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Luke 20:1-18

Sunday Morning Bible Study

January 22, 2017


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday

Video:  SkitGuys – To Value Life or see it here

Daniel & Laura sharing about surrogacy.

Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

We are now on the homestretch of Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus is now in Jerusalem, on His way to be crucified. 

Luke has reminded us of what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:

(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on a Sunday, to the shouts of an adoring crowd, crying “Hosanna”.

The next morning, on Monday, Jesus came into the Temple and cleared out those who were ripping the people off through the selling of sacrificial animals and money changers.

He then began to teach in the Temple, as He would every day until He would be arrested.

20:1-8 Authority

:1 Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him

:2 and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”

:1 He taught … and preached the gospel

taughtdidasko – to teach; to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them

preached the gospeleuaggelizo (“good” + “message”) – 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

We get our word “evangelize” from this word.


Teaching and Preaching

Luke makes a point of using two words to describe the things that Jesus said while He was in the Temple.
I think we should do the same in church.
He taught.
He explained things about God.
He explained the Scriptures.

We’re going to see an example in a minute.

He preached the gospel.
“Gospel” means “good news”.  Preaching the gospel is sharing good news with someone.
Some of us modern evangelicals will say that preaching the gospel requires that you tell people these important facts:

1. We are sinners who are separated from God.

2. Jesus died on a cross to pay for our sin.

3.  We must turn to God to receive God’s forgiveness and eternal life.

Eternal life is “good news”

While I agree that this is the essence of what we call the “gospel”, and I try to remind you of these things often, Jesus’ preaching of the gospel wasn’t as specific as that.
(Mark 1:14–15 NKJV) —14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

What was the “good news” Jesus was proclaiming?  It was that the long-awaited kingdom of God was at hand.  Men ought to respond to that good news by “repenting” or turning from their sins.

What we call the “gospel” isn’t really different from what Jesus was saying.

We share with people that God’s kingdom has already come because God has made it possible for people to know Him because of what Jesus did on the cross.

We too want to encourage people to respond to this message by turning to God (repenting) and opening their heart to Jesus.

:1 chief priests … scribes … elders

These are the leaders in the Temple.

It’s possible that this is a delegation from the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Jewish religious leaders.

The chief priests tended to be of the Sadducee sect.

They were liberal in their theology.
They only believed the first five books of the Bible were Scripture.
They didn’t believe in miracles, angels, or a resurrection.

That’s why they were so sad-you-see.

The scribes tended to be Pharisees, though some were also Sadducees.

The Pharisees believed in miracles, angels, and a resurrection.
They believed the entire Old Testament was Scripture.
They were outwardly very, very strict and religious, though they only paid attention to what people see.  They neglected the issues of the heart.

The elders may have been political leaders.

:1 confronted Him

confrontedephistemi – to stand over one, place one’s self above

These leaders in the Temple are “standing over” Jesus, letting everyone know that they’re in charge.

:1 by what authority are You doing these things?

whatpoios – of what sort or nature

authorityexousia – power of choice; 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)

They want to know who gave Jesus the authority to come into their Temple and teach their people.

The “things” probably have to do with Jesus speaking in the Temple.

I can understand this concern.
As the pastor of this church, I’m not real excited when a stranger visits our church and decides to take some of you aside and rebuke you for things.  We’ve had this happen. In my eyes they have no “authority”.


What’s your authority?

What’s your authority to believe what you believe?
Is it what culture tells you to believe?
Is it what you “feel” is right?
Is it because someone important in your life has told you what to believe?

(a parent, teacher, me…)

Abuse of authority
Sometimes people in positions of authority will abuse their authority.

The chief priests and scribes were those kinds of people – telling people what to believe.

Within the church, there are those who will claim to be speaking for God, when what they desire is to exercise authority over you to get you to do what they want you to do.

You might not pay attention to them unless they said, “Thus says the Lord…”

The best authority to base your faith on is the Scriptures.
The Dead Sea Scrolls
Before 1947, the oldest Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament in existence dated back to about AD 1000.

