Holy Week | Final Week | Luke 20.1-40 | movementministriesblog.com

by | Mar 27, 2024

(Today we are reading the whole of Luke 20 with only a short reflection at the end of this passage.)

“One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”

He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me:John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”

So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

The Parable of the Tenants

He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.

13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’

14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”

When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”

17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone’[a]?

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

19 The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.

Paying Taxes to Caesar

20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21 So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them,24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”“Caesar’s,” they replied. 25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.

The Resurrection and Marriage

27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question.28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” 34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[b] 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” 39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions.” Luke 20.1-40

In Luke 20, “Jesus is questioned about his authority by the religious leaders. He responds with a question about John the Baptist. Jesus then tells a parable about tenants in a vineyard, illustrating the rejection of God’s messengers (him especially as Messiah) and the consequences. He discusses paying taxes to Caesar and marriage in the afterlife, emphasizing spiritual principles and belonging. The Sadducees question him about resurrection and marriage, to which Jesus explains the nature of the resurrection. Despite attempts to trap him, Jesus responds wisely, leaving his opponents astonished and unable to challenge him further.”

It’s his final week, and a lot is going on as he teaches in the Temple. He’s not hiding; he is in plain sight. But he’s offering final teachings in light of his pending arrest, persecution, and resurrection. He speaks about authority, his own rejection and demise as the Messiah, Caesar, the afterlife, and the resurrection.

But more than the content, it’s his physical presence in the Temple that speaks to me, as well as his spiritual and emotional state of mind. That took such courage to remain in Jerusalem. When you know you are going to be betrayed and you remain in the lion’s den, what faith! Jesus understood the prophecy his whole life, that he was born to suffer, die, and be raised to new life. This is the hope of the resurrection and the promise of God: that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

Jesus did all of this for humanity, for our sins, so that we might be in a relationship with God, have abundant life today, and eternal life to come.

And aren’t we grateful for this Messiah? Aren’t we thankful for this Savior? Will you make this Holy Week the most intentional ever? Will you give him your heart and your adoration? Give thanks for his great gift of life and praise him for enduring the cross for our sins.It’s because he loves us that he died—you know that, right? And because God loved Christ that he rose again.

Thanks be to God.

“Come, Lord Jesus, into our hearts. Help me know the power of your love and the depth of your sacrifice. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your grace and healing. Come now, Holy Father, reveal yourself to me that I might praise you more. For this week of redemption, I give you thanks. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen