Lu 20:1-19. The Authority of Jesus Questioned, and His Reply -- Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen.
(See on Mt 21:23.)
2. these things -- particularly the clearing of the temple.
4. baptism of John -- his whole ministry and mission, of which baptism was the seal.
5. Why then believed ye him not? -- that is, in his testimony to Jesus, the sum of his whole witness.
7. could not tell -- crooked, cringing hypocrites! No wonder Jesus gave you no answer (Mt 7:6). But what dignity and composure does our Lord display as He turns their question upon themselves!
9-13. vineyard -- (See on Lu 13:6). In Mt 21:33 additional points are given, taken literally from Isa 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, &c. -- leaving it to the laws of the spiritual husbandry during the whole length of the Jewish economy. (See on Mr 4:26.)
10. beat, &c. -- (Mt 21:35); that is, the prophets, extraordinary messengers raised up from time to time. (See on Mt 23:37.)
13. my beloved son -- Mark (Mr 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 Heb 3:3-6.)
it may be -- |surely|; implying the almost unimaginable guilt of not doing so.
14. reasoned among themselves -- (Compare Ge 37:18-20; Joh 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 (Heb 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.|
15. cast him out of the vineyard -- (Compare Heb 13:11-13; 1Ki 21:13; Joh 19:17).
16. He shall come, &c. -- This answer was given by the Pharisees themselves (Mt 21:41), thus pronouncing their own righteous doom. Matthew alone (Mt 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.
17-19. written -- (in Ps 118:22, 23. See on Lu 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| (Isa 8:15), |sustaining great spiritual hurt; but soon that Stone should fall upon them and grind them to powder| (Da 2:34, 35; Zec 12:3) -- in their corporate capacity in the tremendous destruction of Jerusalem, but personally, as unbelievers, in a more awful sense still.
19. the same hour -- hardly able to restrain their rage.
Lu 20:20-40. Entangling Questions about Tribute and the Resurrection -- The Replies.
20-26. sent forth -- after consulting (Mt 22:15) on the best plan.
spies -- |of the Pharisees and Herodians| (Mr 12:13). See Mr 3:6.
21. we know, &c. -- hoping by flattery to throw Him off His guard.
22. tribute -- (See on Mt 17:24).
25. things which be Cæsar'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 fulness, brevity, clearness, weight!
27-34. no resurrection -- |nor angel nor spirit| (Ac 23:8); the materialists of the day.
34. said unto them -- In Mt 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 Mr 12:24).
36. neither ... 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 (Ro 8:21, 23). And thus the children of their Father's immortality (1Ti 6:16).
37, 38. even Moses -- whom they had just quoted to entangle Him.
38. not ... of the dead, ... for all, &c. -- 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| (Heb 11:16). How precious are these glimpses of the resurrection state!
39. scribes ... well said -- enjoying His victory over the Sadducees.
they durst not -- neither party, both for the time utterly foiled.
Lu 20:41-47. Christ Baffles the Pharisees by a Question about David and Messiah, and Denounces the Scribes.
41. said, &c. -- |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, Mr 12:36] call Him Lord?| (Mt 22:42, 43). The difficulty can only be solved by the higher and lower -- the divine and human natures of our Lord (Mt 1:23). Mark the testimony here given to the inspiration of the Old Testament (compare Lu 24:44).
46, 47. Beware, &c. -- (See on Mt 23:5; and Lu 14:7).
47. devour, &c. -- 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!|