Luke 20:1-19

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

February 20, 2002


Jesus has finally made His way to Jerusalem.  He came in triumphantly, being hailed as a king.  He knows that He will soon be betrayed and crucified.  The first thing He did as He came into the city was to go to the temple and throw out the money-changers and the people that sold animals for sacrificing.  He gave a reason for doing this, quoting,

(Luke 19:46-48 KJV)  Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. {47} And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, {48} And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

:1  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,

taughtdidasko – to teach

preached the gospeleuaggelizo (“good” + “messenger”) – to bring good news, to announce glad tidings; in the NT used especially of the glad tidings of the coming kingdom of God, and of the salvation to be obtained in it through Christ, and of what relates to this salvation

:2 And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?

whatpoios – of what sort or nature

authorityexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; physical and mental power; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)

To the chief priests and scribes, Jesus has invaded their “turf”.  He’s upset some of their money-making schemes.  Who does Jesus think He is to do something like this?

:3 And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:

Jesus is going to exercise what we would call a “word of wisdom”.

He’s going to handle an extremely tricky situation in an unusually wise way.

For Jesus, this is a natural thing.
When something like this happens with us, we consider it supernatural.

:4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

By this time, John the Baptist had been executed by Herod.

:5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?

they reasoned with themselvessullogizomai – to bring together accounts, reckon up, compute; to reckon with one’s self, to reason

:6 But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

will stonekatalithazo (“down” + “stone”) – to overwhelm with stones, to stone

be persuadedpeitho – be persuaded; to believe; to be persuaded of a thing concerning a person; to trust, have confidence, be confident.  This is a “perfect” tense, meaning that the people were persuaded in the past, and the effects of that persuasion still continue into the present.

We aren’t told specifically what these priests and scribes believed.  They seem more concerned about the contest of this confrontation with Jesus than they are concerned about figuring out the truth.  They seem to be seeing this as some sort of a chess match or something.

:7 And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.

could not telleido – to see; to know; literally, “they did not know

:8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

:9  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.

plantedphuteuo – to plant

vineyardampelon – a vineyard

let it forthekdidomi – to give out of one’s house, power, hand, stores; to give out, give up, give over; to let out for hire; to farm out.

The owner leased the vineyard to some farmers.

husbandmengeorgos – a husbandman, tiller of the soil, a vine dresser

went into a far countryapodemeo – to go away into foreign parts, go abroad

longhikanos – sufficient; many enough, enough

timechronos – time either long or short

:10 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.

the seasonkairos – due measure; a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time, hence:; a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for

he sent apostello (our word “apostle”) – to order (one) to go to a place appointed; to send away, dismiss

servantdoulos – a slave, bondman, man of servile condition

beat dero – to flay, skin; to beat, thrash, smite

sent … awayexapostello – to send forth; to send away

emptykenos – empty, vain, devoid of truth

The owner is looking for fruit.

He has rented the property to these farmers so they will produce fruit.

He sends a servant to ask the farmers for the owner’s portion of fruit.


The vineyard is … Israel. 

This isn’t even a “new” idea – the prophet Isaiah told a parable about a vineyard and even gave the interpretation –
(Isa 5:7 KJV)  For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel …

The owner is … God.  

The husbandmen represent … the Jewish leaders.

The “servant” represents … one of the prophets sent by God.

:11 And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.

beatdero – to flay, skin; to beat, thrash, smite

entreated him shamefullyatimazo – to dishonour, insult, treat with contempt; whether in word, deed or thought

:12 And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.

they woundedtraumatizo (“traumatize”) – to wound

: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.

belovedagapetos – beloved, esteemed, dear, favourite, worthy of love

they will reverenceentrepo – to shame one; to be ashamed; to reverence a person; to turn about

This should be the proper way to treat the son of the owner.  Reverence.

:14 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.

they reasoned among themselvesdialogizomai – to bring together different reasons, to reckon up the reasons, to reason, revolve in one’s mind, deliberate

the heirkleronomos – one who receives by lot, an heir

the inheritancekleronomia – an inheritance, property received (or to be received) by inheritance

:15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?

Jesus is predicting His own rejection and death led by the Jewish leaders.

:16 He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

destroyapollumi – to destroy; to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin; render useless; to kill

God forbidginomai – to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being.  Literally, “may it not come to be”.

I wonder just what they are saying “God forbid” to?

Are they suggesting that they wouldn’t miss out on giving reverence to God’s Son?
Or are they suggesting that God wouldn’t destroy them?

Jesus now predicts God’s judgment against the leaders, and the destruction of the nation (which would happen in AD 70).

