Bible Discussion — Luke 20

April 30, 2008, 4:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Connie, David, Josh J, Steve  | 1 Comment

This week, looks at the next chapter of Luke, Luke 20.

Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14-15 | 16-17 | 18 | 19

Authority, and how we respond to it, is the main theme of this chapter. After the Jews ask Jesus where He got his authority, He traps them by promising an answer if they can answer a question of His: “Where did John\’s authority come from?”

Ah, but they could not answer because, in reality, they had no interest in whether Jesus — or John — had real authority; they just cared about how long they could avoid submission to it while not angering the crowds who believed. There is the crux in life: if you believe in God, live out that belief. If you don\’t, say so.

But not us; like hypocrites, we stay in the miserable middle ground, claiming to still search for an answer, waiting for the weather to change, while our opportunity to obey, or identify with God, disappears.

These are a few different examples where Jesus was teaching the people and the religious teachers of the day threw Him questions to try to trip Him up and accuse Him of “crimes,” or perhaps make Him look foolish. It usually had the opposite effect.

On at least one occasion, the chief priests and teachers of the law sent spies to ask Jesus one of their trick questions instead of doing it themselves (vv. 20-21). Good idea, guys! Make sure they preface the question with a compliment about His teaching to reel Him in. He\’ll never see through that one.

In verse 39, after the seven brothers question (which I think the Broadway musical was based on), “some” of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” And it says they stopped asking questions after that. Could it be that those “some” were won over, not just tired of the game?

Jesus doesn’t just say that God is the God of the living — He says that, to Him, “all are alive.” What does this suggest about our conception of the afterlife?

Josh: Enemy Footstool
David: Lord of the Vineyard
Connie: Cornerstone
Steve: Empty Hand

When reading the parable of the tenants, the owner of the vineyard at first appears to be weak, even helpless, with no recourse but sending more sheep to the slaughter. It is not until the end that He shows his control by punishing the tenants and reclaiming the vineyard. If it were me, I\’m pretty sure I would have stepped in the first time my representative wasn\’t heeded.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Thank God for His patience. Of course, in the meantime, being a servant of the vineyard owner is not for the faint of heart. But He asks nothing of us that He did not ask of His own son.

A belief in any man or woman of God which stands aloof, feigning a need for more proof before allegiance can be given, is no belief at all. It\’s a stalling tactic designed to wait for the wind to change, so that the person can be driven off once the crowd has turned. I\’ve seen it used on a few pastors in my day.

The description of the teachers here, you know, the ones who love to be treated like they are important, who get the places of honor, and value their own well-being over that of widows, and show off with the impressively devoted nature of their religion, with their lengthy prayers… Yeah, those folks. They remind me of a lot of people, but most notably myself. Quite a word of warning: “Such will be punished severely.”

Dave Larkin, preaching on “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar\’s, and that which is God\’s unto God.” He made the point that ownership was determined by whose image the coin bore, then asked, “What is it that bears God\’s image?”

When I was growing up, our church used to sing When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder. One of my dad\’s favorite jokes was to ask, “What happens to the hot dog when the roll is called up yonder?” When I had reached a sufficient level of biblical knowledge, I explained to him that at the resurrection, hot dogs would neither marry nor be given in marriage.

In verse 36, Jesus explained that after the resurrection we become equal to angels, in that we do not die anymore. Is that where the pesky rumor started that we all get wings?

The Sadducees drag out the question about the bride of seven brothers, hoping to ridicule the idea of the resurrection. But Jesus answered the open question, then addressed the hidden question, by quoting God, introducing himself as “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” He pointed out that God was “not the God of the dead but the God of the living,” so those guys were — excuse me, are — still alive.

Some people might think it odd that a man of almost thirty would be unmarried with no immediate plans to change that. I think I\’m just closer to heaven.

Josh; Connie:
20:17 — “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’ ?’ ”

20:36 — “[N]or can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”

20:25 — “And He said to them, ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar\’s, and to God the things that are God\’s.’ ”

If Jesus was the best proponent (and the ultimate inventor, presumably) of the divine Socratic method of questioning, why do so many people hate it so much?

Don’t try to ask Jesus a trick question. It’s not going to work.

If you believe in Jesus, if you believe in the authority that God has placed over you in the form of other men and women of God, acknowledge it now while it still counts for something. Don\’t be like the Jews here, staying non-committal as in the parable, plotting and scheming to kill the heir and take the vineyard for yourself.

When Jesus asks the chief priests and teachers of the law the origin of John\’s baptism, they huddle to decide on an answer. During their deliberation, they carefully consider the consequences of each answer, but never take into account which answer is truthful. Our struggle must not be for what is most convenient, but for what is Truth.

I think verses 45-47 serve as a good cap to our gaze into the soul of the religious leaders, so sorely presented in this chapter. Killing the heir and reigning in his name, feeding their own greed and pride. Middle Ages, anyone?


1 Comment to “Bible Discussion — Luke 20”

  1. Bible Discussion — Jonah 3-4 : Bweinh! on February 3rd, 2009 11:06 pm

    […] 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 1011 | 12 | 13 | 14-15 | 16-17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 Esther: 1-2 | 3-5 | 6-8 | 9-10 Acts: 1 | 2 | 3-4 | 5 | 6-7 | 8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | […]

Leave a comment!