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Bible Commentaries

Golden Chain Commentary on the Gospels

Luke 20

 

 

Verses 1-8

And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the Gospel, the Chief Priests and the Scribes came upon him with the elders,2. And spoke to him, saying, Tell us, by what authority do you these things? or who is he that gave you this authority?3. And he answered and said to them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:4. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?5. And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed you him not?6. But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. 7. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. 8. And Jesus said to them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

AUG. Having related the casting out of those that bought and sold in the temple, Luke omits Christ"s going to Bethany; and His return again to the city, and the circumstances of the fig-tree, and the answer which was made to the astonished disciples, concerning the power of faith. And having omitted all these, as he does not, like Mark, pursue the events of each day in order, he commences with these words, And it came to pass, that on one of those days; by which we may understand that day on which Matthew and Mark related that event to have taken place.

EUSEB. But the rulers who should have been struck with wonder at one who taught such heavenly doctrines, and have been convinced by His words and deeds that this was the same Christ whom the Prophets had foretold, came to hinder Him, so helping onward the destruction of the people. For it follows, And spoke to him saying, Tell us, by what authority do you these things? &c. As if he said; By the law of Moses, those only who are sprung from the blood of Levi have authority to teach, and power over the sacred buildings. But you who are of the line of Judah usurp the offices assigned to us. Whereas O Pharisee, if you had known the Scriptures, you would have called to mind that this is the Priest after the order of Melchisedec, who offers to God them that believe on Him by that worship which is above the law. Why then are you troubled. He cast out of the sacred house things which seemed necessary for the sacrifices of the law, because He calls us by, faith to the true righteousness.

BEDE Or when they say, By what authority do you these things? they doubt concerning the power of God, and wish it to be understood that of the devil He does this. Adding moreover, And who is he that gave you this authority. Most plainly do they deny the Son of God when they think that not by His own power but another"s He does miracles.

Now our Lord by a simple answer might have refuted such a calumny; but He wisely asks a question, that by their silence or their words they might condemn themselves. And he answered and said to them. I also will ask, &c.

THEOPHYL. For that He might show that they had always rebelled against the Holy Spirit, and that resides Isaiah, whom they remembered not, they had refused to believe John whom they had lately seen; He now in his turn puts the question to them, proving that if so great a Prophet as John who was accounted greatest among them had been disbelieved when he testified of Him, the would in no wise believe Him, answering by what authority He did this.

EUSEB. His question concerning John the Baptist is not from whence was he sprung, but whence received he his law of baptism. But they feared not to shun the truth. For God sent John as a voice, crying, Prepare you the way of the Lord. But they dreaded to speak the truth, lest it should be said, Why did you not believe? and they scruple to blame the forerunner, not from fear of God, but of the people; as it follows, And they reasoned within themselves, saying, If we shall say, From hearer; he will say, Why then believed you him not.

BEDE As if He should say, He whom you confess bad his gift of prophecy from heaven, and gave testimony to Me. And you heard from him by what power I should do these things. It follows, But if we shall say, Of men; the whole people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet Therefore perceived they in whatever way they should answer they would fall into a trap, fearing the stoning, but much more the confession of the truth. And then it follows, And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.

Because they will not confess that which they knew, they were baffled, and the Lord would not tell them what He knew; as it follows, And Jesus said to them, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. For there are two reasons especially why we should conceal the truth from those that ask; for example, when the questioner is incapable of understanding what he asks, or when from hatred or contempt he is unworthy to have his questions answered.


Verses 9-18

Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long, time. 10. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. 11. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. 12. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. 13. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. 14. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. 15. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do to them?16. He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. 17. And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?18. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

EUSEB. The rulers of the Jewish people being now assembled together in the temple, Christ put forth a parable foretelling by a figure the things they were about to do to Him, and the rejection that was in store for them.

AUG. Matthew has omitted for brevity"s sake what Luke has not; namely, that the parable was spoken not to the rulers only who asked concerning His authority, but also to the people.

AMBROSE Now many derive different meanings from the name vineyard, but Esaias clearly relates the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth to be the house of Israel. This vineyard who else but God planted?

BEDE The man then who plants the vineyard is the same who, according to another parable, hired laborers into his vineyard.

EUSEB. But the parable which Esaias gives denounces the vineyard, whereas our Savior parable is not directed against the vineyard, but the cultivators of it, of whom it is added, And be let it out to husbandmen, that is, to the elders of the people, and the chief priests, and the doctors, and all the nobles.

