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The Killing of Jesus Predicted - Luke 20:9-19


The Killing of Jesus Predicted                                                           12/4/16

Luke 20:9-19                                     (click here for audio)

We are in the 20th chapter of Luke which is a part of the narrative of Passion Week.  Jesus will die on the cross on Friday, and Sunday rise again.  It’s Wednesday, a few days before our Lord’s crucifixion,  and Jesus is teaching and preaching the gospel.   (see 20:1)   On Tuesday, Jesus cleansed the temple of all the businesses that were descrecating God’s house.  (see 19:45)     Earlier in chapter 19 Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey – His triumphal entry,  and this was done on Monday.

In chapter 20 its’ Wednesday  he’s preaching the gospel….. His teaching dominates the temple area for two days   - Wednesday and Thursday -  the temple grounds were cleared of the irreverent practices that dishonored God and replaced with the pure, unadulterated Word of God.

The people who praised Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem continued to look up to Jesus as the One who would overthrow the Romans and set up His Kingdom.   However, the religious rulers the chief priests, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and elders had only hatred for Jesus.  He was dismantling their false teaching,  and exposing their hypocrisy before the people.  They wanted Jesus gone and that meant –they wanted Jesus DEAD!      At the conclusion of the parable that we will look at this morning,  it reads in v.19  The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him……”

Jesus tells this parable revealing the barrenness of their corrupt religion.   There was no fruit to indicate they loved God.  There was no harvest of righteousness;  no fruit to offer the Lord.   All that remains is another harvest- a harvest of judgment. 

The parable is also given in more detail in Matthew 21.  It’s also recorded in Mark 12

The parable, or story Jesus told is a familiar practice in the area of farming.  It was very common for an owner of a vineyard to lease out or rent property to tenants with the understanding the owner would receive a portion of the produce.  It was nothing for an owner to have property in Israel and also live far away, and even stay gone for a long time.     In this parable the owner of a vineyard sends his servants  (and the word is actually a slave)  to the tenants to get what is coming to the owner.  He sends slaves to receive the fruit of the land  that is rightfully his.   In v.10   When the time came   (that means -  harvest time, or  vintage time);   the owner of the vineyard    sent his servants,   his slaves to the tenants so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard.  But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed.”

The owner sent another servant,  and the same treatment….he was beaten, treated shamefully, sent away empty-handed.

v.12  he sent yet a third.  Same treatment.    In Matthew and Mark’s account -  it says some of the servants were wounded,  others were even killed.  Luke’s account speaks of three;  Matthew and Mark speak of many others sent;  some they beat up and some they killed.

v.13  The owner of the vineyard    -  “What shall I do?   I will send my beloved son;  perhaps they will respect him.”

v.14   When the tenants saw the son -   this is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.   One may think-  How can they gain control of the property and the inheritance by killing the son?  It may be   that they think the son’s father is dead.   There is a Jewish law that gives tenants the right to claim ownership of property they work if the owner dies and they have been on the property for at least 3 years.         Whatever the case,  they saw an opportunity to seize ownership for themselves.

v.15    they threw him out of the vineyard… killed him…   HERE’s  the QUESTION….   What will the owner of the vineyard do to them?

v.16  he will destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.



#1   He was RETELLING  their past….   He was giving them a HISTORY lesson….

The owner of the vineyard – is God

The vineyard -  is  Israel.

The tenants – Jewish leaders,  the priest, kings, and religious leaders---  responsibility to shepherd the flock; (if you think of Israel as sheep);   and to tend to the vineyard  (if you think of Israel as a vineyard)

Psalm 80:8-9

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
    you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
    it took deep root and filled the land.

The leaders of Israel led the people astray.   Corrupt leadership whether it was kings, or false prophets, and wicked priest….they led Israel into idolatry.

