Luke20: 1-18

Written by kathleen on Jun 22, 2014 in - No Comments

Luke 20: 1-18

1.A revelation of the messiah  2.Gods plan  3.Mans response to Gods plan  4.Warnings for the rejection of God’s plan

1 One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and  preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him.

Jesus didn’t look for these great debates with the religious leaders. He wanted to teach the people and tell them about God’s good news. But the questioners came to Him, and He was more than able to handle them I

On Sunday, as Jesus rode into Jerusalem, He was hailed as King. On Monday, as He cleansed the temple, He acted as the Great High Priest.

Now on Tuesday as He answers with tremendous skill and wisdom every question hurled at Him, He will show Himself to be a Prophet like no other. Prophet, Priest, and King are the three offices only Jesus can and does hold simultaneously.

 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”

Jesus showed great courage by boldly entering Jerusalem and driving out the corrupt merchants from the temple courts. Now the religious leaders want to know what right He thinks He has to do such things.

Interestingly; the day the chief priests and scribes decided to question Jesus was the tenth day of Nissan, four days before the slaying of the Passover lambs. This perfectly fulfilled the prophetic picture portrayed in Exodus where we read that Passover lambs were to be scrutinized and inspected for four days to ensure they were without blemish (Exodus 12:3–6).  Jesus Christ our Passover Lamb would also be examined and scrutinized and He too would be found faultless.

 They wanted Him to answer My Father gave Me the authority or that God gave Him the authority to do this. So that they could arrest Him and say, He has spoken blasphemously. So Jesus, knowing what they were looking for,

3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me, 4 John’s baptism-was it from heaven, or from men?”  5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.” 8 Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

In response, as Jesus asks the chief priests and scribes a question of His own and through it, He implied that; because they hadn’t responded to John’s identification of Him as the Lamb of God, it was pointless to provide them with further identification

These men knew that John had said Jesus was the Messiah, but were not willing to accept it. By replying with this question, Jesus wasn’t evading the question of the religious leaders. Instead, He uses the question to explain who He is and to expose the hypocrisy of the leaders.

If John was from God then he was right in proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah – and if this was true then Jesus had all authority. He knew they were not sincere seekers of truth. They cared more about winning an argument than in knowing the truth.

If we want answers from or about Jesus, we must deal with the truth that has already been revealed.

  1. Gods plan

9 He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time.

Isaiah also used a vineyard to portray Israel’s relationship with God

Isa 5:1-7 I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard:

My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. 2 He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. 3 “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4 What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?

5 Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. 6 I will make it a wasteland neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.” 7 The vineyard of the LORD Almighty is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are the garden of his delight. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.

Therefore Jesus’ audience would have recognized the vineyard as a picture of themselves and the vineyard owner as God

This sort of tenant farming relationship was a common practice in Jesus’ day, especially in Galilee.

Many Hindu business men invested there.

In that day when title was sometimes uncertain, anyone who had had the use of land for three years was presumed to own it in the absence of an alternative claim. So this sort of dispute between landowners and tenant farmers was “normal”

3.Mans rebellion to Gods plan

10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. 13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over.’This is the heir,’ they said.’Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?

In this parable, the tenants (the vinedressers) represented the religious leaders and the Jewish people.

The vinedressers didn’t buy the vineyard, nor did they make it.

They were allowed to work it by a generous owner – yet they turned against the owner, and one day would answer for it.

This parable tells us that God, is the owner of all, and is more patient with someone who rebels against Him than we would ever be;

but that there will be a final day of reckoning dealing with the foolishness of a person who is thinking that; if they can get rid of or kill the Son, they can take the owner’s inheritance!

In other words the thought is; if they can disregard or eliminate Jesus from their life they can still get to heaven!

At this point Jesus portrays himself as the Son and that He knew that He would be killed soon; and compares the prophets to a series of servants sent to collect fruit from the vineyard and in each case was either beaten or killed.

So when He asks the question “What then will the owner of the vineyard do?”

Jesus was saying,   I know your plan. I know your intention. I know what’s going on in your hearts.”  But it was not to Condemn them, but to plead with them saying  Is there any of you who want to change your mind, to change your direction, to repent?”

