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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Luke 20



Verse 1

Luke 20:1-19. The authority of Jesus questioned, and His reply - Parable of the wicked husbandmen.

(See on Matthew 21:23.)

Verse 2

these things — particularly the clearing of the temple.

Verse 4

baptism of John — his whole ministry and mission, of which baptism was the seal.

Verse 5

Why then believed ye him not? — that is, in his testimony to Jesus, the sum of his whole witness.

Verse 7

could not tell — crooked, cringing hypocrites! No wonder Jesus gave you no answer (Matthew 7:6). But what dignity and composure does our Lord display as He turns their question upon themselves!

Verses 9-13

vineyard — (See on Luke 13:6). In Matthew 21:33 additional points are given, taken literally from Isaiah 5:2, to fix down the application and sustain it by Old Testament authority.

husbandmen — the ordinary spiritual guides of the people, under whose care and culture the fruits of righteousness might be yielded.

went, etc. — leaving it to the laws of the spiritual husbandry during the whole length of the Jewish economy. (See on Mark 4:26.)

Verse 10

beat, etc. — (Matthew 21:35); that is, the prophets, extraordinary messengers raised up from time to time. (See on Matthew 23:37.)

Verse 13

my beloved son — Mark (Mark 12:6) still more affectingly, “Having yet therefore one son, his well-beloved”; our Lord thus severing Himself from all merely human messengers, and claiming Sonship in its loftiest sense. (Compare Hebrews 3:3-6.)

it may be — “surely”; implying the almost unimaginable guilt of not doing so.

Verse 14

reasoned among themselves — (Compare Genesis 37:18-20; John 11:47-53).

the heir — sublime expression of the great truth, that God‘s inheritance was destined for, and in due time to come into the possession of, His Son in our nature (Hebrews 1:2).

inheritance … ours — and so from mere servants we may become lords; the deep aim of the depraved heart, and literally “the root of all evil.

Verse 15

cast him out of the vineyard — (Compare Hebrews 13:11-13; 1 Kings 21:13; John 19:17).

Verse 16

He shall come, etc. — This answer was given by the Pharisees themselves (Matthew 21:41), thus pronouncing their own righteous doom. Matthew alone (Matthew 21:43) gives the naked application, that “the kingdom of God should be taken from them, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” - the great evangelical community of the faithful, chiefly Gentiles.

God forbid — His whole meaning now bursting upon them.

Verses 17-19

written — (in Psalm 118:22, Psalm 118:23. See on Luke 19:38). The Kingdom of God is here a Temple, in the erection of which a certain stone, rejected as unsuitable by the spiritual builders, is, by the great Lord of the House, made the keystone of the whole. On that Stone the builders were now “falling” and being “broken” (Isaiah 8:15), “sustaining great spiritual hurt; but soon that Stone should fall upon them and grind them to powder” (Daniel 2:34, Daniel 2:35; Zechariah 12:3) - in their corporate capacity in the tremendous destruction of Jerusalem, but personally, as unbelievers, in a more awful sense still.

Verse 19

the same hour — hardly able to restrain their rage.

Verses 20-26

Luke 20:20-40. Entangling questions about tribute and the resurrection - The replies.

sent forth — after consulting (Matthew 22:15) on the best plan.

spies — “of the Pharisees and Herodians” (Mark 12:13). See Mark 3:6.

Verse 21

we know, etc. — hoping by flattery to throw Him off His guard.

Verse 22

tribute — (See on Matthew 17:24).

Verse 25

things which be Caesar‘s — Putting it in this general form, it was impossible for sedition itself to dispute it, and yet it dissolved the snare.

and unto God — How much there is in this profound but to them startling addition to the maxim, and how incomparable is the whole for fullness, brevity, clearness, weight!

Verses 27-34

no resurrection — “nor angel nor spirit” (Acts 23:8); the materialists of the day.

Verse 34

said unto them — In Matthew 22:29, the reply begins with this important statement: - “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures,” regarding the future state, “nor the power of God,” before which a thousand such difficulties vanish (also Mark 12:24).

Verse 36
die any more — Marriage is ordained to perpetuate the human family; but as there will be no breaches by death in the future state, this ordinance will cease.

equal — or “like.”

unto the angels — that is, in the immortality of their nature.

children of God — not in respect of character but nature; “being the children of the resurrection” to an undecaying existence (Romans 8:21, Romans 8:23). And thus the children of their Father‘s immortality (1 Timothy 6:16).

Verse 37-38

even Moses — whom they had just quoted to entangle Him.

Verse 38
of the dead, … for all, etc. — To God, no human being is dead, or ever will be; but all sustain an abiding conscious relation to Him. But the “all” here meant “those who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world.” These sustain a gracious covenant relation to God, which cannot be dissolved. In this sense our Lord affirms that for Moses to call the Lord the “God” of His patriarchal servants if at that moment they had no existence, would be unworthy of Him. He “would be ashamed to be called their God, if He had not prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:16). How precious are these glimpses of the resurrection state!

Verse 39

scribes … well said — enjoying His victory over the Sadducees.

they durst not — neither party, both for the time utterly foiled.

Verse 41

Luke 20:41-47. Christ baffles the Pharisees by a question about David and Messiah, and denounces the Scribes.

said, etc. — “What think ye of Christ [the promised and expected Messiah]? Whose son is He [to be]? They say unto Him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit [by the Holy Ghost, Mark 12:36 ] call Him Lord?” (Matthew 22:42, Matthew 22:43). The difficulty can only be solved by the higher and lower - the divine and human natures of our Lord (Matthew 1:23). Mark the testimony here given to the inspiration of the Old Testament (compare Luke 24:44).

Verse 46-47

Beware, etc. — (See on Matthew 23:5; and see on Luke 14:7).

Verse 47

devour, etc. — taking advantage of their helpless condition and confiding character, to obtain possession of their property, while by their “long prayers” they made them believe they were raised far above “filthy lucre.” So much “the greater damnation” awaits them. What a lifelike description of the Romish clergy, the true successors of “the scribes!”


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 20:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

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