(19) 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.Luke 20:19
There is so much irony in this verse. They were mad at Jesus because of what he had told them in the story. The motivation for their anger is right there in the verse. Why were they angry? “For they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.” What did they want to do? They wanted to “lay hands on him.” What was the parable about? It was about God sending His Son and there being a group of people that stewarded what He owned wanting to kill His Son. They were mad that they were the brunt of the parable, and so they were motivated to do what the parable said they would do.
Who should they have been afraid of if the parable was true? They should have been afraid of the “rock that the builders rejected” that would grind them to powder, and on whom they would “fall upon” and “be broken”. Instead, who did they fear? “They feared the people.”
These men are examples of people who have a ton of knowledge but no wisdom. They could quote more scripture by quantity than probably any one person at my church. They could argue about the fine tenants of theology, rabbinic tradition, and history, and yet they did not have sense enough to fear God more than men. What does the book of Proverbs say about the fear of the Lord?
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.Proverbs 1:7
These men are examples of people that wanted to gain the world, and in the process would lose their soul. They wanted to hang on to power and influence by rejecting God. Their decision ought to be a warning to us. Do not reject the Son! Believe in Jesus today for your salvation, and for your sanctification!
Thank God today for the sacrificial gift of His Son!