“The chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up” to Jesus and questioned Him about His actions. “Tell us by what authority You do these things.” Christ very quickly exposed their lack of integrity, for they were not able to give Him a straight answer regarding the ministry of John the Baptist.
The religious leaders in Jerusalem in Jesus’ day could not be safely obeyed without turning away from God Himself. Our Lord would eventually establish a system of accountability among His worshipers, but there would be many occasions throughout the history of the church when brave men and women would rightly make the costly choice to follow God rather than those who had the most impressive titles.
The story that Jesus told in Luke 20 made it quite clear that the highest officials among the Jews had rejected the one and only “Cornerstone” of the church. What would Jehovah do to such rebels? Jesus insisted that God would “come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” Their reaction to His words: “Surely not!” They got Jesus’ point, for “they perceived that He had told this parable against them.”
Though the leaders of the Jews sought to set traps for Jesus, their efforts were not successful. First they aimed to get Him into trouble with civil authorities. He exposed again the truth that God, whose image they bore, was far above even Caesar. When others attempted to embarrass Jesus about His belief in a resurrection age to come, He spoke plainly from the Torah showing them that the “God of Abraham” was certainly the divine Ruler of someone who was very much alive.
Jesus went on to teach them all from Psalm 110 regarding the expected Messiah who would be “David’s son” but was also David’s Lord. How could this be? Our Savior is both God and Man. We need to follow Him as our King.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father, Your Son spoke the truth, so why are we afraid? Teach us the Scriptures, and grant us both wisdom and courage. We are Your holy vineyard. Show us how to be fruitful in Your service. As we hear Your Word, assure us that You speak to Your humble people through the Bible. Jesus is the Stone that the builders rejected. Powerful leaders tried to trap Him. Some wanted to convict Him of being a rebellious insurrectionist, and others thought that they could make Him look like a fool. He put them all to shame. Now He lives forever and in Him we have found eternal life. He is both King David’s descendant and his God. Though despised by men, He has become the Cornerstone of a new kingdom.