That’s exactly what He does with us. None of us just fall into sin, but rather we walk into a practice of sin one step at a time.

Yet, just as He sent His servants in the parable and His prophets in the Old Testament, the Lord is faithful to send messengers and warnings to us.

All too often, however, we continue on a path of progressive destruction.

In the parable before us, the first messenger was beaten. The second messenger was not only beaten but also treated shamefully. The third messenger was permanently wounded. The fourth messenger was killed.

The same progression is seen in the actions of the Jewish leaders: first they killed the prophets 2nd they allowed John the Baptist to be killed. 3rd They demanded Jesus be killed. 4th They themselves will kill Stephen.

That’s the way sin is. It progresses. At first we might be passively allowing it to take place around us.  2nd we’re checking out what happens. 3rd we’re participating and making it happen. 4th & finally, the sin take’s control of our behavior and our spiritual life dies.

 Yet all the while, the Lord faithfully gives opportunities to change direction.

We go to a Bible study and get convicted. We turn on the radio and hear words of warning. A concerned brother or sister says, “What are you doing?”  Each one is a messenger sent to save us.

 16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “May this never be!”

 In giving the Jewish leaders yet another opportunity to repent, Jesus wasn’t trying to protect His own life. He knew He would die on the Cross to pay for their sins. Rather, He was pleading with them to save their own lives. But what was the answer? A tragically defensive, “God forbid.”

  1. Warnings for the rejection

17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone’?

Remember the Messiah has just been officially presented to Israel at the Triumphal Entry.

So Jesus quotes—Ps 118:22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; this is the most often quoted Old Testament verse in the New Testament.

It refers to the construction of the temple under Solomon’s reign when the massive stones were chiseled miles away from the building site in order that no sound is heard upon the temple mount.

When the stones arrived, one stone didn’t fit and was thrown down the hill into the Kieran Valley. When it became evident that the cornerstone was missing, the stone that had been rejected turned out to be the one that fit perfectly.

In the Bible the messiah is often compared to a stone or a rock; He is the rock of provision in the desert for Israel 1 Cor 10:3-4 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them and that rock was Christ.

He is the stone of stumbling 1 Peter 2:7-8 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” 8 and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”

He is the stone cut without hands that crushes the kingdoms of this world Dan 2:44-45 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands-a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. “The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.”

So here Jesus applies this comparison of a stone to Himself and says, “You’re trying to build your religion apart from me, but you’re going to see that I am the Cornerstone. Without Me, nothing stands.”  And with the hostility of the Jewish leaders it shows that Jesus is the Messianic stone that is being rejected, even if He was initially greeted with praises.

4.Result of the rejection

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”

  1. There are several views concerning this verse. There are those who see the falling upon the stone as the judgment that was going to come upon Israel and upon the Gentile world powers destroying and bringing them to nothing.
  2. Then there are those who see the stone falling and grinding to powder the Gentile world powers spoken of in Daniel chapter two.
  3. There is also the view that Jesus is called a stumbling stone to the Jews as they stumbled over the cross which is also referred to as the stumbling stone; (and the Jews did stumble over the cross.)
  4. It could have another meaning and that is falling upon Jesus in repentance with a broken heart.

There is within us a certain pride that often keeps us from coming to Jesus. But when we fall upon that stone convicted of our sin we become broken and repentance occurs.

The one who falls upon Jesus, will be broken, for it’s only in admitting our sin and our need that we can be saved. This “falling” is when the true gospel of Gods love being given for you is not only realized on a personal level but is applied personally! as you fall on Jesus

You see, those who aren’t broken before Him will one day be broken by Him. Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10).

 The only question is when this will happen!

Every person will have many messengers (opportunities) throughout their life to deal with the owner of the vineyard to accept His terms of agreement (how will they deal with the messengers)

Anyone who comes to Jesus will be broken of their pride and self-will, but those who refuse to come will be crushed by Him in judgment.

You see if that stone falls on you, if you stubbornly resist and continue to refuse His offers of salvation, one day the stone will fall and grind your arrogant attitude and pride to powder.

 Will you do it now come in brokenness before Him; ask for forgiveness and be saved?

Or will you wait too long and be broken by Him?