Matthew – Chapter 21

The Triumphal Entry

Verse 1 – Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, and came to Bethpage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,

Verse 2 – saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me.

Verse 3 – “And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

Verse 4 – All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet saying:

Verse 5 – “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, Your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” (Zechariah 9:9)

Matthew mentions a donkey and a colt, while the other Gospels only mention the colt. However, Matthew focused on Zechariah’s prophesy where the donkey and the colt are mentioned. I personally believe that both donkey and colt were taken because to take a colt from its mother, both would have thrown a huge fit!

Verse 6 – So the disciples went an did as Jesus commanded them.

Verse 7 – They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. (This was done as a sign of respect, 2 Kings 9:13)

Verse 8 – And a great multitude spread their garments on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

This is one of the few verses where Jesus’ glory is recognized while on earth. In a few days, these same people would bow to political pressure to crucify Him. John 12:13, says these branches were palm-trees used which is a sign of joy and victory.

Verse 9 – Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” ‘Hosanna is the highest!’

“Hosanna” means “save.” In celebration, they knew their Messiah had come. Jesus knew this wouldn’t last, and it didn’t.

Here’s my thought: How can people be so enthusiastic when first saved, and then turn into a person, “just going through the motions?” In order to truly worship our King, emotions will be shown. If you don’t believe me, go back and read Psalms. There is music, clapping of hands, singing, and shouting, all to the praises of our God. So, you can’t convince me someone is praising God with none of these involved.

Verse 10 – And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”

Verse 11 – So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Can you imagine? I’m sure there were some in the crowd who had been healed by Jesus; some who had been fed by the small amounts they started with; miracle after miracle, and yet they would be so easily persuaded against Him. How quickly people forget that He has delivered them.

The Cleansing of the Temple

Verse 12 – Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves.

Judea was subject to the Romans. The money in current use was a Roman coin, yet the Jewish law required every man to pay tribute to the service of the sanctuary of “half a shekel.” So the Jews would have to have their Roman coin exchanged to the Jewish half-shekel. These moneychangers demanded a small sum for the exchange. There would be so many people that came to the temple to exchange their money, there would be a huge profit to be made.

Now about the doves: Doves were required to be offered in sacrifice. But the people who had to travel such a long distance, it would be difficult to bring live doves to the temple. They would wait until they reached Jerusalem and then purchase them. There again, the money would have to be exchanged in order to purchase them. The foreigners who came didn’t know the exact exchange, so they were often over charged. This whole business for profit made Jesus furious!

Verse 13 – And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called  a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’

The people had made God’s house a place of gain; they cheated and defrauded; they took advantage of the poor; and they robbed them by overcharging them.

Verse 14 – Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

Verse 15 – But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the son of David!” they were indignant

Verse 16 – And said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”

Psalm 8:2 – Out of the mouth of babes and infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

Verse 17 – Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.

Verse 18 – Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry.

Verse 19 – And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” And immediately the fig withered away.

Figs are commonly ripe at Passover (April). So when Jesus approached the fig tree, it appeared to be healthy because of all the leaves. The fig tree was a good example of showing His disciples that: Religion without substance, is deceiving to the naked eye. It looked good on the outside, but did not bear fruit. Practice what you preach.

Verse 20 – Now when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree whither away so soon?”

Verse 21 – So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to this fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea; it will be done.

Verse 22 – “And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing you will receive.”

When we pray, we should ask ourselves, “Is this God’s will?” If you are familiar with scripture, then you will have your answer. Is it God’s will to heal; to save; to deliver; to prosper you? Yes, to all these. Then don’t doubt when you pray, and you will receive. Jesus said it!

Verse 23 – Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”

Verse 24 – But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things:

Verse 25 – “The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,” He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him (John)?’

Verse 26 – “But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.”

Verse 27 – So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Admitting that John’s authority to baptize and preach the Gospel, came from heaven, they would have to admit that Jesus is the Messiah. They knew they were in trouble either way they answered, so they said they didn’t know.

As Christians and because Christ lives in us, we have the authority to call things that “be not,” as though they were. Our words have power, not just any words, but God’s words. Say what He says about the situation – “Out Loud!”

Parable of the Two sons

Verse 28 – “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’

Verse 29 – “He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.

Verse 30 – “Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go.

Verse 31 – “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.

Jesus is still in the temple talking to the same Pharisees and elders that had asked by whose authority You do these things. The father here symbolizes God. The first son represents sinners, tax collectors and harlots who initially rebel against the Father’s will, but later repent and obey. The second son represents the chief priests and the elders who had promised obedience to God but never fulfilled their commitment.

Verse 32 – “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.

Parable of the Landowner

Verse 33 – “Hear another parable. There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.

Verse 34 – “Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit.

Verse 35 – “And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another.

Verse 36 – “Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them.

Verse 3 7 – “Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

Verse 38 – “But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ ”

Verse 39 – “And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

Verse 40 – “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?”

The landowner is God: the vineyard stands first for Israel, then Jerusalem, then the kingdom. All through the Old Testament, God sent prophet after prophet, to show His people they needed to repent and follow Him. Time after time they abused and murdered His prophets. Judgment came on Israel through the Assyrians and Jerusalem through Babylon. Now, God had sent His Son, Jesus, and the same people that Jesus had taught and healed were about to take His life.

Verse 41 – They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserable, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their season.”

Verse 42 – Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.’

Jesus quoted Psalm 118:22, 23. The stone was rejected as worthless by builders , but later used as the cornerstone, the most important part of the structure. This foreshadowed the fact that, though Jesus was rejected by the Jewish leaders, He would be vindicated by God and would become the focal point of God’s Kingdom. God would take what had been entrusted to the Jewish leaders and give it to Jesus disciples.

Verse 43 – “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruit of it.

Acts 28:28 – “Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it.” The apostle Paul was addressing the Jewish leaders in Rome.

Verse 44 – “And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

Jesus is the cornerstone, so Jesus makes reference to whoever comes in contact with Him, the stone, there will be consequences. Whoever stumbles on it, runs against it, offended with My being the foundation, opposes Me, shall injure himself. The Savior speaks of the stone “falling” on the oppressor’s, those who reject Him, and who continue, shall be crushed by Him in the day of judgement, and perish forever.

Verse 45 – Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. (Now they get it.)

Verse 46 – But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.

When someone lays it out plain and straight, there will be those who reject it to the point of being furious at the person delivering the message. That is what happened to the Jewish leaders. It all goes back to the sower and the seed. Some will gladly accept and continue with the Lord, but for those who reject Him, the seed, the word, they will be punished. We are to just keep sowing the seed!



This entry was posted in Matthew.

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