Luke 20.1-47 tells us how Yeshua deals with a challenge to his authority; he gives a midrashic aggadah about the wicked vinedressers; answers a question about paying taxes to Caesar; another question by a Sadducee about the resurrection and a warning about the scribes.
v 1…And it came about on one of the days (Nisan 12) while he was teaching the people in the Temple and preaching the gospel (“basar” and was preached before his death; it was preached to Abraham and t Israel in the wilderness; for more information on the concept of the Basar or “gospel” see our teaching called “The Basar” on this site), that the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted him (came upon him).
v 2…And they spoke, saying to him, “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things (cleansing the Temple of the sellers-19.45-46), or who is the one who gave you this authority?”
v 3…And he answered and said to them, “I shall ask you a question, and you tell me (Yeshua is displaying his authority by saying in essence, “You render an account to me”);
v 4…was the immersion of John from heaven or from men (did God send him or was he acting on his own)?”
v 5…And they answered among themselves (debated) saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ then he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him (and repent-Luke 7.30)?’
v 6…But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people (many believed) will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet (and he pointed to Yeshua).”
v 7…And they answered that they did not know where it came from (they won’t tell).
v 8…And Yeshua said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things (so Yeshua won’t tell either).”
v 9…And he began to tell the people this parable (midrashic aggadah-keep in mind the story of Joseph): “A man (Yehovah) planted (in the land) a vineyard (Israel-Isa 5.1-2) and rented it out to vinegrowers (priests, Levites, kings, leaders, etc) and went on a journey for a long time (Israel’s history from Sinai).
v 10…And at the harvest time he sent a servant (a prophet) to the vine growers in order that they might give him some of the produce of the vineyard (Torah-based works of righteousness, etc). But the vine growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
v 11…And he proceeded to send another servant (prophet); and they beat him also and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed.
v 12…And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out.
v 13…And the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do (still showing mercy)? I will send my beloved son (Yeshua); perhaps they will respect him.’
v 14…But when the vine-growers (priests, kings, rulers, leaders, etc) saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir (to the estate-implying the leaders knew who Yeshua was-John 11.49-52); let us kill him that the inheritance may be ours (the nation, city, the Temple and the benefits of being the heir).’
v 15…And they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. What therefore, will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
v 16…He will come and destroy these vine-growers and he will give the vineyard to others (to the Romans and the non-Jews in general).” And when they heard it, they said, “May it never be (that the Messiah would be killed; that did not fit their eschatological view of overthrowing Rome, etc; they didn’t see it)!”
v 17…But he looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written (already on record), ‘The stone (the son; the Messiah) which the builders rejected (the vine-growers killed him), this became (he was promoted after) the chief cornerstone (to build his “Temple” of believers; the eschatological Kahal; if this parable was not true, what is their interpretation of it, what is the meaning then)?
v 18…Everyone who falls (stumbles) on that stone will be broken to pieces (that generation stumbled over Yeshua and were crushed in 70 AD); but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust (they were scattered to the four winds, the nations; driven out of their inheritance).
v 19…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 (and failed to accept it as true, and they were going to fulfill it).
v 20…And they watched him (to take advantage of him) and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch him in some statement (like religious people today), so as to deliver him up to the rule and authority of the governor (who was in town because of the festival to keep peace).
v 21…And they questioned him, saying, “Teacher (faked friendship as an angel of light), we know that you speak and teach correctly, and you are not partial to any, but teach the way of God (Torah) in truth (deceitful flattery-they didn’t believe him or they would have followed him).
v 22…Is it lawful (permissible) for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not (these people were aligned with Beit Shammai who did not want to support Rome; the poll tax was an issue with the Sicarii and the Zealots who were aligned with Beit Shammai, and it causes them to rebel against Rome, like Theudus, and Judah the Galilean. Judah was the son of the founder of the Zealot movement in Galilee. His brother Hananiah tried to get Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel together to discuss the 18 Edicts of Shammai, but some Zealots killed some from Beit Hillel in 20 BC, making it easier for Shammai’s 18 Edicts to pass. These edicts were designed to limit any intercourse between Jew and non-Jew and dominated Jewish life until right before the destruction of the Temple. Some of these edicts can be seen throughout the gospels and epistles and were behind what Paul was teaching in the book of Galatians; after the destruction of the Temple they were annulled)?’
v 23…But he detected their trickery and said to them,
v 24…”Show me a denarius. Whose head and inscription does it have?” And they said, “Caesar’s.”
v 25…And he said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s (it has his image), and to God the things that are God’s (man is in God’s image, so give what belongs to him-Torah observance and love, mercy, kindness, justice, and not man-made traditions)!”
v 26…And they were unable to catch him in a saying in the presence of the people (they were humiliated again); and marveling at his answer, they became silent (in awe).
v 27…Now there came to him some of the Sadducees (this name comes from “Zadok” who was the first high priest during the time of Solomon; the leaders were priests; they were non-eschatological, denied the resurrection, angels, there was no afterlife and that man has free will-Acts 23.6-8) who say there was no resurrection,
v 28…And they questioned him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote us (Deut 25.5) 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.
v 29…Now there were seven brothers, and the first took a wife, and was childless;
v 30…and the second
v 31…and the third took her; and in the same way the seven also died, leaving no children.
v 32…Finally the woman dies also.
v 33…In the resurrection therefore, which one’s wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as a wife.”
v 34…And Yeshua said to them, “The sons of this age (the Olam Ha Zeh) marry and are given in marriage,
v 35…but those who are considered worthy to attain that age (the Olam Haba by faith in Yeshua) and the resurrection of the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;
v 36…for neither can they die anymore, for they are like the angels (the Sadducees didn’t believe in angels either, so Yeshua brings angels into his answer, too), and are sons of God (heirs of God and in resurrection bodies like God-1 John 3.2).
v 37…But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, at the bush, where he calls the Lord (Yehovah) the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
v 38…Now he is not the God of the dead (corpses of these men), but the living (they exist now); for all live to him (they were in error, drawing false doctrines out of their false premises they invented-Mark 12.27).”
v 39…And some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, you have spoken well (in silencing the Sadducees by putting this matter into a clear light).”
v 40…For they did not have courage to question him any longer about anything (they failed and were humiliated).
v 41…And he said to them, “How is it that they say the Messiah is David’s son (but he wasn’t done with them yet)?
v 42…For David himself says in the book of Psalms (Tehillim), “The Lord (Yehovah) said to my Lord (Messiah), ‘Sit at my right hand
v 43…until I make thine enemies a footstool for thy feet.’
v 44…David therefore calls him ‘Lord’ and how is he his son (in what sense can he be both Lord and son? The only possible answer is that Messiah is a descendant of David in the flesh, but in the spirit he is Yehovah himself-1 Tim 3.16)?”
v 45…And while all the people were listening, he said to the talmidim,
v 46…”Beware of the scribes (stay aloof from), who walk around in long robes (to get attention) and love respectful greetings in the market places and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets (Beit Shammai would do this; they would form a group called a “chavurah” and meet to eat meals consecrated to God, also called a Lord’s Supper; Beit Hillel would not do this and would take the back seats),
v 47…who devour widows houses (took advantage of them for gain) and for appearance sake offer long prayers; theses will have greater condemnation (these scribes were Pharisees from Beit Shammai and these charges by Yeshua were also seen in other Jewish literature about Beit Shammai-Josephus; Talmud, etc. For additional information on Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, see the book called “Jesus the Pharisee” by Harvey Falk).”
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