Journey Through Parables: A Comprehensive Commentary on Luke 20

The Gospel of Luke provides an intimate window into the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and chapter 20 is no exception. Packed with parables, prophecies, and profound teachings, Luke 20 continues to speak to believers centuries after its initial revelation. As we delve into this rich chapter, we encounter Jesus’ masterful storytelling and discover truths that can dramatically transform our spiritual journey.

Luke 20 showcases Jesus’ authority, wisdom, and prophetic understanding. Through his encounters with various groups and his parables, Jesus uncovers profound kingdom principles, piercing questions, and challenging truths. So, let’s embark on this insightful exploration of Luke 20, diving deep into the mind and heart of Jesus, as we seek to understand and apply His words in our lives.

Key Takeaways from This Article:

  1. In-depth understanding of Luke 20 and its context within the Gospel.
  2. Deep insights into each parable and their application to our lives.
  3. Increased knowledge of Jesus’ authority and wisdom.
  4. Enhanced appreciation of the Gospel’s transformative power.
Journey Through Parables: A Comprehensive Commentary on Luke 20

The Authority of Jesus Questioned

In the opening scenes of Luke 20, Jesus’ authority is questioned by the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. They ask, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority?” (Luke 20:2, NKJV). This confrontation was a direct challenge to Jesus’ ministry, and his response to them gives us deep insights into His divine wisdom.

Instead of directly answering their question, Jesus replies with another question, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?” (Luke 20:3-4, NKJV). His response is not evasive; instead, it is highly strategic. He points them to John the Baptist, whose ministry they had failed to endorse but also feared to denounce because of his popularity among the people.

Jesus’ response underlines the spiritual blindness of the religious leaders. Despite the clear evidence of Jesus’ authority through his teachings and miracles, they chose to question His authority because of their vested interests and fear of losing power. His wisdom in handling this confrontation teaches us about discerning the motives behind the questions we face and responding in ways that reveal truth and underscore God’s authority.

The Parable of the Tenants

Luke 20:9-19 contains the parable of the tenants, a prophetic story that symbolically depicts Israel’s history and predicts the rejection of Jesus. In this parable, the landowner (representing God) rents a vineyard to tenants (symbolizing Israel) and sends servants (the prophets) to collect the fruit. The tenants mistreat the servants, and the landowner finally sends his son (representing Jesus), whom the tenants kill.

The parable of the tenants reflects the consistent rebellion of Israel against God’s messengers and their ultimate rejection of Jesus, God’s Son. Jesus, through this parable, exposes the malicious intent of the religious leaders and predicts His death at their hands.

The parable also underlines God’s patience and justice. Despite the repeated rebellion, God continues to send messengers, demonstrating His longing for repentance and reconciliation. However, this is paired with a stern warning of judgment for persistent rebellion and unbelief. As modern believers, this parable calls us to value God’s patience, heed His warnings, and embrace His call to fruitful living.

Paying Taxes to Caesar

Luke 20:20-26 records another attempt by religious leaders to trap Jesus. They ask Him, “Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (Luke 20:22, NKJV). This question was not sincere but a deliberate trap. If Jesus said not to pay taxes, He could be reported to the Romans. If He said to pay, He could lose popularity with the Jews who resented Roman taxation.

Jesus, however, sees through their deception and replies, “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” (Luke 20:24, NKJV). When they confirm that it is Caesar’s image, Jesus replies, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Luke 20:25, NKJV).

His response highlights the dual responsibilities of believers – to fulfill their obligations to the state and their duties to God. It speaks to the wisdom of navigating political and religious tension while maintaining loyalty to God. It encourages us, as believers, to respect and fulfill our civic duties, while also upholding our primary allegiance to God.

The Resurrection and Marriage

In Luke 20:27-40, the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, challenge Jesus with a hypothetical situation. They ask Him whose wife a woman would be in the resurrection if she had been married seven times according to the Levirate law (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). This scenario was crafted to mock the concept of resurrection, which the Sadducees considered absurd.

Jesus responds by explaining that the age to come will be fundamentally different from the present world order. “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage” (Luke 20:34-35, NKJV).

Jesus’ response transcends the Sadducees’ limited understanding of resurrection, introducing a reality beyond earthly norms and relationships. This serves as a reminder that God’s ways and His kingdom are often far beyond our comprehension. As believers, it calls us to embrace the mysteries of God’s kingdom, looking forward to our glorious future in Christ.

Jesus as David’s Lord

Jesus, turning from the defensive to the offensive, poses a question to the teachers of the law concerning the Messiah’s identity. He asks, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son?” (Luke 20:41, NKJV), referring to Psalm 110:1, where David calls the Messiah “Lord.”

This question points to the divine nature of the Messiah, demonstrating that the Christ is not merely a human descendant of David but also his Lord. It’s a clear reference to Jesus’ dual nature as fully God and fully man, a mystery central to Christian faith.

Jesus’ question leaves the teachers of the law unable to respond, underlining their inadequate understanding of the Messiah. As modern followers of Christ, this discussion invites us to embrace the fullness of Jesus’ identity as both human and divine, deepening our understanding and appreciation of His saving work.

Beware of the Teachers of the Law

In the closing verses of Luke 20, Jesus warns the crowd about the teachers of the law. He criticizes their love for public recognition, their ostentatious display of piety, and their exploitation of widows.

Beware of the teachers of the law…They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely” (Luke 20:46-47, NKJV). Jesus condemns their hypocritical behavior, reminding us that God values genuine faith and integrity over outward show.

This warning serves as a call to guard against religious hypocrisy, seeking to live authentic lives of faith. It underscores God’s concern for the marginalized and His judgment against those who exploit them. As believers, we are encouraged to evaluate our motives, ensuring that our actions align with our professed faith, and to continually seek justice for the vulnerable.

Authority in the Kingdom of God

In the closing verses of Luke 20, Jesus presents a contrasting view of authority in God’s kingdom. He posits a question about the Messiah, quoting from Psalm 110, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son?” (Luke 20:41, NKJV). He uses this question to reveal the dual nature of the Messiah as both human and divine.

Jesus’ question highlights the Messiah’s superiority over David, pointing to his divine nature. His teaching here counters the prevailing expectation of the Messiah as merely a human descendant of David. It serves to correct misconceptions and broaden understanding.

This discourse invites us to embrace the full identity of Jesus Christ, as both human and divine. This truth deepens our appreciation of Jesus and the nature of His saving work. It also encourages us to humbly accept the mysteries of our faith, which often defy human logic.


Through his interactions and teachings in Luke 20, Jesus provides profound insights into the Kingdom of God and its principles. From questioning authority to understanding the resurrection, this chapter challenges us to broaden our perspective and deepen our understanding.

Jesus’ teachings in Luke 20 are not just historical or theological concepts; they are practical truths for everyday living. As we strive to apply these principles, we become more effective witnesses of Christ, shining His light in our world.

Indeed, the teachings in Luke 20 remain as relevant today as they were during Jesus’ time. They call us to deeper discipleship, encouraging us to reflect more of Christ in our lives. As we explore and live out these teachings, we continue to grow in our faith journey, becoming more like our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

About The Author

Scroll to Top