Let’s turn in our Bibles now to Luke’s gospel chapter twenty as we continue our journey through the scriptures.
It’s important to realize that we are entering in to the last few days of Jesus before His crucifixion. Last Sunday in our study of the nineteenth chapter, we were at the Sunday before His crucifixion. Whether or not He was crucified Wednesday, Thursday, Friday is really of no real import. It’s just something for theologians to figure out. But this is the Sunday before His crucifixion. And so we dealt with that triumphant entry and then it is thought that the cleansing of the temple actually took place on Monday.
On Sunday He came in to the city, riding on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecies, was rejected by the people. So He returned to the temple on Monday and He drove out those who were selling, merchandising within the temple precincts. We’ve mentioned before how that in those days and at that time, they had little marketplaces within the temple precincts.
When you offered a sacrifice to God, it was required by the law that the sacrifice be without spot or without a blemish. You weren’t to offer to God something that was really not worthwhile or roadkill, you might say. He wasn’t interested in that. And knowing people’s nature to be as it is, God forbid them to offer something that had broken legs or defaced faces or whatever. And so God said that your offering should be without spot, without blemish, a perfect sacrifice. You should give to God the best.
Now if you would bring a lamb out of your flock, maybe the best lamb that you have, the priest would be there to examine your sacrifice. And they could always find some little blemish. And they usually would if you brought out of your own flock. They would begin to yell at you and tell you that you could not offer that as a sacrifice unto God. Your desire is to offer a sacrifice to God and so, they would point you to the little shambles over here where they sell certified lambs. Kosher. They’ve been examined by the Rabbis and by the priests and so these are accepted. But the only problem they were sold at exorbitant prices.
They were gouging the people. The same was true in giving your offering unto the Lord. The Roman currency was the common currency of the land. They would not accept Roman currency in the temple treasury. They had what they call the temple shekel. And that is the only money that they would receive into the temple coffers was the temple shekel. And so you would have to change your Roman currency for the temple shekels in order to give an offering unto the Lord.
But again, they were charging exorbitant exchange rates. Rather than just an even cross exchange, they were charging ten to twenty percent to change your money from the Roman currency. And thus, they were raking off. They were sort of skimming. And they were making a profit off of people’s desire to worship God. They were actually putting roadblocks in the way.
As Jesus one time rebuked the Pharisees, He said, You don’t enter in but you forbid those who are trying to enter in. You hinder those who are wanting to enter in. And thus by their merchandising, it angered the Lord. When He began His ministry back in the beginning, He came to the temple, John tells us in his gospel, early on in His ministry and one of the first actions of Jesus’ public ministry was that of cleansing the temple. This is the second time He drove out the moneychangers and He stopped them from selling the sacrifices there in the temple precincts. Rebuking them He said that the scripture was written, “My Father’s house shall be known as a house of prayer for all people: but you have made it a den of thieves” (Luke 19:46). And that they had done.
So having driven out once more those that were selling and buying in the temple precincts, He continued teaching daily in the temple. This was a real consternation to the religious leaders. They had determined that Jesus must be put to death. They had meetings in which they were discussing just how they might arrest Jesus and kill Him without creating a real stir among the crowds because the people were listening to Jesus more and more.
During the times of the feast, hundreds of thousands of Jews would come to the temple, to Jerusalem from all over the world. Josephus, the early historian, said that as many as two million people would come into Jerusalem for these feasts. And so of course, coming many of them from all parts of the Roman empire, they would arrive early. There would be a build up to the feast as the people would come, it was necessary for those who have been living among the Gentiles to go through a purification rite. It took several days in order for them to be purified so that they could participate in the feast.
And so there were many of them already gathered and they would listen to Jesus. They were interested in the things that Jesus had to say. He was becoming very popular. So they determined that they have got to do something to get rid of Him, or else the Roman government will come in and they will lose their position, their power base, their ability to merchandise off the people because, I failed to mention, these marketplaces were actually owned or franchised by the high priest and his family. And thus, it was the priesthood that was getting wealthy off of fleecing the people of God who had come to worship.
So Sunday, His triumphant entry. Monday, His cleansing of the temple. And it is suggested that perhaps it was Tuesday as Jesus was teaching in the temple, up comes this religious body, the religious leaders, the chief priests, the scribes, those who interpreted the law, and the elders of the people, the council. We read,
It came to pass, that on one of those days, as he was teaching the people in the temple, and He was preaching the gospel (20:1),
The good news of the kingdom of God and that is something that the people were longing for.
the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And they spoke unto him, and they said, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things (20:1,2)?
