Luke 20:13
Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.
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(13) It may be.—The doubt implied in the qualification is a feature peculiar to St. Luke’s report. The better MSS. omit the clause “when they see him.”

20:9-19 Christ spake this parable against those who resolved not to own his authority, though the evidence of it was so full. How many resemble the Jews who murdered the prophets and crucified Christ, in their enmity to God, and aversion to his service, desiring to live according to their lusts, without control! Let all who are favoured with God's word, look to it that they make proper use of their advantages. Awful will be the doom, both of those who reject the Son, and of those who profess to reverence Him, yet render not the fruits in due season. Though they could not but own that for such a sin, such a punishment was just, yet they could not bear to hear of it. It is the folly of sinners, that they persevere in sinful ways, though they dread the destruction at the end of those ways.See this parable explained in the notes at Matthew 21:33-45. 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.

See Poole on "Luke 20:9" Then said the Lord of the vineyard,.... Who planted it, and let it out to husbandmen, and expected fruit from it, and sent his servants from time to time for it:

what shall I do? or what can be done more than has been done? Isaiah 5:4 who else can be sent that is likely to do any good with such an ungrateful and unfruitful people?

I will send my beloved Son; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who lay in his bosom, was the darling of his soul, and the delight of his heart; him he determined to send, and him he did send to the lost sheep of the house of Israel:

it may be they will reverence him, when they see him: it might be thought after the manner of men, that considering the greatness of his person, as the Son of God, the nature of his office, as the Redeemer and Saviour of men, the doctrines which he preached, the miracles which he wrought, and the holiness and harmlessness of his conversation, and the great good he did both to the bodies and souls of men, that he would have been had in great esteem and veneration with the men, to whom he was sent, and among whom he conversed: but, alas! when they saw him, they saw no beauty, comeliness, and excellency in him, and nothing on account of which he should be desired by them.

Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.
Luke 20:13. τί ποιήσω; deliberative subjunctive, serving to make the step next taken appear something extraordinary. In Mt. it appears simply as the next (final) step in common course. In Mk. the son is the only person left to send. He had yet one, a beloved son, “beloved” added to bring out the significance of sending him. In Lk. the reference to the son has a theological colour: τὸν υἱόν μου τὸν ἀγαπητόν.—ἴσως: more than “perhaps” or “it may be” (A.V[162], R.V[163]), and less than “without doubt” (“sine dubio,” Wolf). It expresses what may naturally and reasonably be expected = τάχα (Hesychius), or οἶμαι (Bornemann) = I should think (they will reverence him). Here only in N.T.

[162] Authorised Version.

[163] Revised Version.13. What shall I do?] Genesis 1:26; Genesis 6:7.

I will send my beloved son] who “took on Him the form of a servant.” Our Lord’s teaching respecting His own divine dignity advanced in distinctness as the end was approaching.

it may be] Literally, “perhaps.” It occurs here alone in the N. T. and once only in the LXX., 1 Samuel 25:21 (Heb. E. V. ‘surely’). This ‘perhaps’ belongs of course only to the parable, but it (i) indicates their free will, and (ii) enhances their awful crime to represent it as having seemed all but inconceivable.

when they see him] Omitted in א, B, C, D, L, Q.Luke 20:13. Ἴσως) Ἴσως occurs once in the New Testament, and once in the LXX. for אך, 1 Samuel 25:21. It denotes, humanly speaking, an opinion, conjecture, or hope, which might reasonably be entertained (as also profane authors employ ἴσως for per chance, it may be that); in the present case there is signified the altogether wise frankness (sincerity) of the Divine goodness.Verse 13. - Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do! I will send my beloved son. The guilt of the husbandmen who acted as vine-dressers here reached its highest measure. The words represented here by Jesus as spoken by God, possess the deepest doctrinal value. They, under the thin veil of the parable-story, answer the question of the Sanhedrim (ver. 2), "By what authority doest thou these things?" The deliberative words, "What shall I do?" recall the Divine dialogue alluded to in Gem. 1:26. St. Luke here represents the Father as calling the Son, "my Beloved." St. Mark adds that he was an only Son. Such sayings as this, and the remarkable prayer of Matthew 11:25-27, are a clear indication of the Christology of the synoptists. Their estimate of the Person of the blessed Son in no wise differed from that given us by St. John at much greater length and with fuller details. It may be (ἴσως)

Only here in New Testament. The adverb of ἴσος, equal. It expresses more than perhaps, implying rather a strong probability. Compare the phrase, it is an even chance that.


See on Matthew 21:37.

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