(Luke 20:1 NASB) And it came about on one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him,
(Luke 20:2 NASB) and they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?”
Luke 20:2: Those religious leaders who were given authority by the traditions of men came to Yeshua and asked Him if He has the credentials to teach the people. They want to expose Him as one who has not authority to teach and to say that the Kingdom of Elohim is at hand.
(Luke 20:3 NASB) And He answered and said to them, “I shall also ask you a question, and you tell Me:
(Luke 20:4 NASB) “Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?”
Luke 20:4: They were wanting to trip Him up in front of the people again. But Yeshua does not fall into their trap. They were not interested in the source of His authority. They just wanted to question His credentials. So He turned the question around on them. He asked them a similar question concerning John the Baptist, which He knew they could not answer.
Yeshua knew when someone had a sincere question and when they were only interested in berating Him and His people. When that would happen, He would turn it around and ask them a similar question (Matt. 15:1-6).
(Luke 20:5 NASB) And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’
(Luke 20:6 NASB) “But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.”
Luke 20:6: These religious leaders knew that there was no correct answer to Yeshua’s question. They would either lose their dignity or their lives. They chose to lose neither.
(Luke 20:7 NASB) And they answered that they did not know where it came from.
(Luke 20:8 NASB) And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Luke 20:8: Since Yeshua is the Word of His Father that became flesh, He used His Father’s Word to bring them down (Job 5:12-13, Prov. 26:4-5).
(Luke 20:9 NASB) And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time.
(Luke 20:10 NASB) “And at the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order that they might give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
Luke 20:10: This parable is also given in the Tanakh (Isa. 5:1-7, Jer. 2:21). The symbolism in the parable is very easily discerned by itself, but the Tanakh references make it blatantly obvious.
The “Man” who planted the vineyard is Elohim. The vineyard is the land of Israel. The vine-growers He rented it to are the sons of Israel. The slaves that are sent to the vine-growers are the prophets.
(Luke 20:11 NASB) “And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed.
(Luke 20:12 NASB) “And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out.
(Luke 20:13 NASB) “And the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’
Luke 20:13: Elohim sent many prophets to Israel, but they treated them shamefully and wounded them and cast them out. In His abundant grace and mercy, He sent them His beloved Son. He gave them the chance to listen to Him and respect Him.
(Luke 20:14 NASB) “But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him that the inheritance may be ours.’
(Luke 20:15 NASB) “And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, therefore, will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
(Luke 20:16 NASB) “He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” And when they heard it, they said, “May it never be!”
Luke 20:16: Here Yeshua reveals that the religious leaders of the day knew the identity of Yeshua. They did not care that He was the beloved Son of the Father. But they had another agenda. They felt that they could not rule in the Kingdom (vineyard) and receive the inheritace of the Kingdom if the Son of the Father was alive, so they killed Him.
Yeshua says that after they kill the beloved Son of the Father, Elohim will destroy those in Israel and give the land of Israel to others.
The account of the “others” the Elohim gave the land of Israel to after the death of Yeshua is recorded in the Book of the Revelation. All the nations that ruled the land of Israel since the death of Yeshua until His return are recorded in Revelation.
I read many Christian commentaries that claim this parable is saying that God destroyed the Jews and made His new people “the church.” This is absurd. With ridiculous explanations such as this, Christians are showing that they do not understand the symbolism used by Yeshua at all.
The vineyard is the land of Israel. The land is given to other pagan nations until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled, just as spoken of by Yeshua (Luke 21:23-24).
(Luke 20:17 NASB) But He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone’?
(Luke 20:18 NASB) “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”
Luke 20:18: Yeshua is quoting Psalm 118:22. The religious leaders claimed that the destruction of Israel (again) would not happen. Yeshua says, then what is this passage in Isaiah saying? He is saying they will reject Him and He will become the Ruler over them. Yeshua makes obvious references to parables and prophecies of Him in the Tanakh (Isa. 8:14-15, Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45).
Because of their rejection of Him, the Jewish people will be broken to pieces (as when the Romans destroyed Jersusalem and defeated the Jews in 70 CE) and they will be scattered like dust (as when they were scattered all over the world after that event). Yeshua, in knowing these prophecies and their near fulfillment, wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-42).
(Luke 20:19 NASB) And the scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them.
(Luke 20:20 NASB) And they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so as to deliver Him up to the rule and the authority of the governor.
Luke 20:20: The scribes and chief priests knew Yeshua was speaking of them when He spoke the parable of the vineyard being taken away. So they sent spies who pretended to be righteous. They want to catch him making statements against Rome so they can have Him arrested.
(Luke 20:21 NASB) And they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.