They are referring to His closing up their little shops. His getting rid of the money changers.
By what authority do you do these things and just who gave you this authority (20:2)?
They were wanting Him to answer, God gave Me the authority. My Father gave Me the authority. So that they could arrest Him and say, He has spoken blasphemously. He said God gave Him the authority to do this. So Jesus, knowing what they were looking for,
Said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men (20:3,4)?
It’s interesting to me how that Jesus was always the Master of every situation. They came and they’re challenging Him and seeking to put Him on the defensive. But He immediately turns it right around and puts them, I’ll ask you a question. You see, He didn’t answer theirs, He just said I’ll ask you a question. “John’s baptism, was it of heaven, or of men”? And so they got their heads together, and they said, It’s a Catch twenty-two.
If we say, It was of heaven; then he’s going to say, Why then did you not receive him? But and if we say, It was of men; all the people are going to turn against us: because they all believed that John was a real prophet of God. So they said to Jesus, We can’t answer you. And Jesus said unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things (20:5-8).
That is, He didn’t tell them directly. But then He gives a parable and in the parable, indirectly He alludes to the authority by which He was doing these things.
So He began to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time (20:9).
Turn to Isaiah chapter five, and you will see there the parable of the vineyard. One with which they were all very familiar. This, along with Psalm 80, a psalm of Asaph and Jeremiah who likens the nation to a vineyard. They realized that He was talking about the nation of Israel.
There is in scriptural interpretation what is called the law of expositional constancy. I found that they usually use big words that make it sound like it’s very complicated. They just can’t put it in simple terms. So they say it is hermeneutics, hermeneutics is the law of scriptural interpretation. You say, hermeneutics, oh, hermeneutics. It’s rules to interpret the scripture. That simple. So this expositional constancy means that when you’re interpreting the scripture, if in a parable that is explained, if a vineyard is referring to the nation of Israel, then always when there is a parable, if in the parable there is a vineyard, it’s a reference to the nation of Israel. Expositional constancy. In other words, in one part, it isn’t representing the nation of Israel, and then in another part, another parable representing the Babylonian kingdom, for instance. It’s a constancy of the allegories that are used.
So the allegory is given by Isaiah and he said, “Now I will sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and he gathered out the stones from it, and planted it with the choicest vine, and he built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes” (Isaiah 5:1,2).
The picture, the idea is everything was done in order, the field was prepared, the rocks were taken out, the walls were built, the winepress was put in, the tower was there, it was done and they took the best vines, choicest vines to plant in the field because he wanted to create good wine. But when it came time to harvest the grapes, they were sour. They were like wild grapes.
“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. [God is challenging them now to judge.] What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? [God is saying, What more could I have done for these people than what I did?] And why is it that when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge [or the wall that is around it], and it shall be eaten up; I will break down the wall thereof, and it will be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor cultivated; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it anymore. For the vineyard of the LORD [and here is the interpretation] of hosts is the house of Israel, [so whenever you deal with vineyards in poetic kind of references or parables, it is referenced to the house of Israel] and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment [that is, for the grapes, for the fruit. And God wants righteous judgment], but He found instead oppression; He was looking for righteousness, but behold there was a cry from the people who were being oppressed” (Isaiah 5:3-7).
So as Jesus now speaks a parable of the vineyard, they realized that He’s talking about the nation of Israel. This vineyard was rented out or leased out to the husbandmen. “And he went forth into a far country for a long time.”
And at the season he sent his servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard (20:10):
That is, the crops should have been sold and the profits, his share of the profits, or the lease, he leased it out and so his lease money should be given.
but the husbandmen beat the servant, and sent him away empty. And so he sent again another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out (20:10-12).
These servants that God had sent were His prophets who were mistreated, abused by the nation of Israel. When Stephen was called to give his defense before the religious council, in the book of Acts, as he was rehearsing for them their history, showing that their fathers were not as illustrious as they liked to think them to be. Finally Stephen just became sort of overcome by his own message and his own remembrance of their history, and he finally said, “Which of the prophets have not your fathers abused” (Acts 7:52)? Name one prophet that they didn’t kill or mistreat. And he says, But you’re worst than all of them because you killed the One that the prophets were all prophesying about. You killed the Messiah, the Son of God. Of course, they really, they began to gnash on him with their teeth. They went into a frenzy. And they dragged him out of the walls of the city and stoned him to death.