THEOPHYL. Or each one of the people is the vineyard, each likewise is the husbandman, for every one of us takes care of himself. Having committed then the vineyard to the husbandmen, he went away, that is, he left them to the guidance of their own judgment Hence it follows, And went into a far country for a long time.

AMBROSE Not that our Lord journeys from place to place, seeing that He is ever present in every place, but that He is more present to those who love Him, while He removes Himself from those who regard Him not. But He was absent for a long time, lest His coming to require His fruit might seem too early. For the more indulgent it is, it renders obstinacy the less excusable.

CYRIL Or God took Himself away from the vineyard for the course of many years, for since the time that He was seen to descend in the likeness of fire upon Mount Sinai, He no longer vouchsafed to them His visible presence; though no change took place, in which He sent not His prophets and righteous men to give warning thereof; as it follows, And at the time of the vintage he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard.

THEOPHYL. He says of the fruit of the vineyard, because not the whole fruit, but part only, He wished to receive. For what does God gain from us, but His own knowledge, which is also, our profit.

BEDE But it is rightly written fruit, not increase. For there was no increase in this vineyard. The first servant sent was Moses, who for forty years sought of the husbandmen the fruit of the law which he had given, but he was wroth against them, for they provoked his spirit. Hence it follows, But they beat him, and sent him away empty.

AMBROSE And it came to pass that He ordained many others, whom the Jews sent back to him disgraced and empty, for they could reap nothing from them; as it follows, And again he sent another servant.

BEDE By the other servant is meant David, who was sent after the commandment of the law, that he by the music of his psalmody might stir up the husbandmen to the exercise of good works. But they on the contrary declared, What portion have we in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse. Hence it follows, And they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.

But He does not stop here, for it follows, And again he sent a third: whereby we must understand the company of prophets who constantly visited the people with their testimony. But which of the Prophets did they not persecute; as it follows, And they wounded him also, and cast him out. Now these three successions of servants, our Lord elsewhere shows to comprehend under a figure all the teachers under the law, when He says, For all those things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms, concerning me.

THEOPHYL. After the prophets then had suffered all these things, the Son is delegated; for it follows, Then said the Lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? That the Lord of the vineyard speaks doubtingly, arises not from ignorance, for what is there that the Lord knows not; but He is said to hesitate, that the free will of man may be preserved.

CYRIL The Lord of the vineyard also ponders what He should do, not that He is in need of ministers, but that having thoroughly tried every device of human aid, yet His people being in no wise healed, He may add something greater; as He goes on to say, I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.

THEOPHYL. Now He said this, not as ignorant that they would treat Him worse than they did the prophets, but because the Son ought to be reverenced by them. But if they should still be rebellious and slay Him, this would crown their iniquity. Lest therefore any should say that the Divine Presence has necessarily been the cause of their disobedience, He uses purposely this doubtful mode of speech.

AMBROSE When then the only-begotten Son was sent to them, the unbelieving Jews, wishing to be rid of the Heir, put Him to death by crucifying Him, and rejected Him by denying Him. Christ is the Heir and the Testator likewise. The Heir, because He survives His own death; and of the testament which He Himself bequeathed, He reaps as it were the hereditary profits in our advances.

BEDE But Our Lord most clearly proves that the Jewish rulers crucified the Son of God not from ignorance but for envy. For they knew it was He to whom it was said, I will give you the heathen for your inheritance. And they cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. Because Jesus, that He might sanctify the people by His blood, suffered without the gate.

THEOPHYL. Since we have already assumed the people, not Jerusalem, to be the vineyard, it may perhaps be more properly said that the people indeed slew Him without the vineyard; that is, our Lord suffered without the hands of the people, because in truth the people did not with their own hands inflict death upon Him, but delivered Him up to Pilate and the Gentiles. But some by the vineyard have understood the Scripture, which not believing they slew the Lord. And so without the vineyard, that is, without Scripture, our Lord is said to have suffered.

BEDE Or was He cast out of the vineyard and slain, because He was first driven out of the hearts of the unbelievers, and then fastened to the cross?

CHRYS. Now it was not accidentally but part of the purpose of the divine dispensation that Christ came after the prophets. For God does not pursue all things at once, but accommodates Himself to mankind through His great mercy; for if they despised His Son coming after His servants, much less would they have heard Him before. For they who listened not to the inferior commands, how would they have heard the greater?

