Luke 20:1-8 (Questioned His Authority)
Luke 20:20-26 (Questioned His Accuracy)
Luke 20:27-40 (Questioned His Authenticity)
Every one of the gospel writers record for us the persistent and constant assault our Lord Jesus was subjected to by the Jewish leaders. Here in this Chapter 20 of Dr. Luke’s gospel he records 3 different occasions these Jewish sects and their leaders TRIED TO QUESTION THE AUTHORITY, THE ACCURACY, AND THE AUTHENTICITY of what our Lord Jesus spoke and taught people. These men wanted so desperately for our Lord to be another one of the many false Messiahs and teachers that would rise up amongst them periodically. There had been many men that rose up claiming to be sent by God, but there endeavors came to nothing such men as Theudas who was slain and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing and also a man named Judas of Galilee likewise rose up during the days of the census and drew many away after him, but he too also perished and the men who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing as well. Dr. Luke recorded these examples as he documented the Acts of the Apostles in Acts 5:33-42. Unlike these men who were obviously proven to be imposters, our Lord Jesus Christ was and is the One True and Only God and throughout His earthly ministry He proved it over and over again to these Jewish rulers yet they still refused to believe the truth that was so clearly presented to them time and time again.
First our Lord was attacked on the authority of His Words from the chief priest, the scribes, and the elders. These men knew that our Lord’s Words were spoken with such power and authority that every instance His Words produced the desired results over the natural world, the supernatural world, and the physical world (Luke 20:2). They saw Him speak to demons and the demons cower in fear and release those they held in captivity. They saw our Lord speak to those blind, paralyzed, leprous, and afflicted with many other infirmities and immediately the person would receive healing. The reason for the questioning of His authority was not that they would hear and believe the truth that He was truly the Son of God, but on the contrary they already had accused Him in times past of doing His miracles by the authority of Beelzebub (the devil) and they just wanted Him to finally agree to that lie. Our Lord always being Supremely wise with every responses turned the questioning around onto them when He said, Luke 20:3-4 “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John --- was it from heaven or from men?” This once again stumped them in their tracks because our Lord knew that the multitude believed John was a Prophet sent from God (Luke 20:6). Remember the Lord God of Israel had been silent for 400 plus years speaking through no man at all during those many years. Our Lord’s time is now winding down as the cross is only maybe a week away from this point in time. Their conscience told them that John the Baptist was not doing what he did by any man’s authority but only God could have commissioned him. These men never wanted to admit the truth and completely evaded His question and our Lord refused to tell them what they will not believe anyway (Luke 20:7-8).
Secondly, our Lord is questioned as to the accuracy of His teaching by some Pharisees. These religious men kept on trying to discredit our Lord and find falsehood in His words. Now they have sunk so low as to send men who pretended to be righteous before our Lord to watch Him closely (Luke 20:20). They wanted Him to say that it was not right to pay taxes to Caesar knowing that all men were obligated to do so (it was the Roman law) and this would bring the accuracy of His teaching into question. Also they hoped He would say no that taxes should not be paid and in so doing anger Caesar and put Himself in jeopardy, for it was their ultimate goal to have Him put to death. Our Lord knowing the hypocrisy of their hearts gave them the answer that they never anticipated by saying, Luke 20:25 “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Again they were put to silence and stumped by the wisdom of His Words (Luke 20:26).
Thirdly, the poor Sadducees came to our Lord questioning the authenticity of our Lord and His Words. You see these men denied any resurrection and they knew our Lord taught the resurrection as reality and fact so they questioned the authenticity of His teaching on this issue. They perhaps felt they had Him stumped by the scenario they presented to our Lord Jesus of the woman having seven brothers for husband as per the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 25:5). These men so wanted their teaching on this matter of no resurrection to be true and authentic because they had grown very accustomed to their opulent, indulgent, and gratifying lifestyle of all the sensual pleasures of the flesh and wanting no one to come along and authenticate a life after this earthly one (Acts 23:8). Our Lord quickly squashed their ignorance of the Word of God and of the Power of God by saying, Luke 20:34-36 “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” Our Lord authenticates His truth by expounding to them the Word of God and showing them that those who are resurrected to eternal life with Him will never need to have such lower case mortal pleasures when they will stand in the love, light, and luxuriance of Almighty God. After such wisdom from our Lord the Scripture said, “But after that they dared not question Him anymore” (Luke 20:40). Therefore, we see that even as our Lord was only days from the cross these religious people continued to try Him by always questioning His Words, but were always in the end completely silenced by the truth and eternal wisdom that continually flowed from His lips even as He was on the cross.
“Until the will and the affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone to accept, His lordship.” Elisabeth Elliot
“The very word authority has within it the word author. An author is someone who creates and possesses a particular work. Insofar as God is the foundation of all authority, He exercises that foundation because He is the author and the owner of His creation. He is the foundation upon which all other authority stands or falls.” R. C. Sproul
“The ‘words’ of God and the ‘Word’ of God stand together; to separate them is to render both powerless. Any expounder of the words of God is liable to go off on a tangent if he or she does not remember this stern, undeviating standard of exposition, namely, that no individual experience is of the remotest value unless it is up to the standard of the Word of God. The Bible not only tests experience, it tests truth. The Bible tests all experience, all truth, all authority by our Lord Himself and our relationship to Him personally.” Oswald Chambers
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…