So the husbandmen were those who were to cultivate, those who were to nourish, those who were to watch over the development to see that fruit would come and they were to then offer the fruit unto the Lord of the vineyard. These men have been misusing their trust. Jesus, of course, is directing the parable at these religious leaders who had challenged Him. They are the husbandmen. The religious leaders of the past.
It was God’s purpose and desire that the nation of Israel be a witness to the world of God’s love and God’s blessing upon those people who will obey and follow after God. God had promised that He was going to bless them. If you’ll just keep these statutes, these covenants that I have made with you, then I’m going to bless you. And the purpose was that all the world could see that it pays, really pays to serve God. To keep God at the forefront in the national life. That nation whose Lord is the God, the people are happy, the people are blessed. And God wanted them to be a witness to the world.
But they kept turning from God and they began to worship the gods of the land around them, the nations around them. They would adopt every god that came along and they forsook the true and the living God. And thus, they were not a witness to the world. God did everything for them, gave them the prophets, gave them His word, gave them men who were anointed by God and yet they. God said, What more could I do than what I’ve done? Why is it that they haven’t brought forth real fruit but only wild grapes.
And so here the continued situation. God is still looking for the fruit but they’re bringing forth wild grapes.
Then the lord of the vineyard [who is God] said, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be that they will reverence him when they see him (20:13).
So “Who gave you the authority?” God said, “I will send My beloved Son: surely they will reverence Him.” Indirectly He’s telling them by what authority He had come. By what authority He was judging the religious practices. My Father’s house was to be a house of prayer, He said, but you’ve made it a den of thieves. My Father’s house. The Father is now sending His Son.
But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, and they said, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours (20:14).
Already they had had several conferences in which they were plotting to put Jesus to death. They had already determined that He had to be put to death. This was a foregone kind of a conclusion, We’ve got to kill Him. If we don’t kill Him, we’re going to lose our positions as the religious leaders over these people. We’re going to lose our influence. The very thing that they were afraid of losing, they did lose when they rejected Jesus and they said, “His blood be upon us, and our children” (Matthew 27:25). And how they have suffered for that as the Roman troops came and utterly destroyed the city of Jerusalem.
It was as though Jesus was reading the words that were being said in their inner councils as they were plotting to kill Him. “This is the heir, let’s kill Him.”
So they cast him out of the vineyard, and they killed him (20:15).
This is a prophecy. Within three days, Jesus was hanging on a cross. They had carried out their conspiracy against Him. They arrested Him in the dark of night. Had a trial at night. Brought Him to Pilate early in the morning before people knew what was going on. By nine o’clock in the morning, He was hanging on a cross. They killed Him.
What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them (20:15)?
Jesus asked the question. And then He answered,
He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid (20:16).
It is now the purpose and the intent of God that the church of Jesus Christ be a witness to the world of the blessings that God bestows upon those who love Him and serve Him. Jesus said to His disciples, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). That was God’s intention for the nation of Israel. They failed. The vineyard has been taken from them and now given unto others. It is our responsibility as the church of Jesus Christ to be the witness to the world.
My responsibility as a spiritual leader in the church, as a pastor-teacher, is to perfect you for the work of the ministry. To build you up in Jesus Christ. To bring you into a knowledge and an understanding of the word of God and help you to make a practical application of God’s word in your own life. That you might be a Christian who brings forth fruit. That the world might see the blessings that God bestows upon His people.
The fruit of the Spirit that God is seeking from your life, the fruit that we seek to see developed is God’s love, first and foremost. That you be filled with the love of God which is first of all, love for God with your whole being, Him first, Him foremost, Him above everything else. And then that you love one another, even as He gave His commandments. And then the fruit of that love is joy, peace. That love is manifested in the long-suffering and the patience with which we deal with one another’s faults.
If we would only be as gracious with the faults of others as we are of our own, it would be a very happy place. But God wants us to be forgiving, long-suffering, patient, kind and gentle. These are the characteristics that come from this love. And this is what God is seeking from our lives. This is what God wants to perfect.
I wonder as the Lord comes to His vineyard, desiring the fruit, is He finding the fruit that He is seeking or is He finding wild grapes? Sour grapes? So often in the church even, we hear people who are sour grapes on everything. There seems to be a lack of, whenever you have sour grapes there is a lack of joy. Sour grapes aren’t joyful. And does the Lord really find what He is looking for in my heart, in my life. The attitudes that I have, are these attitudes reflecting what God is desiring. And that’s a question that each of us should ask ourselves.
