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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Luke 20

Verse 1

1 The priests were a religious group, the scribes were those who copied the law for the people, and the elders were the seniors, members of the Sanhedrin.

Verse 2

8 This paragraph is explained at Mat 21:23-27. We should remember that Jesus never evaded answering any proper question, but He knew these people were insincere in their questioning; it was prompted by an evil motive.

Verse 9

7 The reader will find this explained at Mat 21:33-43.

Verse 18

8 The stone is Christ who had been rejected by the Jewish leaders. The significance of falling on or being fallen upon is explained at Mat 21:44.

Verse 19

9 The priests and scribes properly applied the preceding parable to themselves. They would have tried to do bodily harm to Jesus but for public sentiment.

Verse 20

0 The priests thought they could mislead Jesus into saying something that would get him into trouble with the secular government. Spies which should feign means men who were hired to act the hypocrite in pretending to be just men. That means they were supposed to be concerned about the dignity of the government.

Verse 21

1 These spies really did know all the things they claimed to know, and their statements were the truth. But their motive in saying them was to flatter Jesus, which they should have known would be a failure.

Verse 22

2 In their ignorance of the nature of the kingdom of heaven, they thought Jesus would be opposed to all other governments. Were that the case he naturally would oppose giving them financial aid. Had he answered them to that effect, it would have been ground for accusing him of disloyalty to "the powers that be."

Verse 23

3 Craftiness means trickery which Jesus recognized to be their purpose in the question they asked him.

Verse 24

4 Jesus met the situation in a manner that was doubtless unexpected. Instead of answering their question with a direct yes or no, he asked for a piece of the very kind of money that was being used in paying for tilts government's financial support. He then asked about the image and wording on it, as to whose it was. They said it belonged to Caesar, the ruler involved in their question.

Verse 25

5 In their answer they committed themselves beyond recall, for they directly said the whole thing belonged to Caesar, the very thing he was asking people to give him as tribute. No one would say it is not. "lawful" to give to a man what belongs to him. They had said this money belonged to Caesar, hence it would be lawful to give it back to him. And by the same token it would be right to give to God what belongs to him, namely, their religious devotion.

Verse 26

6 Could not take hold means they had no reply they could make to the reasoning of Jesus. Marveled is defined by Robinson, "To wonder, to be astonished, to be amazed," not that they were favorably impressed with the wisdom of the Teacher.

Verse 27

7 The Sadducees are described at Mat 16:12.

Verse 28

6 See the comments on Mat 22:23-30.

Verse 37

8 This is explained at Mat 22:31-32.

Verse 39

9 Since it was the Sad-ducees who had been baffled in their attempt to entrap Jesus, the scribes doubtless found much satisfaction in complimenting Him.

Verse 40

0 See the comments about the end of their questioning, and the reason for it, at Mat 22:46.

Verse 41

4 See Mat 22:41-45.

Verse 45

5 The audience included the masses of the people and the disciples, but in this part of his speech Jesus was speaking to his disciples.

Verse 46

6 Long robes were worn to attract attention, and obtain special salutations in public, such as in marketplaces where many people resorted. Highest seats were the front pews that faced the audience. Chief rooms means favorite places at the table.

Verse 47

7 Devour widows' houses is figurative, referring. to advantages those hypocrites took of the needy and helpless among the people. (See Mat 23:14.) Greater damnation is explained at the same passage in Matthew.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Luke 20". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/luke-20.html. 1952.