Matthew Poole's 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 20:1-8 Christ silences those who questioned his authority.
Luke 20:9-18 The parable of the vineyard let out to wicked husbandmen.
Luke 20:19-26 The chief priests and scribes seek matter against
him: his reply to their insidious question
concerning: paying tribute to Caesar.
Luke 20:27-40 He confuteth the Sadducees concerning the resurrection.
Luke 20:41-44 He propounds a difficulty concerning the character of Christ.
Luke 20:45-47 He warns his disciples against the ambition and
hypocrisy of the scribes.
Ver. 1,2. We have along the history of the gospel observed, that the scribes and Pharisees took all advantages imaginable against our Saviour: failing in all their acts, they now come to question his authority, which seemeth not so much to have respect to his preaching, as to his act in casting of the buyers and sellers out of the temple; for as to preaching, they seem, by the history of Scripture, to have given a great liberty, especially if any had the repute of a prophet.
And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?See Poole on "Luke 20:1"
And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:Ver. 3-8. See Poole on "Matthew 21:24", and following verses to Matthew 21:27. See Poole on "Mark 11:29", and following verses to Mark 11:33. The substance of our Saviour’s answer is this: From whence had John his authority? He preached and baptized; who gave him his authority? They had sent much such another message to John, John 1:19-22. Was John’s authority ordinary or extraordinary? It is plain that he had no authority from them, for then they would not have sent to him to know who he was. He must therefore have it from heaven. Now if they had allowed John’s call extraordinary, why should not they allow Christ’s to be such, to whom John gave so large a testimony, and who confirmed his extraordinary mission by miraculous operations, which we do not read that John ever did? Besides, the Pharisees saw that if they allowed John’s mission to be extraordinary, and from heaven, they had obviously exposed themselves to a check for not believing what he said; they therefore refuse to make any answer, and Christ refuseth also to satisfy them.
The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?See Poole on "Luke 20:3"
And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?See Poole on "Luke 20:3"
But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.See Poole on "Luke 20:3"
And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.See Poole on "Luke 20:3"
And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.See Poole on "Luke 20:3"
Then began he 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.Ver. 9-18. We met with this parable at large both in Matthew 21:33-41, and in Mark 12:1-11. Its obvious scope is to let them know, that God in righteous judgment, for the Jews’ abusing the Lord’s prophets, John the Baptist, and himself, who was in a few days to be killed by them, would unchurch and destroy them, and raise up to himself a church amongst the Gentiles; and that this was no more than was prophesied of, Psalm 118:22.
And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.See Poole on "Luke 20:9"
And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.See Poole on "Luke 20:9"
And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.See Poole on "Luke 20:9"
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.See Poole on "Luke 20:9"
But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.See Poole on "Luke 20:9"
So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?See Poole on "Luke 20:9"
He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.See Poole on "Luke 20:9"
And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?See Poole on "Luke 20:9"
Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.See Poole on "Luke 20:9"
And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.Ver. 19,20. There is nothing in these verses, but what we before met with, and is opened in the notes on Matthew 21:45,46, or Mark 12:12,13. They let us see as in a glass the spirit and genius of wicked men filled with malice against the gospel. They are continually seeking to destroy such as have any relation to Christ, and, to effect their ends, they will judge no means unfair; and their great art is to represent them as dangerous persons to the civil government: so as if good men find the same things still, they have this to comfort them, that the disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.See Poole on "Luke 20:19"
And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly:Ver. 21-26 This piece of history we have likewise met with, both in Matthew 22:16-22, and Mark 12:14-17.
Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?See Poole on "Luke 20:21"
But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?See Poole on "Luke 20:21"
Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's.See Poole on "Luke 20:21"
And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.See Poole on "Luke 20:21"
And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.See Poole on "Luke 20:21"
Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,Ver. 27-38. See Poole on "Matthew 22:23", and following verses to Matthew 22:32, See Poole on "Mark 12:18", and following verses to Mark 12:27, where all the passages in this piece of history are fully opened. By
equal unto the angels, in Luke 20:36, we must not understand in all things, but in the thing mentioned:
1. The number of the elect shall be perfect, so there shall be no need of marrying, or giving in marriage, to multiply the number of men.
2. There shall be no more marriages amongst men than amongst angels; all live unto God, Luke 20:38. Though Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were dead at the speaking of those words, yet they were not so in God’s eye, who was determined to raise them up in the last day, and who with the same eye beholds things past, present, and to come. But see more in the notes before mentioned.
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.See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
Last of all the woman died also.See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
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.See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.See Poole on "Luke 20:27"
Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said.Ver. 39,40 The scribes were the Jewish doctors of the Pharisees faction, and enemies to the Sadducees; they applaud our Saviour’s answer: thus as the Herodians before, (in the case of the tribute), so the Sadducees here, are put to silence. He will now put the scribes and Pharisees to silence.
And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.See Poole on "Luke 20:39"
And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's son?Ver. 41-44. The answer had been easy if the scribes and Pharisees, who (Matthew saith) were there also, had owned Christ to be the Son of God. But this they did not own, and so, as Matthew 22:46 tells us,
No man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions. Thus Christ nonplussed all his adversaries.
And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,See Poole on "Luke 20:41"
Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.See Poole on "Luke 20:42"
David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?See Poole on "Luke 20:43"
Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples,Ver. 45-47. We have met with all this before, See Poole on "Luke 11:43". See Poole on "Matthew 23:6". See Poole on "Matthew 23:7". See Poole on "Mark 12:38", and following verses to Mark 12:40.
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;See Poole on "Luke 20:45"
Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.See Poole on "Luke 20:45"