And then Jesus beheld them (20:17)
He looked right at them. They got the parable. They realized that He was talking about them. Down in verse nineteen,
And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: because they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them (20:19).
Right they are. He had. So He looks right at them.
and He said, What is this then that is written (20:17),
Explain this scripture.
The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner (20:17)?
Looking right at them. What is this that is written? They were the builders. They rejected the stone, the rock. But God has made it the chief cornerstone.
A few months later; this happened about April, in the month of June, Peter and John were going into the temple at the hour of prayer in the afternoon, there was a lame man who was begging, seeking handouts, had his sign, Will work for food. And Peter said, Look at me. And the man turned, held out his hand expecting to receive something. Peter said, I don’t have any silver or gold; but what I have I’ll give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth stand to your feet and walk” (Acts 3:6). Peter took the man by the right hand, lifted him to his feet: and immediately he was strengthened. He began to walk, he began to leap, jump up and down, he began to praise God and he went through the temple walking, leaping, praising God. And the people said, did you see that? Isn’t that the beggar who has been out there for years? Sure look like him. How is it that he’s walking? Don’t know, let’s find out. And so as he made his rounds through the temple when he came back out to Solomon’s porch where Peter and John were still there, he grabbed hold of Peter. And all of the people began to look at Peter as though he was some holy man of God.
And Peter said, You men of Israel. Why do you marvel at this, or why do you look on us as though we through our own goodness or righteousness have done this good deed to the lame man? Be it known unto you, it’s by the name of Jesus Christ that this man is made whole. And he went on and preached how that God, your leaders had Him put to death when Pilate was determined to free Him. But God has raised Him from the dead. And so the religious leaders came and they were upset because the disciples were preaching the resurrection of Jesus. And using this healing of the lame man as a proof that Jesus was still alive.
So they arrested Jesus. The next morning they called their court session. All of the lawyers, the religious leaders were there. These same ones that Jesus looked at and said, Have you never read, or what does this mean that’s written, The stone which the builders rejected. What does that mean? And so Peter, when they said, We want to know by what power. Again, what authority do you do these things?
It’s interesting to me that there are always those who are looking. What authority do you do that? I’ve had people say, Who gave you the authority to baptize people? Mormons are always interested in that. You see, if the twelve apostles and the Mormon church did not give you the authority, then you really have no right to administer any kind of sacrament within the church. Baptism or whatever. You got to have the authority. So they’re always asking, Who gave you the authority? I just say, the same one that gave John the Baptist his authority. They asked John that question, too. They said to John the Baptist, Who gave you the authority to do these things?
Peter then looking at the same crowd that Jesus looked at, he said, If you really want to know, it is “by the name of Jesus Christ that this man stands here before you whole. He is the stone which was set at nought by you builders, but He is become the chief cornerstone. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).
That no doubt, they had a flashback on Jesus looking at them and saying, What does it mean? It is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the chief cornerstone. And then going on with the stone as an analogy, and of course, the stone in the Old Testament is used over and over, countless times, as a symbol for God. The rock, the stone, “lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2). “He put me out of the miry clay, set my feet upon a rock” (Psalm 40:2). In Deuteronomy chapter thirty-two, you’ll find five, six references to the rock. It’s capitalized there because obviously, it’s referring to God.
Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder (20:18).
There are those who see the falling upon the stone as the judgment that was going to come upon Israel and the stone that falls upon the Gentile world powers destroying and bringing them to nothing, they see as the stone falling, grinding to powder the Gentile world powers. Taking out of Daniel chapter two.
Jesus is called a stumbling stone to the Jews. They stumbled over the cross. The cross of Christ is referred to as the stumbling stone, the scandalon or the stumbling stone. The Jews did stumble over the cross.
It could have another meaning. “Whosoever shall fall upon that stone,” that is, falling upon Jesus in repentance, broken. There is within us a certain arrogancy, a certain pride that often keeps us from coming to Jesus. And we fall upon that stone, broken, convicted of our sin, repentant.
But if that stone falls on you, if you resist, stubbornly resist, continue in your arrogancy and pride, one day the stone will fall and grind them to powder.
And so as we went ahead a bit ago, the chief priests, the scribes they sought to lay hands on Him. But yet they feared the people and they perceived that He had directed this against them.
