaps, from ισος, equal. Old adverb, but only here in the N.T.

Verse 14

That the inheritance may be ours (ινα ημων γενητα η κληρονομια). That the inheritance may become (γενητα, second aorist middle subjunctive of γινομα). Here Matthew 21:39 has σχωμεν "let us get, ingressive aorist active subjunctive." Cf. εχωμεν, present subjunctive of the same verb εχω in Romans 5:1; Mark 12:7 has "and it will be ours" (εστα).

Verse 16

God forbid (μη γενοιτο). Optative of wish about the future with μη. Literally,

may it not happen . No word "God" in the Greek. This was the pious protest of the defeated members of the Sanhedrin who began to see the turn of the parable against themselves.

Verse 17

He looked upon them (εμβλεψας αυτοις). Not in Mark and Matthew. First aorist active participle of εμβλεπω, to look on. It was a piercing glance. The scripture quoted is from Psalms 118:22 and is in Mark 11:10; Matthew 21:42, which see for the inverted attraction of the case λιθον (stone) to that of the relative ον (which).

Verse 18

Shall be broken to pieces (συνθλασθησετα). Future passive indicative of συνθλαω, a rather late compound, only here in the N.T. unless Matthew 21:44 is genuine. It means to shatter.

Will scatter him as dust (λικμησε). From λικμαω, an old verb to winnow and then to grind to powder. Only here in the N.T. unless in Matthew 21:44 is genuine, which see.

Verse 19

To lay hands on him (επιβαλειν επ' αυτον τας χειρας). Second aorist active infinitive of επιβαλλω, an old verb and either transitively as here or intransitively as in Mark 4:37. Vivid picture here where Mark 12:12; Matthew 21:46 has "to seize" (κρατησα).

In that very hour (εν αυτη τη ωρα). Luke's favourite idiom, in the hour itself. Not in Mark or Matthew and shows that the Sanhedrin were angry enough to force the climax then.

And they feared (κα εφοβηθησαν). Adversative use of κα = but they feared. Hence they refrained.

For they perceived (εγνωσαν γαρ). The reason for their rage. Second aorist active indicative of γινωσκω.

Against them (προς αυτους). As in Mark 12:12. The cap fitted them and they saw it.

Verse 20

They watched him (παρατηρησαντες). First aorist active participle of παρατηρεω, a common Greek verb to watch on the side or insidiously or with evil intent as in Luke 6:7 (παρετηρουντο) of the scribes and Pharisees. See on Mark 3:2. There is no "him" in the Greek. They were watching their chance.

Spies (ενκαθετους). An old verbal adjective from ενκαθιημ, to send down in or secretly. It means liers in wait who are suborned to spy out, one who is hired to trap one by crafty words. Only here in the N.T.

Feigned themselves (υποκρινομενους εαυτους). Hypocritically professing to be "righteous" (δικαιους). "They posed as scrupulous persons with a difficulty of conscience" (Plummer).

That they might take hold of his speech (ινα επιλαβωντα αυτου λογου). Second aorist middle of επιλαμβανω, an old verb for seizing hold with the hands and uses as here the genitive case. These spies are for the purpose of (ινα) catching hold of the talk of Jesus if they can get a grip anywhere. This is their direct purpose and the ultimate purpose or result is also stated, "so as to deliver him up" (ωστε παραδουνα αυτον). Second aorist active infinitive of παραδιδωμ, to hand over, to give from one's side to another. The trap is all set now and ready to be sprung by these "spies."

Of the governor (του ηγεμονος). The Sanhedrin knew that Pilate would have to condemn Jesus if he were put to death. So then all their plans focus on this point as the goal. Luke alone mentions this item here.

Verse 21

Rightly (ορθως). Matthew (Matthew 22:16) notes that these "spies" were "disciples" (students) of the Pharisees and Mark (Mark 12:13) adds that the Herodians are also involved in the plot. These bright theologues are full of palaver and flattery and openly endorse the teaching of Jesus as part of their scheme.

Acceptest not the person of any (ου λαμβανεις προσωπον). Dost not take the face (or personal appearance) as the test. It is a Hebraism from which the word προσωπολεμψια (James 2:1) comes. Originally it meant to lift the face, to lift the countenance, to regard the face, to accept the face value. See Mark 12:13-17; Matthew 22:15-22 for discussion of details here. They both have βλεπεις here.

Verse 22

Tribute (φορον). Old word for the annual tax on land, houses, etc. Mark and Matthew have κηνσον, which see for this Latin word in Greek letters. The picture on the coin may have been that of Tiberius.

Verse 23

Perceived (κατανοησας). From κατανοεω, to put the mind down on. Mark has ειδως, "knowing," and Matthew γνους, coming to know or grasping (second aorist active participle of γινωσκω).