AMBROSE He rightly puts a question to them, that they may condemn themselves by their own words, as it follows, What then will the Lord of the vineyard do to them?

BASIL And this happens as it were to men who are condemned, having nothing to answer to the plain evidence of justice. But it is the property of Divine mercy not to inflict punishment in secret, but to foretell it with threatenings, that so it might recall men to repentance; and thus it follows here, He shall come and destroy those husbandmen.

AMBROSE He says, the Lord of the vineyard will come, because in the Son is present also the Father"s majesty; or because in the last times He will be more graciously present by His Spirit in the hearts of men.

CYRIL The Jewish rulers were shut out then, because they resisted their Lord"s will, and made the vineyard barren which was entrusted to them. But the cultivation of the vineyard was given to the Priests of the New Testament, upon which the Scribes and Pharisees, as soon as they perceived the force of the parable, refuse to permit it, saying as follows, God forbid. They did not however escape any whit the more, because of their obstinacy and disobedience to the faith of Christ.

THEOPHYL. Now Matthew seems to relate the parable differently; that when our Savior asked indeed, What will he do then to the husbandmen? the Jews answered, he will miserably destroy them. But there is no difference between the two circumstances. The Jews at first pronounced that opinion, then perceiving the point of the parable said, God forbid, as Luke here relates.

AUG. Or else, in the multitude of which we are speaking there were those who craftily asked our Lord by what authority He acted; there were those also who not craftily, but faithfully, cried aloud, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. And so there would be some who would say, He will miserably destroy those husbandmen, and let out his vineyard to others. Which are rightly said to have been the words of our Lord Himself, either on account of their truth, or because of the unity of the members with the head; while there would be others also who would say to those who made this answer, God forbid, inasmuch as they understood the parable was spoken against themselves. It follows, And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

BEDE As if He said, How shall the prophecy be fulfilled, except that Christ, being rejected and slain by you, is to be preached to the Gentiles, who will believe on Him, that as the corner stone He may thus from both nations build up one temple to Himself?

EUSEB. Christ is called a stone on account of His earthly body, cut out with hands, as in the vision of Daniel, because of His birth of the Virgin. But the stone is neither of silver nor gold, because He is not any glorious King, but a man lowly and despised, wherefore the builders rejected Him.

THEOPHYL. For the rulers of the people rejected Him, when they said, This man is not of God. But He was so useful and so precious, that He was placed as the head stone of the corner.

CYRIL But holy Scripture compares to a corner the meeting together of the two nations, the Jew and the Gentile, into one faith. For the Savior has compacted both peoples into one new man, reconciling them in one body to the Father. Of saving help then is that stone to the corner made by it, but to the Jews who resist this spiritual union, it brings destruction.

THEOPHYL. He mentions two condemnations or destructions of them, one indeed of their souls, which they suffered being offended in Christ. And He touches this when He says, Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be shaken to pieces. But the other of their captivity and extermination, which the Stone that was despised by them brought upon them. And He points to this when He says, But upon whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder, or winnow him. For so were the Jews winnowed through the whole world, as the stray from the threshing floor. And mark the order of things; for first comes the wickedness committed against Him, then follows the just vengeance of God.

BEDE Or else, He who is a sinner, yet believes on Christ, falls indeed upon the stone and is shaken, for he is preserved by penitence to salvation. But upon whomsoever it shall fall, that is, upon whom the stone itself has come down because he denied it, it shall grind him to powder, so that not even a broken piece of a vessel shall be left, in which may be drunk a little water. Or, He means by those who fall upon Him, such as only despise Him, and therefore do not yet utterly perish, but are shaken violently so that they cannot walk upright. But upon whom it falls, upon them shall He come in judgment with everlasting punishment, therefore shall it grind them to powder, that they may be as the dust which the wind scatters from, the face of the earth.

AMBROSE The vineyard is also our type. For the husbandman is the Almighty Father, the vine is Christ, but we are the branches. Rightly are the people of Christ called a vine, either because it carries on its front the sign of the cross, or because its fruits are gathered in the latter time of the year, or because to all men, as to the equal rows of vines, poor as well as rich, servants as well as masters, there is an equal allotment in the Church without distinction of persons. And as the vine is married to the trees, so is the body to the soul. Loving this vineyard, the husbandmen is wont to dig it and prune it, lest it grow too luxuriant in the shade of its foliage, and check by unfruitful boastfulness of words the ripening of its natural character. Here must be the vintage of the whole world, for here is the vineyard of the whole world.

