Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20100421.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part LXXI: Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In His Clear Description Of His Authority
Lesson: Jesus used an illustration His listeners clearly understood, and clarified in sure terms that He was God's Beloved Son, God Incarnate, Who was to be obeyed to avoid certain, severe divine judgment!
- A significant and solemn piece of evidence of the validity of Jesus as God's Son and Savior would be His capacity to describe His divine authority in a way that His contemporaries would clearly understand it.
- Jesus gave such a description in Luke 20:9-18, and we view it for our instruction and edification:
- Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In His Clear Description Of His Authority, Luke 20:9-18.
- After defending His divine authority to Israel's religious leaders in Luke 19:47-20:8, Jesus began to speak to the people a parable that commented on the spiritual issues involved in that interaction.
- The parable was about a vineyard, how a landowner had planted it and hired farmers to oversee it to gain its produce, a parable every Jew knew from the similar Isaiah 5:1-7 illustration of a vine meant Jesus was describing God's dealings with the sinful nation of Israel, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Luke 20:9.
- Thus, Jesus taught the landowner, who would be God according to Isaiah 5:7, sent back three servants, Old Testament prophets, to gain fruit from the vineyard's hired farmers, Israel's leaders, Luke 20:10a.
- However, the farmers, Israel's leaders, beat the first servant, an Old Testament prophet, and sent him away empty-handed, Luke 20:10b. This prophet was looking for the "fruit" of righteous repentance, Isa. 5:4, 7.
- The landowner, God, sent more servants, more prophets to call Israel to repent, but the nation's leaders only beat one and treated him shamefully, sending him away empty-handed (Luke 20:11) or wounding the other and casting him out of the vineyard, Luke 20:12.
- Finally, the landowner sent His beloved son (huios), an adult son who is his father's equal (John 5:18), claiming the farmers might respect Him, Luke 20:13; U. B. S. Grk. N. T. , 1966, p. 294. This statement in this context shows Jesus told His listeners He was the Beloved Son of the Father, God's equal as God!
- However, the farmers reasoned among themselves that since the son was the heir, if they would kill him, the vineyard would be theirs, Luke 20:14. Accordingly, they cast Him out of the vineyard and slew Him, typifying Israel's rejection of Christ especially as represented in her leaders' Luke 20:1-8 actions, Luke 20:15a. This final deed predicted the cross of Christ, cf. Luke 23:18-25.
- Jesus then said the landowner would return and kill the farmers, giving the vineyard to others, Lk. 20:16a.
- The Jewish crowd understood Jesus' statement here to mean that Gentiles and other outcasts would be included in the Kingdom at the expense of many Jews, for they reacted, "May this never be!" (Luke 20:16b NIV; Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 255) Otherwise, they would have agreed that the wicked farmers deserved the punishment Jesus predicted in the parable that they would receive!
- The nation's leaders also certainly understood the parable as seen by their response in Luke 20:19!
- Jesus replied to His listeners, looking "directly at them" in Luke 20:17a NIV (Ibid.) to say that He, the most important part of the Jewish Kingdom, the Beloved Son in the parable, was being rejected just as the important head stone had been first rejected by the builders in Psalm 118:22; Ibid.
- Accordingly, Jesus announced a huge decision had to be made by His listeners (Luke 20:18):
- Jesus said the one who fell on that stone would be broken, that those who did not trust in Him would "fall and come to grief," Luke 20:18a; Norval Geldenhuys, The Gospel of Luke (NICNT), 1979, p. 499.
- However, for persistent rebellion as with Israel's leaders, God's judgment would crush them in line with the judgment predicted in Daniel 2:34, 45 to occur when Christ returns in His Second Coming to mete out severe and eternal judgment on a still-unbelieving world! (Luke 20:18; Ibid.)
- This lesson was applicable to Jesus' listeners who resisted the idea that the Kingdom would be taken from them as well as from Israel's leaders and given to others, Luke 20:16b! They just had to repent!
Application: (1) May we trust in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God to gain eternal life and escape hell! (2) May we believers repent of sin soon to escape grief short-term and great discipline long-term!