The Gospel of Luke - Part 86
The Authority of Scripture — Luke 20:41-47

July 1, 2007
(These notes are based on lesson notes prepared by Rob Mahon for connection class leaders at Hoffmantown Church.)


We are in Luke Chapter 20, which is about Questions and answers about Authority.

After Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, He started teaching. What He taught was about Authority.  We divided His teaching into:

Jesus used the parable of the vineyard to teach that they, and we, must submit to the Authority of Jesus. The managers of the vineyard mistreated the agents sent by the owner and did the same to the son of the owner, even killed him, and as a result the vineyard was taken away from them and given to others.

He used the image on the Roman coin to teach that we must submit to government

“Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. —Genesis 1:27
What we often forget is that each of us is made in the image of God, so to give to God what is God’s is a requirement to give ourselves, our all to God.

Remember that Paul taught about our responsibility to submit to our government.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. —Romans 13:1-7
Last week we covered the first part of His teaching that we must submit to the Scripture, by using Old Testament references to refute the claims by the Sadducees that there was no human resurrection, no after life.

Remember that the Sadducees came to Jesus with a ridiculous hypothetical question about what if a widow had been married to seven different sons, one by one after the preceding one had died, in accordance with the Old Testament instructions. Who would she be married to in Heaven?  Of course that was not the real question. They wanted to get Jesus to say there was no resurrection since this would create an unsolvable dilemma.  But Jesus just used the Old Testament and the writings of Moses, whom they accepted, to show that God is the God of the living, not the dead, and that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were now alive, even though they had died.

Remember, don't read the teaching about there being no marriage in heaven, as there being no love and relationship. It will all be a lot better there, in fact perfect.

The Authority of Scripture (continued):

This morning we will continue and finish His teaching that we must submit to the Scriptures.

But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son? For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’ David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?” And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” —Luke 20:41-47
Now Jesus turns the tables on His opponents. After answering their questions and reaching a point where no one was willing to challenge Him (v.26, 40),
Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.”  For they no longer dared to ask him any question. —Luke 20:39-40
Jesus now asks them a probing question to help them assess if they really have a Biblical understanding of the Messiah.
But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son? —Luke 20:41
“Son of David” was a common term for the Messiah in Jesus' time.
And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” —Matthew 12:23
It was a title that Jesus had accepted when used of Him.
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” —Matthew 21:9

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “ ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” —Matthew 21:15-16
David was Israel's greatest king. But Jesus wants the people to understand that the Messiah is greater even than King David. So Jesus quotes a prophecy by David about the Messiah:
For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” —Luke 20:42-43
Jesus is quoting Psalm 110:1, "A Psalm of David".
The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” —Psalm 110:1
Jesus sets a good example for us in using Scripture as His authority for His teaching. Even though He is God, even though everything Jesus says is inspired, still He uses the Bible as His authority. It's His authority ... is it ours?

In this verse, David acknowledges that the Messiah will be a greater king than David. David's use of the word “Lord” for the Messiah shows that he believed that the Messiah is God. In fact, the whole Psalm points toward Jesus' divinity.

Jesus wants the people to understand that, as Messiah, He is much more than just a great king like David. Jesus comes not just to be served but to be worshiped! Then Jesus warns: “Beware of the scribes...” —Luke 20:46   (The Scribes are the teachers of the law.)

The chapter began with the religious leaders attacking Jesus but it ends with a condemnation of these same religious leaders by Jesus.

“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” —Luke 20:46-47



What attitudes and actions does Jesus condemn in verses 46-47? Why do you think Jesus said these people would be punished more severely?

 :   —because those in positions of spiritual leadership have greater accountability.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. —James 3:1
    —because of their negative example and influence on others


What are some practical applications we can make from this passage?  There is so much we can learn from Jesus' teaching and example:

Let's be sure that we go to the Bible and to God for the answers to our questions. Jesus is our example in looking to the Scriptures as our authority. There is no way the Bible is really my authority unless I am spending regular time in the Word and seeking to apply it to my life.  Is that where you go for answers?

These Jews were more interested in winning arguments than discovering truth. They didn't come to Jesus to learn; they came to argue.

Finally, is Jesus the cornerstone and the capstone of your life?
The stone the builders rejected
  has become the capstone.—Luke 20:17


Let's renew our commitment to be fully devoted followers of Christ. Like for David, Jesus needs to be our Lord as well as our Savior this week.  Why not make a commitment to spend at least five minutes in the Scriptures in the morning and then pray through your day, committing all that your plans to God?


Living in Light of the Last Times

So now let’s open Chapter 21. Remember that according to our time line for the last week of Jesus’ life, we are still in Tuesday and Wednesday. We are only 2 or 3 days from the crucifixion of Jesus. The time is short.

Bruce Thieleman wrote:

Maybe you’ve heard the story about Satan where he called all his demons together. He said he was going to choose one to live in human form, the one who could do the most spiritual harm to mankind. One demon came forward and Satan said, "If I send you, what will you tell people?" The demon said, "I will tell the children of men that there is no heaven." Satan said, "They will not believe you, for God has put eternity in the heart of every person” (see Ecclesiastes 3:11).
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. —Ecclesiastes 3:1
Then another came forward. Satan said, "If I send you, what will you tell people?" He said, "I will tell them there is no hell." Satan looked at him and said, "No, they will not believe you, God has said clearly in His Word that two certainties for every person are first death then judgment" (see Hebrews 9:27).
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment... —Hebrews 9:27
One last demon came forward. Satan said to him, "And if I send you, what will you say to women and men to aid them in the destruction of their souls?" He said, "I will tell them there is no hurry." Satan said, "Go!" [Bruce Thielemann]
One message found throughout the New Testament is that Jesus’ disciples need to understand that He might return at any time. As a result, we must always be ready.  The majority of this passage has to do with Jesus talking about the “end times”. But the focus is not just on information. Jesus’ message is that a right understanding of the end times should translate into right living right now!

A phrase that you hear a lot at management seminars is "corporate culture". It refers to the attitudes, values, priorities of a given business. It doesn't mean what people in a particular workplace say is important to them but what they demonstrate is important through their attitudes, actions and speech.

In this chapter, we see some things that Jesus says are vital to the "corporate culture" of His Kingdom. These aren't just attitudes that He wants us to just talk about or take notes on.  He wants these attitudes to be lived out in the day-to-day lives of His disciples.

Jesus shows us, too, that teaching about the last times is important for us to be living the way we should today. We need to ask ourselves, do we see the attitudes found in this chapter in our lives, in the "corporate culture" of our class and church?


Terminology Of Events:

In order to understand what Jesus is teaching here, we need to be familiar with certain events related to the end times. We also need to be sure we are using common terminology for those events. So let’s set the definitions we will use. The sequence of these events is debated.

The Rapture: — The Rapture refers to when Jesus will appear in the sky and all believers will be “caught up” with Him. The primary Scripture passage on the Rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. —1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
This event is distinct from the Second Coming. There are various opinions as to when this will occur. Most evangelical scholars today believe the Rapture occurs separate from the Second Coming and before the Tribulation.

The Tribulation: — A seven-year period of intense suffering and supernatural events that occurs after the Rapture and before the Second Coming of Christ. The prophetic passages in Revelation focus primarily on the events of the Tribulation.

The Second Coming: — The time when Jesus will physically return to earth and establish His rule on earth. The Lord will rule for a thousand years before a final great conflict with Satan and his forces. After that, Satan will be finally and completely defeated.


Next week: — we will dive into the text to study about Being Generous.

Read through Luke 21 this week.