BEDE Or understanding it morally; to every one of the faithful is let out a vineyard to cultivate, in that the mystery of baptism is entrusted to him to work out. One servant is sent, a second and a third, when the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets are read. But the servant who is sent is said to be treated despitefully or beaten, when the word heard is despised or blasphemed. The heir who is sent that man kills as far as he can, who by sin tramples under foot the Son of God. The wicked husbandmen being destroyed, the vineyard is given to another, when with the gift of grace, which the proud man spurned, the humble are enriched.


Verses 19-26

And the Chief Priests and the Scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. 20. And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him to the power and authority of the governor. 21. And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that you say and teach rightly, neither accept you the person of any, but teach the way of God truly:22. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or no?23. But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, Why tempt you me?24. Show me a penny. Whose image and superscription has it? They answered and said, Caesar"s. 25. And he said to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things which be Caesar"s, and to God the things which be God"s. 26. And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marveled at his answer, and held their peace.

CYRIL It became indeed the rulers of the Jews, perceiving that the parable was spoken of them, to depart from evil, having been thus as it were warned concerning the future. But little mindful of this, they rather gather a fresh occasion for their crimes. The commandment of the Law restrained them not, which says, The innocent and righteous men you shall not slay, but the fear of the people checked their wicked purpose. For they set the fear of man before the reverence of God. The reason of this purpose is given, for they perceived that he spoke this parable against them.

BEDE And so by seeking to slay Him, they proved the truth of what He had said in the parable. For He Himself is the Heir, whose unjust death He said was to be punished They are the wicked husbandmen who sought to kill the Son of God. This also is daily committed in the Church when any one, only in name a brother, is ashamed or afraid, because of the many good men with whom he lives, to break into that unity of the Church"s faith and peace which he abhors. And because the chief priests sought to lay hold of our Lord but could not by themselves, they tried to accomplish it by the hands of the governor; as it follows, And they watched him, &c.

CYRIL For they seemed to be trifling, yet were in earnest, forgetful of God, who says, Who is this that hides his counsel from me? For they come to Christ the Savior of all, as though He were a common man, as it follows, that they might take him in his speech.

THEOPHYL. They laid snares for our Lord, but got their own feet entangled in them. Listen to their cunning, And they asked Him, saying, Master, we know that you say and teach rightly.

BEDE This smooth and artful question was to entice the answerer to say that he fears God rather than Caesar, for it follows, Neither accept you the person of any, but teach the way of God truly. This they say, to entice Him to tell them that they ought not to pay tribute, in order that the servants of the guard, (who according to the other Evangelists are said to have been present,) might immediately upon bearing it seize Him as the leader of a sedition against the Romans.

And so they proceed to ask, Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? For there was a great division among the people, some saying that for the sake of security and quiet, seeing that the Romans fought for all, they ought to pay tribute; while the Pharisees, on the contrary, declared, that the people of God who gave tithes and first fruits, ought not to be subject to the law of man.

THEOPHYL. Therefore it was intended, in case He said they ought to give tribute to Caesar, that He should be accused by the people, as placing the nation under the yoke of slavery, but if He forbade them to pay the tax, that they should denounce Him as a stirrer up of divisions to the governor.

But He escapes their snares, as it follows, Perceiving their craftiness, he said to them, Why tempt you me? Show me a penny. Whose image and superscription has it?

AMBROSE Our Lord here teaches us, how cautious we ought to be in our answers to heretics or Jews; as He has said elsewhere, Be you wise as serpents.

BEDE Let those who impute the question of our Savior to ignorance, learn from this place that Jesus was well able to know whose image was on the money; but He asks the question, that He might give a fitting answer to their words; for it follows, They answered and said, Caesar"s. We must not suppose Augustus is thereby meant, but Tiberius, for all the Roman kings were called Caesar, from the first Caius Caesar. But from their answer our Lord easily solves the question, for it follows, And he said to them, Render to Caesar the things which be Caesar"s, and to God the things which be God"s.

TITUS As if He said, With your words you tempt me, obey me in works. You have indeed Caesar"s image, you have undertaken his offices, to him therefore give tribute, to God fear. For God requires not money, but faith.

BEDE Render also to God the things which be God"s, that is to say, tithes, first fruits, offerings, and sacrifices.