And so they watched him sinisterly, and they sent forth spies, who would feign themselves to be just men, that they might take hold of his words, so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor (20:20).
They were wanting to turn Him over to the Roman government, accusing Him of insurrection or treason against Rome in order that the Roman government might put Him to death. And so they sent out these fellows to pretend like they were very interested and very respectful of the things He had to say and to ask Him lead type of questions. They were looking for something to create charges that they might bring to Rome.
So they asked him [some of these fellows feigning to be just men], saying, Master, we know that what You say and what You teach is right, and you don’t accept the person of any man, [and you’re a straight shooter, you don’t back down for anybody, you’re interested in what’s right and you hold the line] and You teach us the way of God truly (20:21):
What you’re saying is true. It’s right. We know that. Therefore,
Is it lawful for us to give tribute [or to pay taxes] unto Caesar, or not (20:22)?
Are these taxes that the Roman government is forcing upon us, is it lawful that we pay those or not? They thought that they had a Catch twenty-two. Because if Jesus said, Yes, it is lawful that you pay your taxes to Caesar; then that will turn the crowd against Him. No one liked paying taxes to Rome. That was something that irritated all of them and He was gaining popular appeal. So they knew that it would immediately turn the crowd against Him. Fickle crowd.
If He said, You shouldn’t pay taxes to Caesar; then they’ve got grounds to go down to the governor and say, We’ve got a fellow attracting a lot of people and He is advocating that they not pay their income taxes. And thus, get Him arrested as a rebel against Rome.
So Jesus perceived their craftiness [he saw through it], and He said, Why are you tempting me? Show me a denarius [a Roman coin]. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s. And so He said unto them, Give unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and give unto God the things that are God’s (20:23-25).
“Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.” As Christians, we are told that we are to pay taxes to whom taxes are due. Render tribute to whom tribute is due. Tribute is taxes. We are not to be tax revolters. Even if the taxes are oppressive, God has put into the government those whom He would. As Christians we’re not to be rebelling against the government. We are to render taxes to whom taxes are due. Render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s.
But the other part is more important. Render unto God the things that are God’s. Are we giving God His due.
They could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace (20:26).
Ah, got out of it! Beat us on that one.
So there came to Him certain of the Sadducees (20:27),
The high priest’s family were Sadducees. Sadducees were materialists. They did not believe in life after death. They did not believe in spirits. They did not believe in angels. They were pure materialists. Humanists of the day. And there came to Him certain of the Sadducees,
which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother (20:27,28).
That’s a part of the Mosaic law and it actually went. It was before the law was ever given. It was a custom, a practice that if a man married a woman, and he died without having any children, as a family obligation and duty his brother was to take that woman as his wife and the first child that was born would be named after the dead brother. So that his name would not be lost. His name would be remembered because the child bearing his name would carry on his name to the next generation.
It was in the book of Genesis when Judah, one of his sons married Tamar. The son died without children and so the brother took Tamar as his wife. He died without any children. And so Judah was reluctant to give the third son to this Tamar and there’s an interesting story in the book of Genesis. You might read it, you’ll find it fascinating, that deals with this particular custom. But it became codified, it became a part of the law. Only the law was a little more gracious than the custom because the law gave them an out.
If the brother says, I don’t want to marry her. She gave my brother such a bad, no way. Don’t pass her off on me. Then they would come to the judges. They go to court and they would come before the judges. He would announce the case. This woman was married to my brother. My brother died, they don’t have any children. But I don’t want her. He would take off his sandal and he would hand it to her. Sort of saying, you’re like an old dirty shoe, I don’t want anything to do with you.
She in turn would then spit in his face. And he got a dirty name, he was then called the man from whom the shoe was loosed. It meant that he wouldn’t carry on the family honor, family tradition. So using then this law, they developed this hypothetical case.
There were seven brothers [the story of seven brothers]: and the first took a wife, and he died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and they all died (20:29-31).
Don’t you think they should have called the forensic detectives and found out what’s in their coffee that she was making or something? Something suspicious here.
Finally the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them will she be? [Who gets her?] for the seven all had her as a wife. And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which will be accounted worthy to obtain the world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection (20:32-36).
