The bull of St Luke


The Authority of Jesus: Lk 20,1-19

By what authority? 20,1-8

We have seen how 19,47-48 sets the scene for what now follows. The people have accepted the authority of Jesus as they hung on his words.

We can see how this is emphasised in the first part of 20,1. What is the significance of Luke's addition here? See 4,18.

Who now appear on the scene in the second part of the verse? Who do not (see 17,20)? And why not?

How are the leaders and the people contrasted by verse 2?

A question in reply to a question in verses 3-4 was within the rules of debate. Note what Luke omits in verse 3 - see Mk 11,29. What lies behind Jesus' question about John the Baptist? See 7,26.

For the leaders' dilemma in verses 5-6, see 7,29-30.

See the wise words of Gamaliel as a commentary on these verses (Acts 5,38-39).

What does the comparison with John the Baptist tell us about Jesus?

Then look at my response.

The Vineyard: Lk 20,9-19

To whom is Jesus speaking the parable? But note who are also hearing the parable (20,19).
For the image of the vineyard and the background of this parable, look at Isaiah chapter 5.

Once the significance of the vineyard is understood in light of Isaiah 5, then the reading of the parable becomes clear. Here we have an allegory, the story can be de-coded.
Who then is the owner of the vineyard? Who are the servants?
Who is the beloved son (3,22)? See Gen 22,2.

This parable is also told by Mark (Mk 12,1-12) and Matthew (Mt 21,33-46). We will need to compare Luke with both Gospels if we are to pick up his distinctive telling of the story. Try to do that now, before we read the verses.

And so, in verse 9, we noted how Luke is specific about the audience. We can also note what Luke has omitted compared to Mark and Matthew.

For verses 10,11 and 12, Luke and Mark are similar and Matthew somewhat different. We have noted who the servants were.

20,13 we then see is unique to Luke (Mk 12,6; Mt 21,37). What is the significance of this?

Verse 14 also has a detail special to Luke, which makes its style similar to the preceeding verse.

For verse 15, we can look at Matthew (Mt 21,41) and note verse 16. Who is speaking in these verses?

What does Jesus do in verse 17, but not in Mark or Matthew?

All three Gospels have the quotation from Ps 118,22-23. Clearly this was part of the tradition handed down. How has Luke changed it?

Verse 18 has echoes of Is 8,14. A similar linking of Ps 118 and Is 8 can be found in 1st Peter 2,4-8.

Finally, compare verse 19 with Mk 12,12 and Mt 21,45.

Take another look at my response.

From this, we can continue our reading with the first attempt to discredit Jesus' authority, Lk 20,20-26.