:17 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?

rejectedapodokimazo – to disapprove, reject, repudiate

the buildersoikodomeo – to build a house, erect a building

headkephale – the head, both of men and often of animals. Since the loss of the head destroys life, this word is used in the phrases relating to capital and extreme punishment.; of things: the corner stone

cornergonia – corner

Jesus is quoting from:

(Psa 118:22 KJV)  The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

There was a story told by the Jews (and repeated by Pastor Chuck) about the building of the temple by Solomon.
With Solomon’s temple, the stone was all cut to specifications at the quarry.  There was to be no sound of cutting tools on the temple sight. After a stone was cut to specifications, it would be sent to the temple, where it would be placed into the building. One particular stone arrived, and the builders couldn’t figure out where it went, so they threw it away, down the hill. Much later, the builders were wondering when the quarry was going to sent the most important stone, the corner stone.  All the other stones were in place except for it. The quarry answered that they had already sent it a long time ago. That’s when they realized that the stone they had throne away and rejected was in fact the most important of them all, the corner stone. Jesus is identifying Himself as the corner stone, and He too will be rejected and thrown away.

This is all in the same context of the Scripture that was fulfilled when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, with the crowds shouting “Hosanna”.

(Psa 118:24-27 KJV)  This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. {25} Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. {26} Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD. {27} God is the LORD, which hath showed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

We talked about this a couple of weeks ago, that the very day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem was a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of the coming of the Messiah (Dan. 9:25), that the very day was a fulfillment, the day that the Lord had made.

:18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

shall be brokensunthlao – to break to pieces, shatter

it will grindlikmao – to winnow, cleanse away the chaff from the grain by winnowing; to scatter; to crush to pieces, grind to powder

There are two things that can be done with this “stone”.

Either you fall on the stone, or it will fall on you.

If you fall on the stone, you will be broken.
If the stone falls on you, you’re dust (a paraphrase!)
Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about something similar to this:
(Dan 2:34-35 KJV)  Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. {35} Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
(Dan 2:44 KJV)  And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

The choice is ours.



If you come to Jesus, you must humble yourself and be broken.
Throughout the Bible, we see the recurring theme that the things and people that God uses are broken.
Gideon and the torches – the pots had to be broken for the light to come out.
Mary’s alabaster box – the perfume is of no value until the box is broken and the perfume comes out.
The church of Smyrna, named for “myrrh”, a perfume that was made from the gummy sap of the Commiphora myrrha tree. The sap would be collected by slashing a branch or the trunk of the small tree, and then the gum hardened into a solid resin. The resin would then be pounded and ground up, to be mixed with oil, forming a perfume. The church of Smyrna was the persecuted church, and one of the few churches that Jesus had nothing bad to say about.  They were dear to the Lord.

(Heb 11:24-27 NLT)  It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be treated as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. {25} He chose to share the oppression of God's people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. {26} He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the great reward that God would give him. {27} It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt. He was not afraid of the king. Moses kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.

Moses demonstrated his faith in the Lord by choosing to suffer affliction with God's people, rather than choosing the pleasures of sin for a season.

It is a sacrifice that brings a pleasing aroma before the Lord.

When you are broken, you are in a place to be able to finally receive from the Lord.
Brokenness is the place of humility.  God will not work with a proud person.

(1 Pet 5:5-6 KJV)  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. {6} Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

When you are broken, you are in a place to receive God’s comfort.
(2 Cor 1:3-4 KJV)  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; {4} Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
David wrote,
(Psa 34:18 KJV)  The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

If you are in a place of brokenness, that might not be all that bad of a place.  It’s a place where God can work.  It’s a place where God can use you.

:19 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.

perceivedginosko – to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel

These guys know that Jesus is talking about them, and they don’t like it.  They don’t sound “broken”, do they?


Don’t miss out on God

When God is at work, will you recognize it?
Sometimes we can fall into the trap of having our little lives all planned out, getting all our ducks in a row, and then God does something that makes us a little uncomfortable, perhaps even threatens us a little.
Would you follow Jesus if He led you somewhere you weren’t planning on going?  Or would you come up with lots of arguments as to why He couldn’t be leading you?
Last night at the pastors’ conference, Jon Courson shared from
(Col 1:26-27 KJV)  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: {27} To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

His point was this – one morning he sensed that the Lord said to him, “Johnny, what am I going to do today?”  Jon responded, “I don’t know Lord, what are you going to do?”  Then the Lord said again, “Johnny, what am I going to do today?”  Jon said again, “I don’t know Lord, what are you going to do?”  Then Jon began to think and it hit him that the answer to the Lord’s question wasn’t with the Lord, but with him.  If Jesus is in you, then where you go, Jesus goes.  When the Lord says, “What am I going to do today?”, the idea is, “Where am I going to take Jesus?”  Sometimes we want to know what God is wanting us to do, but frankly there are plenty of times that we already know what Jesus would be doing.  The question is, are we going to do what Jesus wants to do?