Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: By What Authority Doest Thou These Things?

Good morning! How are you today? What will your day be like today? Mine will be fairly busy but good, I hope. I'll be spending time with my husband and son, and also my mother, running errands all day, then bible study tonight. I so enjoy that time.
  Today we are looking at chapter 20 of the book of Luke. Jesus is now in Jerusalem, and is daily teaching in the temple. The chief priests and the elders and the scribes are not happy with him. They want him gone, and they want to be rid of him permanently. They know, however, they can't just do something without a reason because the people love Jesus. At first they come to him and ask, By what authority do you do these things (v 2)? Jesus answered by asking them a question.  Was John's baptism of God or or man? They couldn't answer that, because if they said that John's baptism was from God then Jesus would ask why they didn't believe him; if they said it was from man, the people would stone the elders and chief priests and scribes. The people knew John the baptizer to be a prophet.  Once they said they couldn't answer, Jesus told them he wouldn't answer their question.
  Jesus then told the parable of the man who had a vineyard, and set men to watch over it and care for it while he was in a far off country. At the proper time, the man sent a servant to the vineyard to receive the fruit of the land. The husbandmen beat the servant and sent him on his way. The owner sent another servant, and he too was beaten.  Finally the owner sent his own son, thinking surely the husbandmen would treat him well. The husbandmen, thinking all would go to them once the son was out of the way, beat and killed the son. Jesus said in the parable that the owner would destroy those who sought to kill his son, and give the vineyard over to others.
  The chief priests and scribes knew that Jesus was talking about them in the parable, and they wanted to kill him right away. But they couldn't yet. They sent in others to listen to Jesus and see if they could trap him by his words. One asked him if it was lawful to give unto Caesar. Jesus answered that we are to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's.  A Sadducee asked him, who would a woman be married to at the resurrection if, having married once, her husband died, leaving her childless, and she marry his brother (as was the custom then, so that the child born would be considered from the first husband), and he too died leaving her childless, up to all seven brothers dying and no children being born. 
  Jesus explained that we only marry and are given in marriage here on earth. In the resurrection we are like angels and have no need of marriage.
  At the end of the chapter he tells the people to beware of the scribes.
 46. Bewared of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;
 47. Which devour widows' houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.
  The scribes loved all the attention. They did everything so they could be seen as pious, and the very ones they should have been helping, they had been cheating. 
  Until next time, have a great day.

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