The family order has been designed by God. It’s a part of God’s plan. When God created Adam and Eve and placed them there together in the garden, He said, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:22), and replenish the earth. The idea was that the family unit was to provide a secure, loving environment for the raising of children. That’s the purpose of the family. That’s the purpose of the family unit. To perpetuate the human race but that the children might grow up in the secure environment of a loving family. That’s why we’re in such a social morass today because of the breakdown of the family and that secure environment within the home in which God intended children should be raised.
There will be no propagating in the kingdom of God. There will be no reproduction in that kingdom. We will be as the angels. There will be a whole different kind of relationship. Now I know that this troubles some people and it blesses others.
We actually counseled at one time a woman who was a Mormon whose marriage was sealed in the temple which makes it an eternal marriage. The fellow turned out to be a total jerk. And she was having the equivalent of a nervous breakdown thinking that she had to spend eternity with this jerk.
But Jesus said, “You do err.” Those which are accounted worthy to obtain that world, the resurrection of the dead, they will “neither marry, nor are given in marriage.” You say, I don’t like that. You don’t have very much of an attractive alternative. And “neither can they die anymore.”
But our problem is yes, marriage is one of the most beautiful relationships that we can experience on this earth. There is a bond, there is a love, the family, it’s so glorious. There is such love and such a bonding with your wife and with your children, with your grandchildren that we think that this has to be the most glorious relationship a person could ever know. Listen, heaven’s got so many glorious surprises for you and the relationships there will be so far superior to the best relationship here. You don’t have to worry about it. Don’t lie awake at night and worry about, I’m going to be alone. I’m not going to be secure. God’s got such glorious things prepared for us that it’s even foolish to spend much time even dealing with it. “Neither will they die any more: they’re equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”
But now that the dead are raised (20:37),
These are Sadducees, they didn’t believe in the resurrection. “But now,” Jesus said, “that the dead are raised,”
even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living (20:37,38):
The Pharisees that were there thought, Good one. You see, they believe in the resurrection and they were always arguing with the Sadducees over this issue. This was the thing that divided them, the issue of the resurrection from the dead. And when Jesus answered the Sadducees with this really powerfully logical demonstration of the dead being raised, “He’s the God of the living, not the dead”; they liked that.
Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, that was great (20:39).
That’s good. That’s well said.
And after that they dared not to ask him any question at all (20:40).
He pretty well did them in.
And he said unto them (20:41),
So He’s going to ask a question now.
How is it that they say that the Messiah is David’s son? And David himself said in the book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool (20:41-43).
He quoted to them Psalm 110. A psalm concerning the Messiah, “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, Till I make your enemies your footstool.”
David therefore called him Lord, how is he then his son (20:44)?
David was promised by God that the Messiah would come through his line. That was God’s, it was from the line of Abraham, from the line of David. Genealogy. God’s promise to David so He would be David’s son. “There shall never cease to be one of your seed, your son sitting upon the throne forever” (1 Kings 9:5). David and all of them recognized that was the promise of God that the Messiah would come through David.
Jesus is actually posing a question to them that was difficult because in their culture, such a strong patriarchal type of culture, that there is no way a father would ever call his son, Lord. There was always that high respect for the father. The father was always called the Lord. Never the son. Never by the father. So Jesus is saying, How is it then, if the Messiah is David’s son, how is it that David called him Lord? How is He then his son? He addressed this to the scribes,
Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples (20:45),
He turned now from them, he had stumped them, they have no answer nor did He give them one. But He turns now to the rest of the people and He gives them a warning. He said,
Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts (20:46);
Watch out for that crowd. They love the acknowledgment and the recognition of the people. They love to wear the long robes that distinguish them as religious men. They love the people in the marketplace bowing, saying, Rabbi, Rabbi. They doted on that. They love the perks. The special treatments. And He said,
They devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers (20:47):
Their prayers were showy. It was just a show of how righteous they were. “For a show, made long prayers,”
the same shall receive greater damnation (20:47) .
Again, to the people, He’s saying, Watch out for these guys. They’re dangerous.
Father, we thank You again for the teachings of Jesus our Lord. And Lord, help us that we might apply unto our lives the truth. Lord, we ask that You would help us that we might bring forth the fruit that You are seeking. Good fruit, not wild grapes. Help us, O Lord, to cast ourselves upon Your mercy and Your grace. Help us, Lord, that we would not be as those scribes and Pharisees looking out for our own positions rather than looking out for You. Considering Lord, our own kingdoms rather than Your kingdom. Help us Lord that indeed we might seek first kingdom of God, Your righteousness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8064