THEOPHYL. And observe that He said not, give, but return. For it is a debt. Your prince protects you from enemies, renders your life tranquil. Surely then you are bound to pay him tribute. Nay, this very piece of money which you bring you have from him. Return then to the king the king"s money. God also has given you understanding and reason, make then a return of these to Him, that you may not be compared to the beasts, but in all things may walk wisely.

AMBROSE Be unwilling then, if you would not offend Caesar, to possess worldly goods. And you rightly teach, first to render the things which be Caesar"s. For no one can be the Lord"s unless he has first renounced the world. Oh most galling chain! To promise to God, and pay not. Far greater is the contract of faith than that of money.

ORIGEN Now this place contains a mystery. For there are two images in man, one which he received from God, as it is written, let us make man in our own image: another from the enemy, which he has contracted through disobedience and sin, allured and won by the enticing baits of the prince of this world. For as the penny has the image of the emperor of the world, so he who does the works of the power of darkness, bears the image of Him whose works he does, He says then, Render to Caesar the things which be Caesar"s, that is, cast away the earthly image, that you may be able, by putting on the heavenly image, to render to God the things which be God"s, namely, to love God. Which things Moses says God requires of us. But God makes this demand of us, not because He has need that we should give Him any thing, but that, when we have given, He might grant us this very same gift for our salvation.

BEDE Now they who ought rather to have believed such great wisdom, marveled that in all their cunning they had found no opportunity of catching Him. As it follows, And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marveled at his answer, and held their peace.

THEOPHYL. This was their main object, to rebuke Him before the people, which they were unable to do because of the wonderful wisdom of His answer.


Verses 27-40

Then came to him certain of the Sadducees which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,28. Saying, Master, Moses wrote to us, If any man"s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed to his brother. 29. There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. 30. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. 31. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died. 32. Last of all the woman died also. 33. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. 34. And Jesus answering said to them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:35. But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:36. Neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. 37. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him. 39. Then certain of the Scribes answering said, Master, you have well said. 40. And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.

BEDE There were two heresies among the Jews, one of the Pharisees, who boasted in the righteousness of their traditions, and hence they were called by the people, "separated;" the other of the Sadducees, whose name signified "righteous," claiming to themselves that which they were not. When the former went away, the latter came to tempt Him.

ORIGEN The heresy of the Sadducees not only denies the resurrection of the dead, but also believes the soul to die with the body. Watching then to entrap our Savior in His words, they proposed a question just at the time when they observed Him teaching His disciples concerning the resurrection; as it follows, And they asked him, saying, Master, Moses wrote to us, If a brother, etc.

AMBROSE According to the letter of the law, a woman is compelled to marry, however unwilling, in order that a brother may raise up seed to his brother who is dead. The letter therefore kills, but the Spirit is the master of charity.

THEOPHYL. Now the Sadducees resting upon a weak foundation, did not believe in the doctrine of the resurrection. For imagining the future life in the resurrection to be carnal, they were justly misled, and hence reviling the doctrine of the resurrection as a thing impossible they invent the story, There were seven brothers, etc.

BEDE They devise this story in order to convict those of folly, who assert the resurrection of the dead. Hence they object a base fable, that they may deny the truth of the resurrection.

AMBROSE Mystically, this woman is the synagogue, which had seven husbands, as it is said to the Samaritan, You had five husbands, because the Samaritan follows only the five books of Moses, the synagogue for the most part seven. And from none of them has she received the seed of a hereditary offspring, and so can have no part with her husbands in the resurrection, because she perverts the spiritual meaning of the precept into a carnal. For not any carnal brother is pointed at, who should raise seed to his deceased brother, but that brother who from the dead people of the Jews should claim to himself for wife the wisdom of the divine worship, and from it should raise up seed in the Apostles, who being left as it were unformed in the womb of the synagogue, have according to the election of grace been thought worthy to be preserved by the admixture of a new seed.

BEDE Or these seven brothers answer to the reprobate, who throughout the whole life of the world which revolves in seven days, are fruitless in good works, and these being carried away by death one after another, at length the course of the evil world, as the barren woman, itself also passes away.

THEOPHYL. But our Lord shows that in the resurrection there will be no fleshly conversation, thereby overthrowing their doctrine together with its slender foundation; as it follows, And Jesus said to them, The children of this world marry, etc.

AUG. For marriages are for the sake of children, children for succession, succession because of death. Where then there is no death, there are no marriages; and hence it follows, But they which shall be accounted worthy, etc.

