Vv 1-8: A practical example of Pro 26:4,5: "Do not answer a
fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool
according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes."
Christ was policing the Temple. A follow-up on the cleansing
of the Temple (Mat 21:12-17; Mar 11:15-19; Luk 19:45-48).
BY WHAT AUTHORITY: Christ was not a Levite, a priest,
nor in any way accredited by some rabbi. Wandering "holy men" were allowed to
speak freely -- but not with voice of authority, in Temple, etc. (Three years
before, Nicodemus had come to Jesus as a delegate of Sanhedrin: Joh 3. What had
they done with his report?)
Of course, this WAS his answer: Jesus was accredited by John
the Baptist. If they had tested John's claim (Deu 18:21,22), they would have
been prepared to accept Jesus.
In their analysis, there was no thought for truth, only for
NEITHER WILL I TELL YOU...: The evidence was already
there. Their reasoning and understanding was based on flesh and on their own
personal preferences -- regardless of truth. They openly denied obvious truth:
"By Beelzebub" (Mar 3:22,23,28).
Notice: they answer, "We don't know" -- which really means,
"We won't tell you." Thus Jesus reciprocates in his answer: not "I don't know",
but instead, "Neither will I tell you!"
Israel as the vineyard of Yahweh // Isa 5:1-7.
MY SON: Many servants, but only one son!
WHEN THE TENANTS SAW HIM...: "But they saw him [Joseph]
in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him" (Gen
THEY TALKED THE MATTER OVER: This was a deliberate,
AND THE INHERITANCE WILL BE OURS: Ct Psa 2:8: "Ask of
me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your
When we cast the "true vine" (John 15) out of our vineyard, we
will have no fruit!
OUT OF THE VINEYARD: "Outside the camp" (Heb 13:10-14).
Note order: (1) took out of camp; and then (2) killed.
HE: God working through men. This is the wrath of God
for the rejection of His Son.
MAY THIS NEVER BE: Used 14 other times in the NT -- all
in the epistles of Paul! Does this phrase, otherwise quite characteristic of
Paul, suggest that he was among the Jews here, listening to Jesus?
THE STONE: Cited from Psa 118:22; cp Eph
"Men were engaged in the building of a house for the
accommodation of the government of a state. They had made their plans, and were
gathering the material. Many were engaged in the work; but as was usual in the
East, the master-builders alone knew the plans and others worked to their
directions. In every worthwhile building, just above ground level at the
principal comer, a special stone was placed. It was selected for its freedom
from flaws, and was carefully prepared -- its sides being accurately squared. It
was, more than any other stone in the building, a 'tried stone.' All other
stones would be built in alignment with it. A stone was offered the
master-builders about which exceptional claims were made. The stone was
examined, but certain prejudices in the builders prevented them from discerning
its qualities. They rejected it. But another Master-builder knew of the stone
and its perfect suitability for a building he was erecting. He obtained the
stone, and it was placed in a structure of unique characteristics. The building
was erected in line with the stone, and men marvelled at the beauty and grace of
the building" (PM 150,151).
Cp Mat 21:44n.
FALLS ON... BE BROKEN: Could mean: "fall on" as in
seeking for aid, and "be broken" as being humbled and made subservient to
...WILL BE CRUSHED: Condemnation.
TO ARREST HIM IMMEDIATELY: Trying to fulfill prophecy
(Mat 21:39; Mar 12:8; Luk 20:15), but time was not yet right.
The parables of Christ, when perceived, only brought their
wickedness to the fore, and increased their hatred of him. They convicted
PRETENDED: But it did not fool Christ (v 23).
IS IT RIGHT TO PAY TAXES TO CAESAR OR NOT?: A "no"
would brand Jesus as rebel. A "yes" would destroy his influence with many of the
WHOSE PORTRAIT AND INSCRIPTION?: Christ is the image of
the invisible God (2Co 4:4; Col 1:15; Joh 1:14).
See Ecc 12:13: "the whole duty of man".
CAESAR... GOD: Modern governments confuse the two,
putting on their money: "In God we trust". Political considerations should play
no part in the gospel.
GIVE: Or "give back". The coin belonged to Caesar in
the first place. Cp attitudes to riches: the extortioner (Mar 12:40,41) and the
poor widow (Mar 12:42).
"This basic principle pervades NT teaching. We must be sure
that we stay within the confines of the law of the land and give honour to
rulers. It is God's wish that we do this: Rom 13:6,7; 1Pe 2:13-17. On the other
hand, if the law of the land denied worship, Peter was quick to put his faith on
the line: Acts 4:19,20,29" (PC).
SADDUCEES: Who accepted only first five books,
authority of Moses, but not the prophets (Elp 233).
IN THE RESURRECTION: "On the strength of this, it is
contended that the unworthy will not come out of the grave at the time the
worthy come forth to obtain the world. The argument is based on a
misconstruction of the verse. The resurrection from the dead is something more
than the act of rising from the grave. Resurrection involves the act of rising
from the dust, but comprehends more than this in many parts of the NT. For
instance, the Sadducees asked Jesus, IN THE RESURRECTION, whose wife shall she
be (Mat 22:28,) that is, in the state to which the dead shall rise. How would
the question read if construed, whose wife shall she be in the act of rising
from the grave? Again, IN THE RESURRECTION, they neither marry nor are given in
marriage (Mat 22:30,) that is, in the state to which the dead rise. Again, they
that have done good (shall come forth) to the resurrection of life, and they
that have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation; that is, one class come
out of the grave to one resurrection-state, and the other to another
resurrection-state. It is testified that Paul preached Jesus and the
resurrection (Act 17:18). This could not mean that Paul simply preached the act
of rising from the grave. The mere act of rising from the grave is not
necessarily a good thing. Lazarus and the son of the widow of Nain rose from the
grave, but not to the resurrection (state) preached by Paul. They merely
received a renewal of mortal life. The wicked of a certain class will rise from
the grave, but the act of rising will not be to them a gladsome event, but the
contrary; they would prefer to be left in the oblivion of the tomb. Everything
depends upon THE STATE to which the rising from the grave is the introduction.
Paul preached the resurrection-state of incorruption and immortality. To this
state, the dead have to rise. The mere act of rising is not the resurrection. It
is involved in it; it is a part, but as employed in the Scriptures, it requires
the state after coming out of the grave to be added, before the idea expressed
by the word resurrection is complete" (Xdm Ast).
A popular false doctrine of the times: cp Lesson, Enoch, Book
of. Angels cannot die, since they do not sin (Rom 6:23).
THE GOD OF ABRAHAM...: "Though he were dead, yet shall
he live" (Joh 11:25).
For God to be known through the ages as the "God" of three
eternally dead men would be a mockery of His power.
AND NO ONE DARED TO ASK HIM ANY MORE QUESTIONS: This
marks the end of the "examination" of Jesus during the four days that the
Passover lamb was kept up -- from the 10th to the 14th of the month. It is
recorded in both other accounts: Mat 22:46; Mark 12:34; Luke 20:40.
There are many kind of "robes" in the Bible, because men may
play many roles, and -- to some degree -- it is true that "the clothes make the
man". For example, there is the long, flowing robe of pretension (Luk 20:46);
the torn robe of sorrow (Job 1:20); the scarlet robe of mock kingship (Mat
27:28); the best robe of righteousness (Luk 15:22); and the white robe of the
redeemed (Rev 7:9). We do well to ask ourselves periodically: which robe or
robes are we wearing now?
THEY DEVOUR WIDOWS' HOUSES: "There is a conspiracy of
her princes within her... they devour people, take treasures and precious things
and make many widows within her" (Eze 22:25).