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Luke 20 Reading Guide

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Passage: Luke 20

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Chapter Summary

Up to this point in Jesus and the Establishment (Pharisees, Sadducees, chief priests, scribes, etc.) have been somewhat coy with one another. The Pharisees have never liked Him, but would do things like have Him over for dinner (even if they did so to frame Him for something or the other). Jesus spoke in parables, not because they made things easier to understand, but because it hid the true meaning of His teaching from those it was not intended for.

In chapter 20, in the final week of Jesus' life, the gloves come off.

  • v1-8 - The Establishment tries to get Jesus to legitimize Himself by asserting the authority who sent Him. Jesus deftly turns the question around on them (v3-4). The establishment can't answer Jesus' simple question without determining how to spin it (v5-6).

  • v9-19 - The Parable of the Tenants is a thinly veiled attack on the Establishment, so much so that upon hearing it they immediately try to have Jesus arrested (v19). God sent numerous prophets to His people, yet they rejected and even killed them. Finally He sent His Son, yet they killed Him. Only one option is left for the Father for those who've rejected Him (v16).

  • v20-26 - The Establishment goes undercover trying to trap Jesus, but once again He easily outwits them.

  • v27-40- The Sadducees, a Jewish sect that did not believe in any sort of life after death, breaks away from the Establishment to try and nail Jesus on their own. Although their convoluted question seems to be about marriage, this passage is not necessarily a teaching about marriage, but rather is about the mysterious reality of our eternal God and Father, and is a testimony to the fact that all who are in Christ will live forever with Him.

  • v41-47 - The chapter ends with Jesus essentially answering the question that the chapter began with. He asserts the authority given to the Messiah in Psalm 110, and then says to His disciples in a way the entire crowd could hear that the Establishment will be punished severely.

Old Testament Reference -

  • Jesus quotes two psalms in this chapter:

    • Psalm 118:22

    • Psalm 110:1 One important rule of Biblical interpretation is that when an Old Testament verse is quoted in the New Testament, the verse being quoted is just a shorthand way of referencing the meaning of the entire passage. Pick either one of these Psalms (or both of them) and see how the entire psalm fits into the context of what Jesus is saying in this chapter.


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions.

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: When Jesus asked the religious leaders whether John’s authority was from heaven or from men, what reasons did they discuss among themselves for not going with either of those answers? (v5-6)

  2. If Luke 20 was the only account we had of who Jesus is, how would you describe Him?

Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The mighty creator of all things whose prophets and even His own Son have been rejected by the world He created, but who has chosen you to receive His salvation anyway.

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the wisdom and ability to give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's (v25).



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