Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Luke
Book: Luke
Chapter: 20

The priests and Scribes question Christ's authority. (1-8) The
Parable of the vineyard and husbandmen. (9-19) Of giving
Tribute. (20-26) Concerning the resurrection. (27-38) The
Scribes silenced. (39-47)

1-8 Men often pretend to examine the evidences of Revelation,
and the Truth of the Gospel, when only seeking excuses for their
own unbelief and disobedience. Christ answered these priests and
Scribes with a Plain question about the Baptism of John, which
the common people could answer. They all knew it was from
Heaven, nothing in it had an earthly tendency. Those that bury
the knowledge they have, are justly denied further knowledge. It
was just with Christ to refuse to give account of his authority,
to those who knew the Baptism of John to be from Heaven, yet
would not believe in him, nor own their knowledge.

9-19 Christ spake this Parable against those who resolved not
to own his authority, though the evidence of it was So full. How
many resemble the Jews who murdered the prophets and crucified
Christ, in their Enmity to God, and aversion to his service,
desiring to live according to their lusts, without control! Let
all who are favoured with God's Word, look to it that they make
proper use of their advantages. Awful will be the doom, both of
those who reject the Son, and of those who profess to reverence
Him, yet render not the fruits in due season. Though they could
not but own that for such a Sin, such a Punishment was just, yet
they could not Bear to hear of it. It is the folly of sinners,
that they persevere in sinful ways, though they dread the
Destruction at the End of those ways.

20-26 Those who are most crafty in their designs against Christ
and his Gospel, cannot hide them. He did not give a direct
answer, but reproved them for Offering to impose upon him; and
they could not fasten upon any thing wherewith to stir up either
the Governor or the people against him. The Wisdom which is from
above, will direct all who teach the way of God truly, to avoid
the snares laid for them By wicked men; and will teach our duty
to God, to our rulers, and to all men, So clearly, that opposers
will have No evil to say of us.

27-38 It is common for those who design to undermine any Truth
of God, to load it with difficulties. But we wrong ourselves,
and wrong the Truth of Christ, when we form our notions of the
world of spirits By this world of sense. There are more worlds
than one; a present visible world, and a future unseen world;
and let every one compare this world and that world, and give
the preference in his thoughts and cares to that which deserves
them. Believers shall obtain the resurrection from the dead,
that is the blessed resurrection. What shall be the happy state
of the inhabitants of that world, we cannot express or conceive,

1Co 2:9. Those that are entered into the joy of their Lord,
are entirely taken up therewith; when there is Perfection of
Holiness there will be No occasion for preservatives from Sin.
And when God called himself the God of these patriarchs, he
meant that he was a God all-sufficient to them, Ge 17:1, their
exceeding great Reward, Ge 15:1. He never did that for them in
this world, which answered the full extent of his undertaking;
therefore there must be another Life, in which he will do that
for them, which will completely fulfil the promise.

39-47 The Scribes commended the reply Christ made to the
Sadducees about the resurrection, but they were silenced By a
question concerning the Messiah. Christ, as God, was David's
Lord; but Christ, as Man, was David's son. The Scribes would
receive the severest judgement for defrauding the Poor Widows,
and for their abuse of religion, particularly of Prayer, which
they used as a pretence for carrying On worldly and wicked
plans. Dissembled Piety is double Sin. Then let us Beg of God to
keep us from pride, ambition, Covetousness, and every evil
thing; and to teach us to seek that honour which comes from him