Luke 20 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Luke 20)

Verse 9

[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.

A long time — It was a long time from the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan to the birth of Christ. Matthew 21:33; Mark 12:1.

Verse 16

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

He will destroy these husbandmen — Probably he pointed to the scribes, chief priests, and elders: who allowed, he will miserably destroy those wicked men, Matthew 21:41; but could not bear that this should be applied to themselves. They might also mean, God forbid that we should be guilty of such a crime as your parable seems to charge us with, namely, rejecting and killing the heir. Our Saviour answers, But yet will ye do it, as is prophesied of you.

Verse 17

[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?

He looked on them — To sharpen their attention. Psalms 118:22.

Verse 18

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

Matthew 21:45.

Verse 20

[20] 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.

Just men — Men of a tender conscience.

To take hold of his discourse — If he answered as they hoped he would. Matthew 22:16; Mark 12:12.

Verse 21

[21] 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:

Thou speakest — In private, and teachest - In public.

Verse 24

[24] Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's.

Show me a penny — A Roman penny, which was the money that was usually paid on that occasion.

Verse 26

[26] And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.

They could not take hold of his words before the people — As they did afterward before the sanhedrim, in the absence of the people, Luke 22:67, etc.

Verse 27

[27] Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,

Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18.

Verse 28

[28] 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.

Deuteronomy 25:5.

Verse 34

[34] And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:

The children of this world — The inhabitants of earth, marry and are given in marriage - As being all subject to the law of mortality; so that the species is in need of being continually repaired.

Verse 35

[35] But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

But they who obtain that world — Which they enter into, before the resurrection of the dead.

Verse 36

[36] 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.

They are the children of God — In a more eminent sense when they rise again.

Verse 37

[37] 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.

That the dead are raised, even Moses, as well as the other prophets showed, when he calleth - That is, when he recites the words which God spoke of himself, I am the God of Abraham, etc. It cannot properly be said, that God is the God of any who are totally perished. Exodus 3:6.

Verse 38

[38] For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

He is not a God of the dead, or, there is no God of the dead - That is, tho term God implies such a relation, as cannot possibly subsist between him and the dead; who in the Sadducees' sense are extinguished spirits; who could neither worship him, nor receive good from him.

So that all live to him — All who have him for their God, live to and enjoy him. This sentence is not an argument for what went before; but the proposition which was to be proved. And the consequence is apparently just. For as all the faithful are the children of Abraham, and the Divine promise of being a God to him and his seed is entailed upon them, it implies their continued existence and happiness in a future state as much as Abraham's. And as the body is an essential part of man, it implies both his resurrection and theirs; and so overthrows the entire scheme of the Sadducean doctrine.

Verse 40

[40] And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.

They durst not ask him any question — The Sadducees durst not. One of the scribes did, presently after.

Verse 41

[41] And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's son?

Matthew 22:41; Mark 12:35.

Verse 42

[42] And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

Psalms 110:1.

Verse 46

[46] 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;

Matthew 23:5.

Verse 47

[47] Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.

Matthew 23:14.