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Luke 20:41-21:4 – Final Conflict

After a series of questions posed by the Pharisees and the Sadducees intended to trap Jesus, Jesus then proposes a question to them. Everyone knew the messiah was the son of David so Jesus asks how the messiah can be the son of David (which would imply a subordinate to David) if David in the Psalms calls the messiah my lord (clearly greater than David). Of course, Jesus is the son of David by descent regarding his human nature. In his divine nature though, Jesus is God and therefore David’s Lord. Revelation 22:16 has a similar idea when Jesus calls himself the root and seed of David. He is David’s seed by descent but the root or source of David’s existence as God. The religious leaders have no understanding by which to reply. This conflict section of Luke’s gospel is ended with Jesus ‘ triumph as the wise teacher over his opponents who can neither match nor ultimately understand Jesus’ superior wisdom ad revelation.

Jesus warns the people against the outward appearance of the religious leaders. Outwardly they flaunt their social status and religious practices. Once again Jesus mentions their social relating at banquets – their behave being the opposite of gospel-informed relationships. Inwardly they are like wild animals who devour the vulnerable people like widows who Jesus came to save – they will, according to Jesus, receive the greater condemnation.

By contrast with the wealthy leaders is a poor widow presenting a gift of money at the temple. Notice that while the former gave a little out of their wealth, the widow has given all that she has. Her low social status and her giving up all that she has causes the reader of Luke’s gospel to recognize her as a model disciple.

Whereas, Jesus had previously told a parable of a Pharisee and a tax collector and the latter went home justified by God – here it is the widow rather than the wealthy religious leaders who goes home justified by Jesus.