Luke 20: They Sought to Destroy Him

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 70


The events in Luke 20 took place during the last week of the Savior’s mortal life. As you read it, consider the following questions: Why did the Jewish leaders want to destroy Jesus? What claims did Jesus make that angered them? Why might those people have felt that way, especially considering the love, compassion, and joy Jesus offered during His ministry? What can I learn from the Savior’s example about how to handle those who oppose the kingdom of God?

Understanding the Scriptures

Luke 20

Entreated (v. 11)Insulted 
Feign themselves just men (v. 20)Pretend to be faithful and righteous men 
Neither acceptest thou the person of any (v. 21)Be impartial, do not play favorites 
Image and superscription (v. 24)Words inscribed on the coin 
Render (v. 25)Give 
Raise up seed (v. 28)Have children 
Till I make thine enemies thy footstool (v. 43)Until I conquer all of your enemies 

Luke 20:9–18—The Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen

The servants in this parable represent ancient prophets who were rejected. The heir refers to Jesus Christ, who should have been respected by the people, but was rejected and killed.

Luke 20:27–38—“They … Neither Marry, Nor Are Given in Marriage”

The scriptures and the words of modern prophets make it clear that marriages and family relationships can continue after death (see D&C 132:19–22; Matthew 19:6). The blessings of eternal family relationships come to those who are sealed in holy temples and keep the covenants they make there. Jesus was speaking to the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection. Knowing that will help you better understand why Jesus answered them the way He did. (See “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.)

Elder James E. Talmage taught: “The woman would and could be the wife of but one in the eternal world, and that one the man to whom she was given by the authority of the Holy Priesthood on earth, as a consort for time and eternity. In short, the woman would be the wife of the man with whom she entered into covenant for eternity under the seal of Divine authority; and no contract or agreement for time only would be effective in the resurrection” (The House of the Lord [1968], 90).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Luke 20.

Activity A iconBe a News Reporter

Imagine that you are a news reporter assigned to follow Jesus during the events of Luke 20. You are not one of His followers, but you are not His enemy either. Write a story about the events you would have witnessed as if it were for the next day’s paper. Include a headline you think would get your readers’ attention.

Activity B iconDo a Scripture Search

Read Luke 20:9–18 and the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for those verses. It may help to use the Topical Guide or Bible Dictionary as you complete this activity.

  1. 1.

    From the Old Testament, look for and list the names of any three prophets who were treated like the three servants in the parable.

  2. 2.

    Find a New Testament verse that shows Jesus was treated like the heir in this parable was treated.