  Jeremiah 12:10

“Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard,
They have trampled down My field;
They have made My pleasant field
A desolate wilderness


The Servants (slaves) -   God’s prophets in the Old Testamen

When Israel went astray,   God sent His prophets to preach repentance,  and coming judgment, and the hopes of salvation if they returned back to God….   How did Israel treat her prophets?    They stoned them.

1Kings 18:4  Jezebel, that wicked queen of Israel,  had a great number of prophets killed.  The prophet Obadiah hid a 100 in a cave and gave them water and bread to protect them from Jezebel.

Nehemiah 9:26   killed the prophets

Jewish history tells us that  Isaiah the prophet was executed by that wicked King Manasseh by sawing him in half with a wooden saw.

Habbakuk was stoned by the Jews in Jerusalem.

Jeremiah -  the Jews stoned Jeremiah in Egypt.


Back to the parable -    the servants sent by the owner were repeatedly beaten up, and even killed

The prophets were looking for spiritual fruit.   Fruit of repentance,   Fruit of righteousness,   all they got was rejection,  persecution, and execution.

Luke 13:34  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!.....”

Jesus gave their history for 2000 years of Old Testament times….they repeatedly  stoned and killed the prophets,    God’s servants,  who came looking for fruit,  but all they found was  “wild grapes”

Isaiah 5:1-2

Let me sing for my beloved
    my love song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
    on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones,
    and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
    and hewed out a wine vat in it;
and he looked for it to yield grapes,
    but it yielded wild grapes.

Not only does Jesus retell their PAST;   

#2.  He  REVEALS  their PRESENT  plans….  What were the religious leaders plotting to do?

v.13   The owner of the vineyard…. What shall I do?        My beloved son…

This is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.       The beloved Son   given by the Father….    For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son….         At the Lord’s baptism…

 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,[d] with whom I am well pleased  (Matt. 3:17)

The Pharisees, Sadducees,  chief priest, scribes,elders, ------ they wanted Jesus dead !       They wanted to seize the inheritance…they wanted Jesus out of the way,  so they could continue to take ownership of the temple, and take ownership of the teaching in the temple,  but Jesus was dismantling their false corrupt religion…

The leaders wanted to kill Jesus,  and two days later they will have the Romans execute Jesus on the cross.


v.15c   What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?         Here you see the patience of God.   He sent His slaves repeatedly,  and they mistreated them and killed them….  NOW they kill His Son…  what is left to do?

v.16    #3   He is  READING  their FUTURE

(1) Destruction

(2) Replacement

(come and destroy those tenants)    Destruction -  40 years later -  in 70 AD   Roman emperor Titus Vaspscian  led his army to destroy Jerusalem and the temple.    This is what Jesus said would happen -see Luk 19:42-44

The temple was destroyed – never been rebuilt….   The priesthood ended…. To this day has not be restored….  The Jewish records…all had been destroyed….  The Jews today…cannot trace their lineage back….they don’t know  what tribe they belong to…. No records….

(give the vineyard to others) -  Replacement--  the Jewish leaders …the Pharisees,  scribes, elders, the priest,  no longer are they  the guardians of God’s Word;   no longer are they the custodians of God’s people;  they are replaced with new leadership.      The leaders of God’s people became the apostles and the followers of Jesus Christ.      There are Jews who are Christians today;  but as a whole the Jews are in spiritual darkness.  They reject Jesus Christ as their Messiah. 

There is a great harvest field among the Jews today.    The church of the Lord Jesus has a responsibility to preach the gospel to unbelieving Israel.  In the future time called the Tribulation Period, there will be a great turning of the Jews to Christ.

Right now -  it’s a harvest of a Fruitless Religion.  And that can be said of all religions that reject Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Lord and Savior, the Son of God--  all that can be harvested from their religion is emptiness,  they are fruitless vines infested by weeds of idolatry, paganism, and corruption.  

