Thursday, July 08, 2021

2021.07.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 20:20–21:4

Read Luke 20:20–21:4

Questions from the Scripture text: What did the chief priests and scribes do to Jesus in Luke 20:20? Whom did they send to do what? To whose power and authority did they hope to deliver Him? How do they flatter Jesus in Luke 20:21? What do they ask in Luke 20:22? What does Jesus perceive (Luke 20:23)? What does He ask? What does He tell them to show Him (Luke 20:24)? What does He ask about it? How do they answer? What does He say to do in Luke 20:25? In Whose image is Caesar made? What belongs to God? What couldn’t they do to Jesus (Luke 20:26)? What did they think of His answer? What didn’t they do? Who try now in Luke 20:27? What do they deny? What do they point out from Deuteronomy 25:5–10 (Luke 20:28)? What story do they tell in Luke 20:29-32? What problem do they think this presents in Luke 20:33? What does Jesus say happens in this age (Luke 20:34)? What won’t they do in the next age and the resurrection (Luke 20:35)? What else won’t they do (Luke 20:36)? What will they be like? Of what and Whom does Jesus call them “sons”? Whom does Jesus now quote in Luke 20:37 (cf. Luke 20:28a)? What does He say Moses showed? Whose essential character demands this (Luke 20:38)? Who (that hold to the resurrection) answer in Luke 20:39? What do they say? What don’t they do anymore? Who asks a question now (Luke 20:41)? What does He challenge? Whose statement does Jesus quote from where in Luke 20:42? What had David said (Luke 20:42-43)? What had David called the Christ (Luke 20:44)? What does Jesus ask about this? To whom does Jesus speak in Luke 20:45? But who can hear? Of whom does He say to beware (Luke 20:46)? How does He say you can identify their clothing? What does He say they love? But what does He say that they do to widows (Luke 20:47)? And what is it that makes their prayers long? What will they receive? Whom does Jesus look up and see in Luke 21:1? What are they doing? Where? Whom else does He see in Luke 21:2? What is she putting in? How does He emphatically introduce His comment in Luke 21:3? What does He call the widow? Whom does He say she has out-given? Out of what had all these put in offerings (Luke 21:4)? For Whom? Out of what had she put in? How much had she put in?

This series of question-and-answer games of ‘gotcha’ all actually have the same endpoint as Jesus’s observation of the widow and her two mites: God demands absolutely everything. Jesus was here to give absolutely everything, precisely because you and I are unwilling and unable to do so. He must be our righteousness, even as He offers Himself to be our sacrifice, for we have none of our own.

Rome gave the Jews roads, political and economic stability, etc. The tax (Luke 20:22) that these treacherous flatterers (Luke 20:21) tried to use to destroy Jesus (Luke 20:20) had to be paid in Caesar-minted coins because of their Caesar-maintained life. If God had given them Caesar, then they ought to pay taxes to the guy whose image and inscription were on the coin (Luke 20:24-25a). 

But God had given them much more than Caesar. Everything they have and are, they owe to God. And they most certainly are not giving it to Him. Jesus’s answer isn’t just a clever escape; it is a resounding condemnation. For, it is certain that they will have to answer to the wrathful God Whom they have neither glorified nor given thanks as they ought (Luke 20:25b, cf. Romans 1:18–21). God demands absolutely everything.

Then there’s the Sadducees, who think they’re going to make Jesus look stupid with their overly long story (Luke 20:29–32) that they think stands on Deuteronomy 25:5–10, and its underly impressive punchline question in Luke 20:33. Jesus fills them in on how, though marriage is a good thing (Luke 20:34), the resurrection brings us into a state in which we will not be missing out if we lack a wife. The glorious state into which the resurrection brings us will obsolete marriage just like it does death (Luke 20:35-36).

But when Jesus goes to prove the resurrection itself from Exodus 3 (Luke 20:37), He concludes with another zinger, “for all live to Him” (Luke 20:38). Well, they all ought to live to Him. That dovetails with the beginning of Luke 20:35, where he says, “those who are counted worthy.” Again, according to His zinger at the end of Luke 20:38, that “those who are counted worthy” is a group of exactly one: Jesus Himself… unless He is counted as your worthiness through faith.

The next ‘gotcha’ question comes from Jesus Himself and is about Jesus Himself. He refers to “they” who “say that the Christ is the Son of David” (Luke 20:41), and agrees with them. But He wants them to agree with David in Psalm 110 that the Christ is David’s Lord (Luke 20:42-43). So Jesus puts the question to them in Luke 20:44 and then lets them eavesdrop (Luke 20:45) as He contrasts David’s humble service with the scribes’ pride and greed (Luke 20:46-47). 

There’s Hell to pay for pride and greed (end of verse 47) that keep you from bowing the knee to David’s Lord or offering your whole self in the service of David’s Lord. And David’s Lord is the One speaking! God demands absolutely everything. And Jesus is God.

As we move to Luke 21:1–4, we go from condemnation to commendation. If the scribes are dangerous to follow, who might be safer? A widow with only two lepta left (Luke 21:2). Sure, the wealthy put in greater quantity and quality (Luke 21:1). But she put in more (Luke 21:3), because she put in all the life that she had (Luke 21:4, more literally translated than “livelihood).

That’s all that God demands of you. All the life that you have. You can’t pay it. Only Jesus can. If you are going to be “counted worthy” of the age to come, you are going to have to have Jesus as Lord. For He has rendered unto God the things that are God’s and given all the life that He has. But He is the resurrection and the life, and if you believe in Him, He will both be your worthiness and also begin to make you more and more like Himself in giving God absolutely everything.

What does God require? What is the only way that requirement can be met for you? As you become more like Christ what will you give to God? What part of that are you working on?

Suggested Songs: ARP34A “At All Times I Will Bless the Lord” or TPH534 “Fill Thou, My Life, O Lord”

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