Luke Chapter 20 Continued
Luke 20:21 “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:”
In the last lesson, we learned that the people who asked these questions were the spies who had filtered into the disciples and were trying to trap Jesus. They are buttering up Jesus by telling Him that He taught rightly and that they knew He was not a respecter of persons.
If they believe He teaches the truth of God, why are they trying to trap Him?
Luke 20:22 “Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?”
This was the second in a series of questions designed to entrap Jesus. This question was raised by the Pharisees and Herodians (Mark 12:13).
This question was to trick Jesus. If Jesus said no, He would be in trouble with Rome. If He said yes, the Hebrew people wouldn’t like it.
Luke 20:23 “But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?”
Jesus knows what is in their hearts and minds. They cannot trick Him. He lets them know that He is aware of their trickery.
Luke 20:24 “Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.”
“Whose image”: The image on the denarius was one of the main reasons the Jews chafed at the poll tax. They claimed it was a violation of the commandment against graven images, and since Caesar pretended to a position tantamount to deity, the paying of the tax was unlawful worship, and in the minds of many, tantamount to gross idolatry (Mark 12:16).
Jesus really does not answer them with a specific answer. Jesus knew that it would be Caesar’s picture on the penny that was in circulation at that time.
Luke 20:25 “And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”
“Render therefore unto Caesar”: Christ thus recognized that all citizens have duties to the secular state, as well as duties to God, and He recognized a legitimate distinction between the two (Mark 12:17).
Jesus does not say to pay taxes to Caesar. He just says give unto Caesar the things that are Caesars. What is God’s? Everything. What is Caesar’s? Who knows? Perhaps this penny that has his inscription.
We are advised to obey the laws of the land however. I do not believe that Jesus answered them at all here, because they still had to determine what was Caesar’s.
Luke 20:26 “And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marveled at his answer, and held their peace.”
The real reason they had asked Him this question you remember, was to trap Him. Had He given them an answer either way, they could have accused Him.
Luke 20:27 “Then came to [him] certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,”
The Sadducees were known for their denial of things supernatural. They denied the resurrection of the dead (Matt. 22:23), and the existence of angels (Acts 23:8). Unlike the Pharisees, they rejected human tradition and scorned legalism. They accepted only the Pentateuch as authoritative.
They tended to be wealthy, aristocratic members of the priestly tribe, and in the days of Herod their sect controlled the temple, though they were fewer in number than the Pharisees.
Pharisees and Sadducees had little in common. Pharisees were ritualists; Sadducees were rationalists. Pharisees were legalists; Sadducees were liberals. Pharisees were separatists; Sadducees were compromisers and political opportunists. Yet they united together in their opposition to Christ (Matt. 22:15-6, 23-24, 35). John publicly addressed them as deadly snakes.
Luke 20:28 “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.”
“His brother should take his wife”: According to the law of Levirate marriage outlined (in Deut. 25:5).
Look carefully at this as we go, because you must remember these Sadducees do not believe in the resurrection. This is just a trap they are trying to set before Jesus.
In the law, if a man die and his brother marry his wife, the first child will bear the name of the dead brother and receive his inheritance. The rest of the children would belong to the brother who is alive.
These Sadducees believed only the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.
Luke 20:29-33 “There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.” “And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.” “And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.” “Last of all the woman died also.” “Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.”
This was the third in a series of questions designed to entrap Jesus. This question was raised by the Sadducees (verse 27).
(Matthew 22:34-10 and Mark 12:28-34), recorded one last question raised by a scribe. Luke omitted it from his record.
This Sadducee has brought forth this hypothetical situation, because he does not understand the difference in the flesh and the spirit. This woman was theirs in the flesh on this earth. Her spirit was her own, as we will see Jesus explain in the next few verses.
Luke 20:34-35 “And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:” “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:”
We will shed this old body when we die. The new heavenly body that we receive will not be of this earth and will not be designed to create children. The reason for earthly bodies now is for husband and wife to populate the earth. There will be no flesh in heaven. We will have bodies, but they will be a celestial (heavenly nature), not terrestrial (of the earth).
1 Corinthians 15:40 “[There are] also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another.”
1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
You see, there is a different form of life in heaven; far more wonderful than this old flesh here. It is similar to this because Thomas could still feel the nail prints in Jesus, but it is different too. It doesn’t age or know any pain any more.
This Sadducee had no knowledge of the spirit, at all. Many people have this problem today. They relate everything to the flesh (which will pass away).
Luke 20:36 “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.”
“Equal unto the angels”: I.e., like the angels in that they do not procreate.
The reason these resurrected don’t marry is because they are not male and female. They are like the angels in heaven. Angels are not subject to the problems of this world and neither is the resurrected body.
Angels are something else that these Sadducees do not believe in, so Jesus is careful to bring them in on this as well. We are God’s family. In fact, we are His children.
Luke 20:37 “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
“Moses showed at the bush” (Exodus 3:1 – 4:17). In that passage God identified Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, using the present tense. He didn’t say He was their God, but “I AM” their God, indicating that their existence had not ended with their deaths.
Luke 20:38 “For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.”
“All live unto him”: Only Luke records this phrase. All people, whether departed from their earthly bodies or not, are still living, and will live forever. No one is annihilated in death (John 5:28-30).
What Jesus is saying here is that if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not alive in heaven at the time Moses saw the bush in the desert, then God could not have been their God. God is the God of things that exist, not the God of things that do not exist.
Jesus is saying, they are still alive in heaven, and God is their God.
Luke 20:39 “Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said.”
“Master, thou hast well said”: Christ had given a powerful argument for the resurrection of the dead, and on that subject, the Pharisees agreed with Him against the Sadducees. This scribe, in spite of his hatred for Christ, was pleased with the answer He had given.
These scribes were of the group who believed in life after death.
Luke 20:40 “And after that they durst not ask him any [question at all].”
“Durst not ask him any question at all”: The more questions Jesus answered the clearer it became that His understanding and authority were vastly superior to that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 22:46; Mark 12:34).
There was no use for them to ask, because He trapped them with every answer He gave.
Verses 41-44: After the Jewish leaders gave up questioning Him, Christ turned the tables and posed a question to them (Matt. 22:42-45; Mark 12:35-37).
Luke 20:41-44 “And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David’s son?” “And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,” “Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.” “David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?”
We see here, something that flesh cannot understand. On the flesh side of Jesus, His ancestor is David; but in the Spirit, Jesus is David’s God. The Spirit of Jesus is eternal. He was there at creation day with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus here, is quoting from Psalms (Psalm 110:1), the very same thing. The only way that we can believe the verses above is to believe in the virgin birth. We must believe that God the Son (Jesus), took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us. The flesh was descended from David, but the life within that flesh was Eternal God, the Son.
Luke 20:45-47 “Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples,” “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;” “Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.”
Jesus is describing someone who is highly conceited. His belief is just a show; it is not way down deep in his heart. His praying is not even done to God, but so man can hear. He really has no faith in God at all, it is all show.
There is little to say here except their religion is a religion of convenience, not a deep, heartwarming through the Spirit religion. Their end is total destruction. Our Matthew lesson goes into greater detail on this.
Luke Chapter 20 Continued Questions
1. In verse 21, the spies say that Jesus teaches what?
2. What name did they call Jesus by?
3. What question did they ask Jesus to try to trick Him?
4. In verse 23, we find that Jesus _________ their craftiness.
5. What does Jesus tell them to show Him?
6. Whose picture was on it?
7. Render unto ________ the things that are _________ and unto ____ the things that are _____.
8. Verse 26 tells us that they ______ at His answer.
9. Which group denied there is a resurrection?
10. Whose writing do they bring before Jesus?
11. What are the only books these Sadducees accepted?
12. In this hypothetical story, how many brothers married this woman?
13. Who would she be married to in heaven?
14. What did Jesus tell them about marriage and about heaven?
15. What is a heavenly body called by?
16. What is an earthly body called by?
17. In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, we learn that flesh and blood cannot do what?
18. Verse 36 says the resurrected are equal to what?
19. What else, besides the resurrection, do the Sadducees not believe in?
20. In verse 37, Jesus says Moses proved what at the burning bush?
21. God is not the God of the ______ but of the ___________.
22. Who said “Master thou hast well said?”
23. Why did they stop asking Him questions?
24. Explain how Jesus could be David’s and God’s Son at the same time?
25. Who did Jesus tell the disciples to beware of?
27. Why are they destroyed in the end?