People critical of Christianity would often say things like, “Well those Old Testament prophecies you quote were probably written after the time of Jesus”, and it was hard to debate that point.

The Palestinians today continue to claim that there is no evidence that the Jews ever lived in the land of Israel prior to the 20th century.

Yet in 1947, Bedouin goatherd tossed a stone into a cave, heard some pottery break, and discovered an ancient manuscript.

Video  Dead Sea Scrolls Discovery pt2

Eventually, there would be about 1,000 manuscripts and fragments discovered in eleven caves. (Here’s a great article about the Dead Sea Scrolls)

Though some of the manuscripts are “young”, dating to around AD 70, most of them date back to 300 BC.

Manuscript fragments of all the Old Testament books have been found, except for the book of Esther.

Why is this a big deal?

When Isaiah predicts:

(Isaiah 53:5 NKJV) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

… Isaiah wrote this before it happened.

When Zechariah wrote,

(Zechariah 9:9 NKJV) …O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

… he wrote it before it happened.

There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that speak of the first coming of Christ, and Jesus fulfilled them all.

You can trust God’s Word.

The “authority” of your “beliefs” should be God’s Word.

:3 But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me:

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

thinglogos – word

:3 I also will ask you one thing

Jesus isn’t going to answer them directly.

Instead He answers with a question that will expose where they’re really coming from.

:4 The baptism of John

A few years before Jesus’ public ministry, John was drawing crowds from Jerusalem down at the Jordan River. (Luke 3)

John was telling people to get ready for the coming Messiah, and to get ready by turning from their sins and being baptized to show their sins were being washed away.

When Jesus is speaking these things in the Temple, John has already been executed by Herod (Luke 9:9).

:5 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’

:6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”

:5 they reasoned among themselves

reasonedsullogizomai (“with” + “calculate”) – to bring together accounts, compute; to reckon with one’s self, to reason

These leaders are smart people.  They take time to think through their answer before they respond.

They’re not sure what the smartest answer is to Jesus’ question, let alone what the right answer is.

believepisteuo – to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

will stonekatalithazo – to overwhelm with stones, to stone

persuadedpeitho – persuade; be persuaded; to trust, have confidence, be confident

prophetprophetes – one who, moved by the Spirit of God and hence his organ or spokesman, solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events, and in particular such as relate to the cause and kingdom of God and to human salvation

:7 So they answered that they did not know where it was from.

:8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Do you know the answer?  Where did John get his authority to baptize?

Was it from God, or from men? (it was from God)

20:9-18 The Vineyard Owner

:9 Then He began to tell the people this parable…

:9 He began to tell the people this parable

A parable is a story that teaches a lesson.  For example…

On Thursday night, I was teaching on the principle that Jesus has the power to set us free from the slavery of sin.

We experience this freedom when we learn to yield or “present ourselves” to God.

(Romans 6:13 NKJV) And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
I said that “presenting yourselves” to God is like choosing who you’re going to dance with in life.  I used a parable with a bride and a groom.  Who does the bride and groom represent?
Video:  Shall We Dance – movie clip 11/12
You may not know the steps, but when you dance with Jesus, He’ll show you.

Parables are like movie clips that tell a story.

:9 …“A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time.

:9 A certain man planted a vineyard

Jesus is going to take this exchange with the Jewish leaders and make it a teaching opportunity.

He starts by telling a story.

A parable have a certain amount of symbolism, to teach a lesson.
Put your thinking caps on.
See if you can identify some of the characters in Jesus’ story.
Try to identify the owner, the vineyard, the vinedressers, the servants, and the son.

plantedphuteuo – to plant

a vineyardampelon – a vineyard

leasedekdidomi – to give out of one’s house, power, hand, stores; to let out for hire; to farm out

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

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

timechronos – time either long or short

longhikanos – sufficient; many enough, enough

:10 Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed.

vintage-timekairos – due measure; a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time, hence:  opportune or seasonable time; the right time

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

empty-handedkenos – empty, vain, devoid of truth

:11 Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed.

againprostithemi – to put to; to add

treated him shamefullyatimazo – to dishonor, insult, treat with contempt

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

woundedtraumatizo – to wound

:13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’

ownerkurios – he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has; power of deciding; master, lord

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

respectentrepo – to shame one; to reverence a person

:14 But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’

:14 they reasoned among themselves

reasoneddialogizomai (“dialog”) – to bring together different reasons, deliberate

Jesus uses a word that’s very similar to how the Jewish leaders “reasoned among themselves” (vs. 5) in how they would answer Jesus’ question about John the Baptist.

heirkleronomos – one who receives by lot, an heir

:15 So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.

:15 So they cast him out of the vineyard

I want to stop here for a minute and make sure you haven’t missed the subtleties of what Jesus has been talking about.

Who is the owner of the vineyard?
What is the vineyard?
It’s the nation of Israel.
Who are the vinedressers that the owner leased the vineyard to?
The leaders of the nation, the people who have just confronted Jesus.
Who are the various servants that the owner has sent to the vinedressers?
The various Old Testament prophets.
Who is the beloved Son that the owner finally sends?
It’s Jesus.
Bonus: What is Jesus saying that the Jewish leaders will eventually do to Him, the “son”?
They will reject Him and have him killed.

:15 …Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them?

:16 He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.” And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”

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

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

:16 He will come and destroy those vinedressers

The Romans would destroy and scatter the nation in AD 70.

Jesus is predicting the end of the nation.  He predicts this several times over the next few days.

:16 “Certainly not!”

It could be the people are saying that there’s no way they would reject the “son”.

It’s probably more likely that they are saying that they can’t even begin to think that the nation would be destroyed.

:17 Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone’?

He lookedemblepo – to turn one’s eyes on

rejectedapodokimazo – to disapprove, reject, repudiate

buildersoikodomeo – to build a house, erect a building

chiefkephale – the head

cornerstonegonia – corner

:17 What then is this that is written

Jesus is going to wrap up His story with a Scriptural principle.

Sometimes a teacher will explain the nuances of a Bible verse, and then illustrate the point with a story.

Jesus started with the story (parable), and then tied it to a Scripture.

:17 The stone which the builders rejected

It was just a few weeks ago when we studied Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday that we looked at the significance of Psalm 118.

It prophesied of the very day that Jesus would enter Jerusalem.
It even gave the words the people would shout on that day, “Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”.

In our passage, Jesus is quoting from:

(Psalm 118:22 NKJV) The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.

There is an old Jewish tradition about the building of the temple by Solomon.
The stone used to build Solomon’s temple was not cut at the temple site, but at the stone 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 according to the plans.
Everything worked well until one particular stone arrived, and the builders couldn’t figure out where it went so they tossed it aside.
Much later, the builders began to wonder when the quarry was going to send 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 tossed aside 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.

:18 Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

will be brokensunthlao – to break to pieces, shatter

:18 it will grind him to powder

grind … to powderlikmao – to winnow, cleanse away the chaff from the grain by winnowing; to crush to pieces, grind to powder

In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar had a strange dream (Daniel 2) about a giant statue with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet made of clay mixed with iron.

God told Daniel that the dream was about various world empires through history.
At the end of the dream, there was a special stone that would destroy the entire statue.
(Daniel 2:34–35 NKJV) —34 You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

Daniel said the other kingdoms became like “chaff”, which is the same imagery Jesus uses (“grind him to powder”).

Daniel went on to explain that this stone that destroyed the kingdoms was God’s own kingdom (Dan. 2:44)

You don’t want to be God’s enemy when Jesus returns.

(Daniel 2:44 NKJV) —44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

:18 Whoever falls on that stone will be broken


What will you do with Jesus?

You have two choices of what to do with Jesus, the chief cornerstone.
You can do nothing and just wait until He falls on you and grinds you to powder.
Or you can choose to fall on Jesus and be broken.

God is looking for hearts that are broken by sin.

David wrote,

(Psalm 34:18 NKJV) The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.