Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Close this search box.

Actively encourage someone

April 11, 2022

Daily Scripture

Luke 20:1-40

During Lent, we are using short videos to share a daily idea (linked to the gospel of Luke) on how to grow spiritually. Watch today’s video. Click here or on the image below:


Note: We are reading the entire gospel of Luke in the GPS. Some day’s readings are longer than usual. We hope you’ll have an extra cup of coffee, or use your lunch break, and read Luke’s entire story of Jesus.

A series of carefully plotted traps for Jesus Luke 20:1-40

1 On one of the days when Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests, legal experts, and elders approached him. 2 They said, “Tell us: What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority?”

3 He replied, “I have a question for you. Tell me: 4 Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin?”

5 They discussed among themselves, “If we say, ‘It’s of heavenly origin,’ he’ll say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘It’s of human origin,’ all the people will stone us to death because they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 They answered that they didn’t know where it came from.

8 Then Jesus replied, “Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things.”

9 Jesus told the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, rented it to tenant farmers, and went on a trip for a long time. 10 When it was time, he sent a servant to collect from the tenants his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants sent him away, beaten and empty-handed. 11 The man sent another servant. But they beat him, treated him disgracefully, and sent him away empty-handed as well. 12 He sent a third servant. They wounded this servant and threw him out. 13 The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I’ll send my son, whom I love dearly. Perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when they saw him, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him so the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 They threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What 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 Staring at them, Jesus said, “Then what is the meaning of this text of scripture: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone? [Psalm 118:22] 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be crushed. And the stone will crush the person it falls on.” 19 The legal experts and chief priests wanted to arrest him right then because they knew he had told this parable against them. But they feared the people.

20 The legal experts and chief priests were watching Jesus closely and sent spies who pretended to be sincere. They wanted to trap him in his words so they could hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor. 21 They asked him, “Teacher, we know that you are correct in what you say and teach. You don’t show favoritism but teach God’s way as it really is. 22 Does the Law allow people to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

23 Since Jesus recognized their deception, he said to them, 24 “Show me a coin [or denarion]. Whose image and inscription does it have on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

25 He said to them, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” 26 They couldn’t trap him in his words in front of the people. Astonished by his answer, they were speechless.

27 Some Sadducees, who deny that there’s a resurrection, came to Jesus and asked, 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies leaving a widow but no children, the brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother [Deuteronomy 25:5; Genesis 38:8]. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first man married a woman and then died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third brother married her. Eventually all seven married her, and they all died without leaving any children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 In the resurrection, whose wife will she be? All seven were married to her.”

34 Jesus said to them, “People who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy to participate in that age, that is, in the age of the resurrection from the dead, won’t marry nor will they be given in marriage. 36 They can no longer die, because they are like angels and are God’s children since they share in the resurrection. 37 Even Moses demonstrated that the dead are raised—in the passage about the burning bush, when he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob [Exodus 3:6, 15-16]. 38 He isn’t the God of the dead but of the living. To him they are all alive.” 39 Some of the legal experts responded, “Teacher, you have answered well.” 40 No one dared to ask him anything else.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Shielding their high status, Jerusalem’s religious leaders plotted Jesus’ death. They tried hard to build a case for his execution. Maybe they could get him to refuse to pay Roman taxes, or to admit that belief in “resurrection” was absurd. But neither their trick questions nor their show of outward piety fooled Jesus. They fumed (verse 19) when he told a story exposing the murder in their hearts.

  • Jesus’ vineyard story drew on a beloved Scripture (Isaiah 5:1-7), which called Israel God’s vineyard. But he exposed the hate around him during that fateful week (Luke 19:47, 20:19). We, like the Jerusalem leaders, can have blind spots. Is there anything God’s spirit is nudging you to face honestly in your life? Do you have the courage to face it in the light of Jesus’ “good news”?
  • The Sadducee “party” didn’t believe in resurrection, so their hypothetical story (verses 27-33) tried to make the idea sound absurd. Why was it crucially important for Jesus to absolutely trust that death was not the end, that “the worst thing is never the last thing”? Do you share his confidence? If so, in what ways does it shape your day-to-day life for the better?

Click here to incorporate music and worship from the COR Worship Collective into your daily practice and devotion.


King Jesus, your piercing insight made some powerful people very angry. But your purpose was always to redeem. Give me a measure of your insight, and a large dose of your redemptive heart. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Mindy LaHood

Mindy LaHood

Mindy LaHood serves on the Worship Experience team at Church of the Resurrection. She loves all things related to worship and enjoys working with our talented team of staff and volunteers. One of her favorite things to read about and study are stained glass windows, and she considers herself very blessed to work and worship in a place with such a magnificent window.

Early in the afternoon on the day I sat down to write this, I was in the Sanctuary listening to one our Lenten Concert Series concerts. Isaac Cates and his friends did a beautiful job in sharing their musical gifts with us. There’s one song they sang that has remained with me–it will likely remain with me throughout the rest of the day and even into Holy Week.

The hymn is Were You There. I have a bit of a problem when it comes to this hymn. It doesn’t matter who sings it, or when or where, when I hear it I almost always begin crying…it has that profound an impact on my heart.

I started to do some research on this song, because I wanted to know a little more about its history. I found a post written online with a story about how Howard and Sue Thurman (Civil Rights and Religious Leaders) were on a trip to India when they had the honor of meeting with Mahatma Gandhi. When they were just about to leave the meeting, Gandhi asked the Thurmans to sing Were You There. He said to them, “I feel that this song gets to the root of the experience of the entire human race under the spread of the healing wings of suffering.”

“The healing wings of suffering.”

Most of us are familiar with the hymn and the series of questions it poses…Were you there when they crucified my Lord?…Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?…Were you there when they pierced him in the side?…Were you there when the sun refused to shine?…Were you there when they laid him in the tomb? I’m certain that the questions are intended for each of us to think about and reflect upon. In one post I read during my research, the writer said they are simply for reflection, that we obviously were not actually there at the crucifixion. For me, I disagree with that…because I was there. With every pass of the whip on Jesus’ back, with every nail that was pounded into his hands and feet, with each and every thorn that pierced his brow, with every haggard breath he took, with every ounce of pain he felt as he was dying…Jesus was thinking about me. He was thinking about you, too. I was there…you were there.

Typically, we sing this hymn on Good Friday of Holy Week. Sometimes, it feels strange saying that the Good Friday service is one of my favorite services. I understand the importance of being reminded that it’s my sins that nailed Him to a cross. But it’s the intense reminder of what I’ve done and the overwhelming, visceral, heart-wrenching reminder that God loves me that much…that He would allow His very son to be crucified for my sins. The intensity of that love makes me uncomfortable, yet profoundly grateful; it makes my heart both ache and yet long to be even closer to Him.

We all have this innermost desire to be loved; and while I am grateful for those people in my life who love me, it doesn’t remotely compare to how much God loves me. In the moments of stillness and reflection and darkness, Good Friday reminds me not only of His love for me, but it also reminds me of how very much I love Him. Every time you sing or hear this hymn, may it cause you to tremble because you and I were there. May you be moved by the vast and intense love shown to you through his “healing wings of suffering.”

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.