christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

luke 20, a question of authority

Read Luke 20 at Bible Gateway.

These are my notes from Luke chapter 20:

Luk 20:1-8
1a) Luk 20:1-2, Chief priests and scribes questioned Jesus: By what authority do you do these things?
1b) Luk 20:3-4, Jesus questioned them: Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?
central axis) Luk 20:5-6, They reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say ‘From heaven,’ He will respond, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’; but if we say ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet;”
2b) Luk 20:7, So they answered, they did not know where it was from;
2a) Luk 20:8, Jesus answered, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things;

Luk 20:9-16, Parable of the unworthy vinedressers (Landowner sends His beloved Son who the vinedressers kill)
Luk 20:16, He will come and destroy those vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others;

Luk 20:17, The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone;
Luk 20:18, Whoever falls on that stone will be broken, but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder;

Luk 20:19, The chief priests and scribes sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people, for they knew He had spoken this parable against them;

Luk 20:20-40
1a) Luk 20:20, They sent spies that they might seize Him in His words;
1b) Luk 20:21-25, Question about taxes;
central axis) Luk 20:26, They marveled at His answers and kept silent;
2b) Luk 20:27-38, Question about the resurrection;
2a) Luk 20:39-40, Teacher, You have spoken well + they dared not question Him anymore;

Luk 20:41-44, Jesus’ question: How is the Messiah the Son of David?;
Luk 20:45-47, Beware of the scribes – they will receive greater condemnation.

The chief priests and scribes question Jesus, By what authority do You do these things? In response to Jesus teaching in the Temple and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. The Temple was the place of the presence of God, and its duties and care was given to the priests and Levites. Jesus was not of Aaron or Levi, He was of David and Judah.

God made a covenant with David, which prophesies of the coming of Messiah. For God’s part, He would build the house of David, so that his sons would sit on the throne of Israel. For David’s part, not him, but his son, would build the house of God, the Temple. The implication of Jesus teaching and proclaiming the kingdom of God in the Temple, is that He has the authority to do so, because He is the prophesied Son of David (since He is not of Aaron or Levi). Thus the question.

Jesus did not answer directly, but He did answer indirectly. In the parable of the unworthy vinedressers, the Landowner sends His own beloved Son, whom the vinedressers kill. The chief priests then perceive that He spoke the parable about them — that they are the unworthy vinedressers. So what do they do? Seek to lay hands on the beloved Son so that He might be killed! By the parable of the unworthy vinedressers, Jesus is teaching them that His authority is from God, because He is the Son of God. He is not merely the Son of David (although He is that too).

Then in His own question to them, about How the Messiah can be the Son of David, when David calls Him Lord, He is again reiterating that the Messiah, the One who is anointed and sent, is the Son of David, but not only the Son of David, as He is greater than David.

But He and His answers were rejected by the chief priests and the scribes, since He is the Chief Cornerstone (of the Temple of God, the place of His presence) whom the builders rejected.

It is interesting to me too, today, that the builders are those who put themselves in positions of authority, whether they have the right to have that authority or not. The builders in our day are politicians, media leaders, fashion and society leaders, scientists and evolutionists — all who have rejected the Chief Cornerstone.

Builders, beware — fall upon the Chief Cornerstone, come and humble yourselves at His feet, and have your pride and power broken off you in humility before Him. He is God and you are not. If you will not, He will fall on you, and you will be ground to powder. You will be broken before Him one way or another — but if you come voluntarily, you will find mercy.


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