James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders,Luke 20:1-21:38
LAST TEACHING IN JERUSALEM
The facts of this lesson are: (1) the challenge of the chief priests and scribes as to the authority of Jesus which, as we saw in Matthew 21, was equivalent to their formal rejection of Him who had just entered their city as the Messiah in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy; (2) the parable of the vineyard which, as we saw in the same place, was equivalent to His formal rejection of the nation; (3) the questionings of the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the scribes, “that they might take hold of His words, that so they might deliver Him unto the power and authority of the governor” (Luke 20:19-47); (4) the incident of the widow’s mite (Luke 21:1-4), dealt with in Mark 12; and (5) the Olivet discourse on His second coming, being a shorter record of that in Matthew 24, and covering in this chapter Luke 5:34.
In the questioning of the Sadducees (Luke 20:27-40) Luke gives particulars unnoticed by the other evangelists. He adds the words of Jesus (Luke 20:36), and explaining why they who are counted “worthy to attain that world and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage,” because they never “die any more” but, in that sense, “are equal unto the angels.” In other words the ordinance of marriage is not needed to perpetuate the race. A further particular is at Luke 20:38 : “For all live unto Him.” Death does not terminate man’s existence either that of the righteous or the wicked, the believing or the unbelieving. As unclothed spirits they live before God, and of course this will be true in the further sense on the resurrection of their bodies from the dead.
Another particular peculiar to Luke is in the Olivet discourse. Verses 20 and 24 are not given by Matthew or Mark. The whole of that section in Luke refers to the siege of Jerusalem by Titus A.D. 70, when the city was taken; but that siege foreshadows the greater one at the end of this age of which we learned in the Old Testament. In the siege at the end of the age the city will not be taken, but be delivered by the appearing of Christ (Revelation 19:11-21). The references in Matthew and Mark, unlike this in Luke, are to this last siege and not to the earlier one. In Luke, the sign is the compassing of Jerusalem by armies (Luke 21:20), but in the other gospels it is the abomination in the holy place (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
There is no contradiction among the evangelists as to this, as a comparison shows that questions touching both the commencement and the end of Jerusalem’s trouble were put to Christ by His disciples. But the different narrators give those which relate to our Lord’s reply as each was guided of the Spirit to record them. The trouble of Jerusalem caused by the rejection of Christ, began with the siege under Titus, but will not end till the times of the Gentiles have run their course. (Luke 21:24).
1. Name the great facts of this lesson.
2. Why is there no marrying in the resurrection life?
3. What words of Jesus prove life after death?
4. What essential difference is there between the siege of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, and that at the end of the age?
5. To which does Luke refer?
6. How would you harmonize the different statements of the evangelists on this point?