In the parable of the tenants, Jesus prophesies his rejection by Israel, and Israel's resulting exile. He speaks about life and marriage after the resurrection of believers. And he challenges our understanding of who Messiah is, showing that he is not only a Son of David, but also the Son of God.
The Parable of the Tenants (v9-19)
Please see my commentary on Matthew 21:33-46. This parable depicts Israel's rejection of Jesus, and the ensuing consequences for Israel. The vineyard represents Jerusalem or the land of Israel, and the tenants represent the Jews. At the end of the parable, the tenants are evicted and the vineyard is given to new tenants. This represents the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, and Israel's 2,000 year exile that followed. The Jews' reaction to the parable was "May this never happen" (v16). However the religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus (v19).

Marriage and the Resurrection (v27-40)
Please see my commentary on Mathew 22:23-33. However, here in Luke, Jesus' response is given in slightly more detail and is worth additional commentary. Jesus says in verses 35-36, "But those who are regarded as worthy to share in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. In fact, they can no longer die, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, since they are sons of the resurrection". This is an important statement that not all will be resurrected at the end of this age, but only those who are regarded as worthy. In Revelation 20:4-6, this resurrection is called the first resurrection. Revelation especially focusses on Christian martyrs as those who are are worthy to take part in this first resurrection. They are said to be blessed and holy, and will be priests of God and reign with Christ for a thousand years. Then at the end of the Millennium, according to Revelation 20:11-15, the second resurrection occurs, which includes everyone else. They are resurrected and judged before the God's great white throne.

Jesus tells us that in the age to come (the Millennial age), resurrected believers will not marry but will be like the angels. These resurrected believers will be like a priestly ruling class of immortals. The Earth will still be populated by mortal human beings who survive the Great Tribulation. They will continue to marry, breed and die, although they will live much longer than people do today (e.g. Isaiah 65:20).

The Messiah as David's Son and Lord (v41-44)
Jesus challenged the Jewish religious leaders' understanding of who the Messiah is. They understood correctly that the Messiah would be a 'Son of David', meaning a descendant of David. Messiah is the fulfilment of the Davidic covenant in which God promises that one of David's descendants will reign upon his throne forever (1 Chronicles 17, Jeremiah 30:9, 33:14-26, Ezekiel 37:24-25, Luke 1:27, 32, 69, 2:4). However, it is evident from this passage that the Jews had not fully grasped the divine nature of the Messiah, that he is God-incarnate as a man. Many Old Testament passages portray God visiting and delivering Israel in the end times. However, it seems that the Jews expected a new revelation of God something like in the Exodus, when God descended as fire upon Mount Sinai, and travelled with them as a cloud and pillar of fire. In Deuteronomy 18:15-19, God promised to raise up another prophet like Moses whom Israel must listen to. So the Jews expected the Messiah to be like an end-time David, and like an end-time Moses, but not God himself. So Jesus quotes Psalm 110:1, "The Lord said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet". In this Psalm, David is the speaker, and is describing the coronation of Messiah. So David is saying "The Lord (Jehovah God) said to my lord (the Messiah), "Sit as my right hand"". Jesus then asks the question, "If David then calls him ‘Lord,' how can he be his son?" Jesus' point is that Messiah cannot just be a Son of David. He must also be the Son of God.

Other passages reveal there was already some speculation by the Jews that Messiah would be the Son of God. It seems this was a matter of debate among the Jews. For example, in Matthew 26:63-64, at his trial before the high priest, the high priest said to Jesus, "I charge you under oath by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God". Jesus replies with reference to Daniel 7:13-14, which is another portrayal of Messiah's coronation. "You have said it yourself. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven". The high priest's reaction to this reply shows he understood Jesus to be affirming, "Yes I am the Son of God". In Daniel's portrayal of Messiah's coronation, Messiah is worshipped by all peoples, nations and languages, implying that he is divine and worthy of such devotion.
Symbols: Vineyard, Tenants
Tags: Resurrection of the dead, Marriage, Life after the resurrection, Millennium, Jesus as the Son of David, Jesus as the Son of God, Jesus as God-incarnate, Coronation of Jesus
The Authority of Jesus
20 Now one day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the gospel, the chief priests and the experts in the law with the elders came up
2 and said to him, “Tell us: By what authority are you doing these things? Or who is it who gave you this authority?”
3 He answered them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell me:
4 John’s baptism – was it from heaven or from people?”
5 So they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’
6 But if we say, ‘From people,’ all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.”
7 So they replied that they did not know where it came from.
8 Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by whose authority I do these things.”

The Parable of the Tenants
9 Then he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey for a long time.
10 When harvest time came, he sent a slave to the tenants so that they would give him his portion of the crop. However, the tenants beat his slave and sent him away empty-handed.
11 So he sent another slave. They beat this one too, treated him outrageously, and sent him away empty-handed.
12 So he sent still a third. They even wounded this one, and threw him out.
13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I will send my one dear son; perhaps they will respect him.’
14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir; let’s kill him so the inheritance will be ours!’
15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “May this never happen!”
17 But Jesus looked straight at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’?
18 Everyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls will be crushed.”
19 Then the experts in the law and the chief priests wanted to arrest him that very hour, because they realized he had told this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.

Paying Taxes to Caesar
20 Then they watched him carefully and sent spies who pretended to be sincere. They wanted to take advantage of what he might say so that they could deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.
21 Thus they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach correctly, and show no partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
22 Is it right for us to pay the tribute tax to Caesar or not?”
23 But Jesus perceived their deceit and said to them,
24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” They said, “Caesar’s.”
25 So he said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
26 Thus they were unable in the presence of the people to trap him with his own words. And stunned by his answer, they fell silent.

Marriage and the Resurrection
27 Now some Sadducees (who contend that there is no resurrection) came to him.
28 They asked him, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies leaving a wife but no children, that man must marry the widow and father children for his brother.
29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died without children.
30 The second
31 and then the third married her, and in this same way all seven died, leaving no children.
32 Finally the woman died too.
33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For all seven had married her.”
34 So Jesus said to them, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.
35 But those who are regarded as worthy to share in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.
36 In fact, they can no longer die, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, since they are sons of the resurrection.
37 But even Moses revealed that the dead are raised in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.
38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live before him.”
39 Then some of the experts in the law answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well!”
40 For they did not dare any longer to ask him anything.

The Messiah: David’s Son and Lord
41 But he said to them, “How is it that they say that the Christ is David’s son?
42 For David himself says in the book of Psalms,
The Lord said to my lord, Sit at my right hand,
43 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’
44 If David then calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?”

Jesus Warns the Disciples against Pride
45 As all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples,
46 “Beware of the experts in the law. They like walking around in long robes, and they love elaborate greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.
47 They devour widows’ property, and as a show make long prayers. They will receive a more severe punishment.”