Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part LXVII: Certifying The Christian Faith By Examining Christ's Credentials Of Messianic Authority
(Luke 20:1-18)
  1. Introduction
    1. If the Christian faith is true, then Jesus should have credentials for Messianic authority that we can validate.
    2. Luke's Gospel, written to show the credibility of the Christian faith, reveals those credentials in a meaningful, realistic way in Luke 20:1-8, 9-18 as follows:
  2. Certifying The Christian Faith By Examining Christ's Credentials Of Messianic Authority, 20:1-18.
    1. Luke's Gospel was written for Theophilus to gain insight on the credibility of the Christian faith, Lk. 1:3-4.
    2. In writing, Luke focused on the credentials behind Jesus' claim for Messianic authority as follows:
      1. When asked by what authority He cleansed the temple, and from Whom He had received it, Jesus credibly responded in typically rabbinical form by answering a question with a question, Luke 20:1-3.
      2. The question Jesus asked was a very loaded one that, if carefully considered, would have revealed the full-blown credentials behind Christ's authority as Israel's Messiah, Luke 20:4:
        1. Jesus asked the religious leaders if the baptism of John was from God in heaven or from men, v. 4.
        2. The reason this was a loaded question was due to the teachings of the authoritative Scriptures the religious leaders had: (1) in matters of doubt, the claims of two or three credible witnesses was to e stablish a truth in all court cases according to Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15. (2) Now, as for such witnesses, ((a)) John had publicly testified that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, the Lamb of God who was to take away the sin of the world, John 1:34, 29. ((b)) When John the Baptizer was baptizing Jesus, John witnessed the Holy Spirit coming down upon Jesus in the form of a dove to indicate that He was the Son of God and the Lamb of God, John 1:32-33. ((c)) When John the Baptizer was baptizing Jesus, John witnessed the voice of God the Father, u p in heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," Matthew 3:17. ((d)) Finally, Jesus Himself witnessed of His authority and backed it up with miracles in keeping with prophecy of the coming of the Messiah, cf. Mtt. 11:2-6. (3) Besi des, John's ministry was held in such high esteem by the nation of Israel that the religious leaders dared not answer Jesus by saying John's ministry was from men, and not from heaven, Luke 20:6. Thus, they dared not say John's ministry was of men and not of God. (4) Yet, if these men had accepted John's ministry as being of God, they knew Jesus would have responded, saying, "Then why didn't you believe him about his claims as to my identity?" (20:5)
      3. Thus, so cornered that to have answered Jesus would have led to their having to admit Jesus was God's authoritative Son by way of the evidence that Deuteronomy certified was to be true in a court of law, the religious leaders chose not to answer Him, Luke 20:7.
      4. Accordingly, Jesus refused to tell the religious leaders by what authority He had cleared the temple, for that authority was established in accord with Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15 through His own witness and that of John and his record of the testimony of the Holy Spirit and God the Father at Jesus' baptism!
      5. Hence, to stay true to His word to answer the question of the leaders only if they answered Him (20:3), Jesus did not answer their question, but exposed their sin by way of an indirect parable, Luke 20:9-18:
        1. Using a parable, Jesus then responded to the rejection of His authority by Israel's leaders, Lk. 20:9a.
        2. The parable shows the multiple rejections of Israel's leaders in turning down the testimony of prophet after prophet as John the Baptizer was, let alone finally rejecting God's Son, Jesus, Luke 20:9b-15a.
        3. It also shows God as the Husbandmen destroying the rebellious leaders of Israel and giving the Messianic Kingdom to another generation of Jews, Luke 20:15b-16.
        4. Jesus concluded, announcing salvation to those who figuratively "fell" on Christ in repentance, but judgment for those upon whom He "fell" in judgment for their rejecting His authority, Lk. 20:17-18.
Lesson: Jesus was CERTIFIED to have MESSIANIC authority to cleanse the temple, for, in accord with the credible writings of Moses, two witnesses in Jesus and John gave witness to that authority, and John witnessed the Spirit's and Father's claims to the same end. Also, John was so accepted that the nation stood behind his ministry. Besides, even the credible WAYS Jesus explained His authority, using acceptable rabbinic discourse and staying true to His word indicated He was UPRIGHT!