Here’s Hope -  individuals in false religions,  false belief systems,  and this would include people who claim religion….. they do believe something,  if it’s nothing, then that’s their belief…

There’s HOPE  for individuals who come away from that which is  False,  Empty and Fruitless.   That’s what we want to see in the last part -  

II. The Prophetic Stone .

Jesus is the beloved Son in the prophetic parable,   and he is the Stone that recorded in the scriptures

Here is what every individual on the face of the Earth must deal with…

Here’s how personal it gets…

Look at v.17

But he looked directly at them -    you get the personal and individual attention,    he’s looking them in the eye---   What he is saying is for them individually….

Notice in v.18  he uses the word   “everyone”   and  “anyone”.  No one is left out.   This message is to “everyone” and   “anyone”.

It’s an individual  collision course with….

a)  The Revelation of Christ -    (v.17a)     “What then is this that is written:….”  All scriptures are revelations of God, the Lord Jesus,  and His purposes --  God’s revealed Word – no one can avoid a collision, an encounter with the inspired Word of Almighty God.

Psalm 118:22-24   22 The stone that the builders rejected    has become the cornerstone.[b]
23 This is the Lord's doing;    it is marvelous in our eyes.  24 This is the day that the Lord has made;    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Isaiah 8:13-15

13 But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”


HERE -  the Lord will either be Your Sanctuary,  or Your Stumbling Stone



Isaiah 28:16  (NASB)    Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,  A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.  He who believes in it will not be disturbed




b)  Crucifixion of Jesus Christ     (v.17b)

The stone that the builders rejected --    this speaks of His crucifixion--  how far did the rulers reject Christ?    They rejected him so much that it called for his death on the cross.

Isaiah 53:3  He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

v.4  Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted

Psalm 118:22-24   22 The stone that the builders rejected    has become the cornerstone.[b]
23 This is the Lord's doing;    it is marvelous in our eyes

1Cor. 1:23    23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block ……they could not envision their Messiah being crucified.     The Jews rejected the whole idea of a crucified Messiah.

"We proclaim a crucified Messiah as the only redeemer of lost people

Romans 9:33

as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”


c)  Resurrection of Jesus Christ    (v.17c)

Has become the cornerstone

In ancient building practices, the cornerstone was the principal stone placed at the corner of the edifice. The cornerstone was usually one of the largest, the most solid, and the most carefully constructed of any in the edifice.

1Peter 2:4-7

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
    a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone,”[


That’s the message of the church…the early church preached Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead….In Acts 4:1 priest, captian of the temple, Sadduces, greatly annoyed because Peter and John were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.


Acts 4:11  This Jesus[a] is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.



Ephesians 2:20   built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone



d)  Salvation in Jesus Christ



Romans 9:31-33    31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
    and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”




He is the sure Rock of salvation for those who believe, but an immovable stumbling stone for those who do not.

What happens when a person  REJECTS

·         The Revelation of Christ

·         The Crucifixion of Christ

·         The Resurrection of Christ

·         The Salvation of Christ


e)  The Destruction from Christ



1Peter 2:8  and

“A stone of stumbling,
    and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

Isaiah 8:14   (Lord of host)

14 “Then He shall become a sanctuary;
But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over,
And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

(1)         To all who actively oppose the Lord Jesus Christ

v.18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces,

Here’s the picture of those who purposely collide with that stone.  They fall on that stone.

A stone to strike  (Isaiah 8:14)

(2)         To all who passively oppose the Lord Jesus Christ

A rock to stumble over  (Isaiah 8:14)

v.18   and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him


Regardless,  if  a person is openly hostile and has aggressive enmity toward the Lord,

Or  a person is unconcerned, apathetic, toward the Lord….  both responses will put a person in danger of judgment.

Take a glass container and drop it on a rock,   or  allow that rock to fall on the glass container, the results will be the same.


Daniel 2:31-45

31 “You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. 32 The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.


44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”



Here again the words from Peter

1Peter 2:6

For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
    a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

And Paul says

1Cor. 3:11  For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


I pray you will trust Christ alone,  He will save completely all who come to Him in repentance and faith.


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