BEDE Which must not be taken as if only they who are worthy were either to rise again or be without marriage, but all sinners also shall rise again, and abide without marriage in that new world. But our Lord wished to mention only the elect, that He might incite the minds of His hearers to search into the glory of the resurrection.

AUG. As our discourse is made up and completed by departing and succeeding syllables, so also men themselves whose faculty discourse is by departure and succession make up and complete the order of this world, which is built up with the mere temporal beauty of things. But in the future life, seeing that the Word which we shall enjoy is formed by no departure and succession of syllables, but all things which it has it has everlastingly and at once, so those who partake of it, to whom it alone will be life shall neither depart by death, nor succeed by birth, even as it now is with the angels; as it follows, For they are equal to the angels.; For as the multitude of the angels is indeed very great, yet they are not propagated by generation, but have their being from creation, so also to those who rise again, there is no more necessity for marriage; as it follows, And are the children of God.THEOPHYL. As if He said, Because it is God who works in the resurrection, rightly are they called the sons of God, who are regenerated by the resurrection. For there is nothing carnal seen in the regeneration of them that rise again, there is neither coming together, nor the womb, nor birth.

BEDE Or they are equal to the angels, and the children of God, because made new by the glory of the resurrection, with no fear of death, with no spot of corruption, with no quality of an earthly condition, they rejoice in the perpetual beholding of God"s presence.

ORIGEN But because the Lord says in Matthew, which is here omitted, You do err, not knowing the Scriptures, ask the question, where is it so written, They shall neither marry, nor be given in marriage? for as I conceive there is no such thing to be found either in the Old or New Testament, but the whole of their error had crept in from the reading of the Scriptures without understanding; for it is said in Esaias, My elect shall not have children for a curse. Whence they suppose that the like will happen in the resurrection. But Paul interpreting all these blessings as spiritual, knowing them not to be carnal, says to the Ephesians, You have blessed us in all spiritual blessings.

THEOPHYL Or to the reason above given the Lord added the testimony of Scripture, Now that the dead are raised, Moses also showed at the bush, as the Lord said, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. As if he said, If the patriarchs have once returned to nothing so as not to live with God in the hope of a resurrection, He would not have said, I am, but, I was, for we are accustomed to speak of things dead and gone thus, I was the Lord or Master of such a thing; but now that He said, I am, He shows that He is the God and Lord of the living. This is what follows, But he its not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. For though they have departed from life, yet live they with Him in the hope of a resurrection.

BEDE Or He says this, that after having proved that the souls abide after death, (which the Sadducees denied,) He might next introduce the resurrection also of the bodies, which together with the souls have done good or evil. But that is a true life which the just live to God, even though they are dead in the body. Now to prove the truth of the resurrection, He might have brought much more obvious examples from the Prophets, but the Sadducees received only the five books of Moses, rejecting the oracles of the Prophets.

CHRYS. As the saints claim as their own the common Lord of the world, not as derogating from His dominion, but testifying their affection after the manner of lovers, who do not brook to love with many, but desire to express a certain peculiar and especial attachment; so likewise does God call Himself especially the God of these, not thereby narrowing but enlarging His dominion; for it is not so much the multitude of His subjects that manifests His power, as the virtue of His servants. Therefore He does not so delight in the name of the God of heaven and earth, as in that of in God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now among men servants are thus denominated by, their masters; for we say, "The steward of such a man", but on the contrary God is called the God of Abraham.

THEOPHYL. But when the Sadducees were silenced, the Scribes commend Jesus, for they were opposed to them, saying to Him, Master, you have well said.

BEDE And since they had been defeated in argument, they ask Him no further questions, but seize Him, and deliver Him up to the Roman power. From which we may learn, that the poison of envy may indeed be subdued, but it is a hard thing to keep it at rest.


Verses 41-44

And he said to them, How say they that Christ is David"s son?42. And David himself said in the book of Psalms The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand,43. Till I make your enemies your footstool. 44. David therefore calls him Lord, how is he then his son?

THEOPHYL. Although our Lord was shortly about to enter on His Passion, He proclaims His own Godhead, and that too neither incautiously nor boastfully, but with modesty. For He puts a question to them, and having thrown them into perplexity, leaves them to reason out the conclusion; as it follows, And he said to them, How say they that Christ is David"s son?

