Luke 20:1-19 (NIV)
The Authority of Jesus Questioned
1One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2“Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”
3He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me, 4John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or from men?”
5They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
7So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”
8Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
By replying with this question, Jesus wasn’t evading the question of the religious leaders. Instead, He uses the question to explain who He is and to expose the hypocrisy of the leaders. If John was from God, then he was right in proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah-and if this is true, then Jesus had all authority. Their response shows they were not sincere seekers of truth. They cared more about winning points in an argument than in knowing the truth.
“If you do not recognize authority when you see it, He said in effect, no amount of arguing will convince you of it.” (Geldenhuys)
If we want answers from Jesus, we must deal rightly with the truth that has already been revealed. These men knew that John said Jesus was the Messiah, and were not willing to accept it.
1 Corinthians 15:27-28 (NLT)
For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.
The Parable of the Tenants
9He 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. 10At 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.
11He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12He 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.’ 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
When the people heard this, they said, “May this never be!”
17Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:
” ‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone‘?
18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”
“The Parable of the Tenants is about us. That’s the key to understanding it.”
–Alistair Begg (Senior Pastor of Cleveland’s Parkside Church)
19The 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.
HERE is a song of praise for the Master of the vineyard.