Luke 20:21: These spies are attempting to use flattery on Yeshua. They say that He truly teaches correctly and is not partial in judgment. They say He teaches Torah in Truth. Keep in mind that gossip and flattery are both wrong and are the diametric opposite of one another. Gossip is saying something about someone that you would not say to their face. Flattery is saying things to ones face that you would not say behind their back (Psalm 12:2, Prov. 29:5).
(Luke 20:22 NASB) “Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
(Luke 20:23 NASB) But He detected their trickery and said to them,
(Luke 20:24 NASB) “Show Me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” And they said, “Caesar’s.”
(Luke 20:25 NASB) And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Luke 20:25: The question was intended to bring rebellious words from Yeshua. Notice that Yeshua did not have any money for Himself. He did not pay taxes because He did not have anything. He asked someone to show Him a denarius. That is about a days wage.
Yeshua says to pay the appropriate tax to Ceasar and to pay the appropriate amounts to Elohim that He commands. Scripture tells us to honor Elohim and to honor the king (Prov. 24:21, Ecc. 8:2-5, Romans 13:5-8, 1 Peter 2:13-17).
(Luke 20:26 NASB) And they were unable to catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and marveling at His answer, they became silent.
Luke 20:26: Yeshua answered them by using the Word of Elohim. Kings are put into power by Elohim. In that day, Rome provided roads for the people and it provided military protection from enemies as well as a form of legal justice. Those things should be funded by those who are using them.
(Luke 20:27 NASB) Now there came to Him some of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection),
(Luke 20:28 NASB) and they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN’S BROTHER DIES, having a wife, AND HE IS CHILDLESS, HIS BROTHER SHOULD TAKE THE WIFE AND RAISE UP OFFSPRING TO HIS BROTHER.
Luke 20:28: The Sadducees are bringing up a law in Torah that they thought was a proof that the resurrection was not going to happen. This is the leverite law (Deut. 25:5-10).
(Luke 20:29 NASB) “Now there were seven brothers; and the first took a wife, and died childless;
(Luke 20:30 NASB) and the second
(Luke 20:31 NASB) and the third took her; and in the same way all seven died, leaving no children.
(Luke 20:32 NASB) “Finally the woman died also.
(Luke 20:33 NASB) “In the resurrection therefore, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.”
Luke 20:33: The Sadducees ask what happens if a man dies, and his brother takes that wife in accordance with Torah and then that man dies, then his younger brother takes the wife and so on for seven brothers. At the resurrection whose wife will she be?
This is, of course a preposterous, but not impossible, example. In His answer recorded in this account in the book of Matthew, Yeshua prefaces His answer with the phrase, “You do not understand the Scriptures, nor the power of Elohim” (Matt. 22:29-30).
(Luke 20:34 NASB) And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage,
(Luke 20:35 NASB) but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage;
(Luke 20:36 NASB) for neither can they die anymore, for they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Luke 20:36: The words of Yeshua in verse 35 are interesting. He actually lists two groups of people. He lists those who are worthy to attain that age (those who are alive at that age) AND the resurrection of the dead. They will both be changed at that time.
Yeshua says that there will not be marriage after the resurrection. At the resurrection, there will be no more death (Isa. 25:7-8, Hosea 13:14). Apparently, if there is no more death, there will be no more need for birth. As a matter of fact, if there is no more death, multiplying into eternity would be impossible.
Yeshua says that we will be like the angels (Dan. 12:2-3) and are sons of Elohim (Mal. 3:17-18, Romans 8:17-23).
(Luke 20:37 NASB) “But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB.
(Luke 20:38 NASB) “Now He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him.”
Luke 20:38: Yeshua states that the resurrection is a fact. He uses the example of Moses calling Elohim the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and that Elohim is not the Elohim of the dead, but of the living. At the resurrection, Moses knew that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would live again.
(Luke 20:39 NASB) And some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.”
(Luke 20:40 NASB) For they did not have courage to question Him any longer about anything.
(Luke 20:41 NASB) And He said to them, “How is it that they say the Christ is David’s son?
(Luke 20:42 NASB) “For David himself says in the book of Psalms, ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
(Luke 20:43 NASB) UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR THY FEET.”‘
(Luke 20:44 NASB) “David therefore calls Him ‘Lord,’ and how is He his son?”
Luke 20:44: Yeshua quotes Psalm 110 which speaks of Elohim Himself ruling over the earth (Psalm 110:1-3). How is it that the Messiah is called David’s son if David calls Him “master?”
(Luke 20:45 NASB) And while all the people were listening, He said to the disciples,
(Luke 20:46 NASB) “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets,
(Luke 20:47 NASB) who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.”
Luke 20:47: The scribes used their power to get honor and respect from the people. They also used their power to devour widow’s houses (Isa. 10:1-3). For the sake of appearance they offer long prayers. They will will receive the greater condemnation.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas