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Bible Commentaries
Luke 20

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New TestamentSchaff's NT Commentary

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Verses 1-8

Luke 20:1-8. OUR LORD QUESTIONED AS TO HIS AUTHORITY. See on Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33.

On one of the days. On Tuesday morning, as we think.

Preaching the gospel, or ‘good tidings.’ Peculiar to Luke.

Came upon him. This suggests the formality and ‘solemnity of the proceeding, since all three classes of the Sanhedrin were represented.

Or who is he, etc. Or, i.e., to speak more definitely Matthew and Mark have ‘and.’

All the people will stone us. Thus Luke expresses more fully the thought: ‘they feared the people.’

Verses 1-26

Passing over the incident of the barren fig tree (Monday evening and Tuesday morning, on the way to and from Bethany) related by Matthew and Mark, Luke gives a sketch of the various assaults made upon our Lord in the temple. His account is not so full as that of the other two Evangelists. In common with them he tells of the question respecting authority (Luke 20:1-8), and then gives the parable of the wicked husbandmen (Luke 20:9-19); omitting (with Mark) the parable of the wedding of the King’s Son, he narrates the insidious assault of the Pharisees with the question respecting tribute (Luke 20:20-26). See further on next section.

Verse 9

Luke 20:9. Began. After the discomfiture of the priests, scribes, and elders.

To the people, but ‘against’ (Luke 20:19) His assailants, who were undoubtedly present. Hence there is no disagreement with the other accounts. The description of the vineyard is not so full here, but for a long time is new.

Verses 9-19

Luke 20:9-19. THE PARABLE OF THE WICKED HUSBANDMEN. See on Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12.

Verses 10-13

Luke 20:10-13. Luke’s sketch of the treatment the servants received is not so varied as those of Matthew and Mark.

What shall I do? Peculiar to Luke.

May be expresses an expectation.

Verse 16

Luke 20:16. And when they heard it, they said. Who spoke? Some of the crowd, we think, since as yet Luke has not introduced the chief priests in this connection.

God forbid, or, ‘far be it,’ i.e., this casting out and killing and consequent destruction. Comp. on the former part of the verse, Matthew 21:41.

Verse 17

Luke 20:17. What then is this that is written, i.e., granting that your deprecation is right; that these things would not be, how then could this Scripture be fulfilled.

Verse 19

Luke 20:19. And they feared the people; and hence could not take Him, for they ( i.e., the people; in Matthew and Mark, the chief-priests are spoken of) perceived that he had spoken this parable against them ( i.e., the chief-priests, etc.).

Verse 20

Luke 20:20. And they watched him. Hanging about until the opportunity came.

They sent forth spies, men instructed for the purpose.

Feigning themselves to be righteous. They should come to Him, as though their consciences, not the craft of His enemies, had prompted the following question. On the character of these agents, and the coalition with the Herodians, see Matthew 22:16.

That they (the foiled Sanhedrists) might take hold of his speech. Both the person and the thing taken hold of are expressed in the original.

Unto the magistrate, or, ‘ruler,’ the civil power, etc. The Roman power in general is first spoken of, then the specific authority to which they wished to deliver Him, that of the governor.

Verses 20-26

Luke 20:20-26. THE QUESTION RESPECTING TRIBUTE. See on Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17. Luke’s account states more fully the crafty method of the chief-priests, but as regards the interview itself presents no new details.

Verse 22

Luke 20:22. Tribute. Luke uses the Greek word applied to land and poll taxes, while Matthew and Mark use the Latin equivalent. See on Matthew 22:17.

Verse 26

Luke 20:26. And they were not able, etc. Luke brings out most fully the sense of failure on the part of His enemies.

Verses 27-40

Luke 20:27-40. THE QUESTION OF THE SAD-DUCEES. See on Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27.

Verses 27-47

In this section Luke records the assault of the Sadducees respecting the resurrection (Luke 20:27-40); then omitting the lawyer’s question, he tells of our Lord’s unanswered question respecting Christ the Son of David (Luke 20:41-44); like Mark he gives but a brief summary of the discourse against the Pharisees (‘scribes,’ Luke 20:45-47), with which the public teaching in the temple closed, though one other incident is mentioned as occurring while He lingered there (the widow’s mites, chap. Luke 21:1-4). In some cases this account agrees more closely with that of Matthew, in others with that of Mark, and sometimes all three have their special points of difference.

Verses 34-35

Luke 20:34-35. Peculiar to Luke, who however omits the solemn opening rebuke: ‘Ye do err,’ etc. (Matt., Mark).

The torn of this world; here used in the physical sense, i.e., those actually living in the present order of things.

Marry, and are given in marriage. There is no reference to the moral character of the persons thus described; ‘this world’ simply meaning the period preceding the resurrection at the return of the Messiah. The verse cannot be used to prove the superior holiness of celibacy.

Accounted worthy, i.e., at the coming of the Lord. Here the moral character is spoken of.

To obtain that world, the state of life after the coming of the Messiah, which is introduced by the resurrection from the dead. This means the first resurrection of the righteous (chap. Luke 14:14), and the statement probably includes those believers who are living at the Second Advent.

Verse 36

Luke 20:36. For neither can they die any more. The correct reading (‘for’) introduces the reason they do not marry: there is no more death, hence no more birth. If then all the dead are raised and die no more, the same is true of unbelievers. But in the case of those directly spoken of their altered nature is introduced as a reason why they cannot ‘die any more:’ for they are equal unto the angels. They are distinguished from the angels, but like them are immortal.

And are sons of God. A second proof that their nature is such that they cannot die: they are not simply sons of God in the moral sense, but are essentially ‘partakers of the divine nature,’ and hence free from death.

Being sons of the resurrection. Into this state they pass, this change of nature takes place, at the resurrection. And the same change will occur in believers living at that day (1 Corinthians 15:51-54). Comp. Romans 8:18-23.

Verse 37

Luke 20:37. Even Moses, whom you have quoted (Luke 20:28) to establish the opposite view.

Shewed. The announcing something before concealed.

Verse 38

Luke 20:38. For all live unto him. Peculiar to Luke. The emphasis rests upon ‘all,’ which may be taken in its widest sense: all creatures, whether living or dead, angels or men, live in the sight of God. This extends the argument further than the parallels in Matthew and Mark, where the covenant relation alone is brought into view.

Verses 39-40

Luke 20:39-40. In this form Luke presents the victory of our Lord, which was connected with the last question put to Him by a lawyer. Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34.

Verses 41-44

Luke 20:41-44. OUR LORD’S CLOSING QUESTION. See on Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37.

Unto them (Luke 20:41), i.e., the ‘Scribes’ (Luke 20:39); according to Matthew: ‘the Pharisees’; according to Mark, it was said of the Scribes.

Verses 45-47

Luke 20:45-47. DENUNCIATION OF THE SCRIBES. See on Mark 12:38-40, with which Luke’s account closely agrees. Comp. Matthew 23:1; Matthew 23:6-7; Matthew 23:14.

In the hearing of all the people. Peculiar to Luke.

Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 20". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/scn/luke-20.html. 1879-90.
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