AMBROSE They are not blamed here because they acknowledge Him to be David"s Son, for the blind man for so doing was thought worthy to be healed. And the children saying, Hosanna to the Son of David, rendered to God the glory of the highest praise; but they are blamed because they believe Him not to be the Son of God. Hence it is added, And David himself says in the book of Psalms, The Lord said to my Lord. Both the Father is Lord and the Son is Lord, but there are not two Lords, but one Lord, for the Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father. He Himself sits at the right hand of the Father, for He is coequal with the Father, inferior to none; for it follows, Sit you at my right hand. He is not honored by sitting at the right hand, nor is He degraded by being sent. Degrees of dignity are not sought for, where is the fullness of divinity.

AUG. By the sitting we must not conceive a posture of the human limbs, as if the Father sat on the left and the Son on the right, but the right hand itself we must interpret to be the power which that Man received who was taken up into Himself by God, that He should come to judge, who at first came to be judged.

CYRIL Or, that He sits on the Father"s right hand proves His heavenly glory. For whose throne is equal, their Majesty is equal. But sitting when it is said of God signifies a universal kingdom and power. Therefore He sits at the right hand of the Father, because the Word proceeding from the substance of the Father, being made flesh, puts not off His divine glory.

THEOPHYL. He manifests then that He is not opposed to the Father, but agrees with Him, since the Father resists the Son"s enemies, Until I make your enemies your footstool.

AMBROSE We must believe then that Christ is both God and man, and that His enemies are made subject to Him by the Father, not through the weakness of His power, but through the unity of their nature, since in the one the other works. For the Son also subjects enemies to the Father, in that He glorifies the Father upon earth.

THEOPHYL. There fore He asks the question, and having excited their doubts, leaves them to deduce the consequence; as it follows, David therefore calls him Lord, how is he then his son?

CHRYS David in truth was both the Father and the servant of Christ, the former indeed according to the flesh, the latter in the Spirit.

CYRIL We then likewise in answer to the new Pharisees who neither confess the Son of the holy Virgin to be the true Son of God, nor to be God, but divide one son into two, put the like objections: How then is the Son of David David"s Lord, and that not by human lordship, but divine.


Verses 45-47

Ver 45. Then in the audience of all the people he said to his disciples,46. Beware 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.

CHRYS. Now nothing is more powerful than to argue from the Prophets. For this is even of more weight than miracles themselves. For when Christ worked miracles, He was often gainsaid. But when He cited the Prophets, men were at once silent, because they had nothing to say. But when they were silent, He warns against them, as it is said, Then in the audience of all the people he said to his disciples.

THEOPHYL. For as He was sending them to teach the world, He rightly warns them not to imitate the pride of the Pharisees. Beware of the Scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, that is, to go forth into public, dressed in fine clothes, which was one of the sins remarked in the rich man.

CYRIL The passions of the Scribes were the love of vainglory and the love of gain. That the disciples should avoid these hateful crimes, He gives them this warning, and adds, And love greetings in the markets.

THEOPHYL. Which is the way of those who court and hunt after a good reputation, or they do it for the sake of collecting money.It follows, And the chief seats in synagogues.

BEDE He does not forbid those to sit first in the synagogue, or at the feast, to whom this dignity belongs by right, but He tells them to beware of those who love this unduly; denouncing not the distinction, but the love of it. Though the other also would not be free from blame, when the same men who wish to take part in the disputes in the market, desire also to be called masters in the synagogue. For two reasons we are bid to beware of those who seek after vain-glory, either lest we be led away by their presences, supposing those things to be good which they do, or be inflamed with jealousy, desiring in vain to be praised for the good deeds which they pretend to. But they seek not only for praise from men, but money; for it follows, Who devour widows" houses, and for a show make long prayers. For pretending to be righteous and of great merit before God, they do not fail to receive large sums of money from the sick and those whose consciences are disturbed with their sins, as though they would be their protectors in the judgment.

CHRYS. Thrusting themselves also into the possessions of widows, they grind down their poverty, not content to eat as it may be afforded them, but greedily devouring; using prayer also to an evil end, they thus expose themselves to a heavier condemnation; as it follows, These shall receive the greater damnation.

THEOPHYL. Because they not only do what is evil, but make a presence of prayer, so making virtue an excuse for their sin. They also impoverish widows whom they were bound to pity, by their presence driving them to great expenses.

BEDE Or because they seek from men praise and money, they are punished with the greater damnation.

 


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Bibliography Information
Aquinas, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 20:4". "Golden Chain Commentary on the Gospel". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gcc/luke-20.html.

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