Craftiness (πανουργιαν). Old word for doing any deed. Matthew has "wickedness" (πονηριαν) and Mark "hypocrisy" (υποκρισιν). Unscrupulous they certainly were. They would stoop to any trick and go the limit.

Verse 26

They were not able (ουκ ισχυσαν). They did not have strength. An old verb ισχυω from ισχυς (strength). They failed "to take hold (cf. verse Luke 20:20) of the saying before the people." These "crack" students had made an ignominious failure and were not able to make a case for the surrender of Jesus to Pilate. He had slipped through their net with the utmost ease.

Held their peace (εσιγησαν). Ingressive aorist active of σιγαω. They became silent as they went back with the "dry grins."

Verse 27

There is no resurrection (αναστασιν μη εινα). Accusative and infinitive with negative μη in indirect assertion. The Sadducees rally after the complete discomfiture of the Pharisees and Herodians. They had a stock conundrum with which they had often gotten a laugh on the Pharisees. So they volunteer to try it on Jesus. For discussion of details here see on Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27. Only a few striking items remain for Luke.

Verse 33

Had her (εσχον). Constative second aorist indicative of εχω including all seven seriatim. So Matthew 22:28; Mark 12:33 To wife (γυναικα). As wife, accusative in apposition with "her."

Verse 36

Equal unto the angels (ισαγγελο). A rare and late word from ισος, equal, and αγγελος. Only here in the N.T. Mark and Matthew have "as angels" (ως αγγελο). Angels do not marry, there is no marriage in heaven.

Sons of God, being sons of the resurrection (υιο θεου της αναστασεως υιο οντες). This Hebraistic phrase, "sons of the resurrection" defines "sons of God" and is a direct answer to the Sadducees.

Verse 37

Even Moses (κα Μωυσης). Moses was used by the Sadducees to support their denial of the resurrection. This passage (Exodus 3:6) Jesus skilfully uses as a proof of the resurrection. See discussion on Matthew 22:32; Mark 12:26.

Verse 39

Certain of the scribes (τινες των γραμματεων). Pharisees who greatly enjoyed this use by Jesus of a portion of the Pentateuch against the position of the Sadducees. So they praise the reply of Jesus, hostile though they are to him.

Verse 40

They durst not any more (ουκετ ετολμων ουδεν). Double negative and imperfect active of τολμαω. The courage of Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians vanished.

Verse 41

How say they? (Πως λεγουσιν;). The Pharisees had rallied in glee and one of their number, a lawyer, had made a feeble contribution to the controversy which resulted in his agreement with Jesus and in praise from Jesus (Mark 12:28-34; Matthew 27:34-40). Luke does not give this incident which makes it plain that by "they say" (λεγουσιν) Jesus refers to the Pharisees (rabbis, lawyers), carrying on the discussion and turning the tables on them while the Pharisees are still gathered together (Matthew 22:41). The construction with λεγουσιν is the usual infinitive and the accusative in indirect discourse. By "the Christ" (τον Χριστον) "the Messiah" is meant.

Verse 42

For David himself (αυτος γαρ Δαυειδ). This language of Jesus clearly means that he treats David as the author of Luke 20:110. The inspiration of this Psalm is expressly stated in Mark 12:36; Matthew 22:43 (which see) and the Messianic character of the Psalm in all three Synoptics who all quote the LXX practically alike. Modern criticism that denies the Davidic authorship of this Psalm has to say either that Jesus was ignorant of the fact about it or that he declined to disturb the current acceptation of the Davidic authorship. Certainly modern scholars are not agreed on the authorship of Luke 20:110. Meanwhile one can certainly be excused for accepting the natural implication of the words of Jesus here, "David himself."

In the book of the Psalms (εν βιβλω Ψαλμων). Compare Luke 3:4 "in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet."

Verse 44

David therefore (Δαυειδ ουν). Without ε as in Matthew 22:45. On the basis of this definite piece of exegesis (ουν, therefore) Jesus presses the problem (πως, how) for an explanation. The deity and the humanity of the Messiah in Luke 20:110 are thus set forth, the very problems that disturbed the rabbis then and that upset many critics today.

Verse 45

In the hearing of all the people (ακουοντος παντος του λαου). Genitive absolute, "while all the people were listening" (present active participle). That is the time to speak. The details in this verse and verse Luke 20:47 are precisely those given in Mark 12:38, which see for discussion of details. Matthew 23:1-39 has a very full and rich description of this last phase of the debate in the temple where Jesus drew a full-length portrait of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scribes in their presence. It was a solemn climax to this last public appearance of Christ in the temple when Jesus poured out the vials of his indignation as he had done before (Matthew 16:2; Luke 11:37-54; Luke 11:12-1).

Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 20". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/luke-20.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.
Ads FreeProfile