Mark chapter 21

Mark chapter 21 DEFAULT

Chapter The scene is set

Please read Mark

Throughout chapters 11 to 13, since Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem, the tension has been rising. The sense of menace has grown as Jesus’ opponents manoeuvre to trap him and as he himself looks ahead to the conflicts and suffering that his people must face. Now with ch 14 we reach the point where those threats turn to action. The climax is now very near. In this section we combine two stories which set the scene for that climax: in vv we are preparing for his death and in vv we are picturing it.

Preparing for his death

Financial advisers are fond of telling us that we should be very, very careful with our money. They make statements like ‘the market value and surrender value of traded endowments can go up as well as down’ and ‘past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.’ In the wake of the financial disasters of recent years, that’s become a more familiar message than ever. But the message from God’s Word is exactly the opposite! The Bible encourages us not to be cautious with our money, but to be reckless. The woman in the story in vv does not calculate. She does not consult a financial adviser! She is joyfully free – and, to the horror of the onlookers, the Lord Jesus praises her.

The first point to notice about this story is that Mark is doing what we have seen before – he is bracketing, or sandwiching, one story inside another. At the beginning and end of the passage, vv and , he tells us about the plot which will lead to Jesus’ death. At the beginning, the authorities are looking for a way to kill him. At the end, Judas gives them a way to kill him. The story in the middle, the filling in the sandwich, vv, explains why Judas finally decides to do that. Understanding this structure explains something which otherwise looks like a mistake. John’s gospel – John – clearly places the story about the woman just before the Triumphal Entry, that is several days earlier. But Mark is telling her story in flashback to explain why Judas becomes a traitor. As ch 14 begins, the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which follows straight on from Passover, are just two days away. The chief priests and scribes are now desperate to get their hands on Jesus, but while that might sound easy, they do have a problem. The city is crammed with people. Its population increases by at least a factor of five at this festival time – so catching Jesus in some quiet corner is next to impossible. If they try and grab him in public, there will almost certainly be a riot. They didn’t dare voice any criticism of John the Baptist () even though John has been dead for a year or so. A public arrest of Jesus, who is daily delighting the crowds by making the leaders look like fools would be suicidal. Every night he seems to melt away into the countryside; so they need a stealthy way, a secret way, of getting hold of him (v.1).

Mark leaves that plot hanging in the air while he cuts back to the scene in Bethany a few days before. Jesus has evidently made this home in Bethany his base. v.3 tells us it belongs to one ‘Simon the leper’. John’s gospel tells us it’s the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus – possibly this Simon is the father of those three, perhaps living alone somewhere because of his leprosy. Into this scene, in the middle of dinner, into the busy, crowded room, comes the woman whom Mark does not name although John tells us she is Mary, Martha’s sister. What she does is extraordinary (v.3b). It is not that anointing someone at a banquet is surprising – that is how a special guest is honoured – but the wild extravagance of her action that is so eye-catching. In her hands she has a small jar, sealed to keep the contents fresh. Inside the jar is a phenomenally costly perfume. She breaks the neck of the jar and pours the entire contents onto Jesus’ head. Conversation stops. All eyes turn. The fragrance of the perfume fills the room, then the whole house. Some can identify it – some probably have to be told. The whispers begin. ‘It’s nard.’ ‘Do you know what that costs?’ ‘It comes all the way from India – takes a year just to get here.’ ‘What a waste!’ ‘Do you know what the orphanage down the road could have done with that money?’ (vv). The value of the perfume is such that it is probably a family heirloom. Ordinary people don’t have this amount of money at their disposal. Being poor themselves, the onlookers most likely feel her actions as a personal affront.

Now the woman stands condemned for her profligate foolishness. What a waste. Stupid woman. Perhaps now she begins to wonder if they are right. But Jesus sees it differently (vv). He tells them to leave her alone. Note how kindly he shields her from embarrassment and makes it clear that he is not embarrassed. ‘She did what she could’ does not imply that she is rather pathetic but should be allowed to make this rather futile gesture! He knows she has poured the perfume out of love for him. It is a beautiful thing she has done. She does not understand that in a week or so he will be buried, that his dead body will be entombed and that perfume and spices point to that death. No doubt she can sense that some great crisis is approaching, but only he understands what that is, as he always has; but how appropriate that at this time his body should be anointed. Unwittingly, she is preparing for his death.

Jesus does not mean, of course, that it is wrong to help the poor. Occasionally people have misread v.7 to mean that. Rather he is quoting the Law of Moses in Deuteronomy , which says that if everything is as it ought to be, there shouldn’t be any poor; but in actual fact there will be, so make sure that you take good care of them. Jesus is recalling that passage and telling them, yes, you should certainly take care of the poor at all times – but what this woman has done is to seize the moment when I am here in person. Then in v.9 he goes even further. The tale of this woman’s extravagant love and sacrifice will be woven into the story of his own death and sacrifice, so that wherever the gospel goes, her story will go too. There’s a nice twist to this as well. The first people to share the gospel message and to tell her story will be the very disciples who are grumbling about what she has just done!

Having told us the story of the woman, Mark returns to the ‘outside’ story, the story of the plot against Jesus (vv). We now know what tipped Judas over the edge. He may well have other reasons; probably he’s become increasingly disillusioned over many months; but certainly if Jesus can praise a foolish woman who throws money away while publicly carpeting his own followers, then it’s time for him to go. For Judas, money talks; so as soon as the opportunity arises, he seeks out the authorities – who, not surprisingly, are thrilled at their good luck – and arranges that he will betray the Lord Jesus. All he needs is the right moment. He won’t have long to wait: meanwhile the tension hangs in the air!

You see what Mark has done here. The story on the outside is about the plot. The story on the inside gives us Judas’ reasons. On the outside, they are preparing for Jesus’ death in one way. They are preparing to kill him! On the inside, the woman prepares for Jesus’ death in another way, by anointing his body for burial. They spend money to arrange his betrayal: she spends money to anoint him. They act secretly for fear of people’s reaction: she acts openly and faces people’s reaction. The skilful way Mark tells the story simply highlights this amazing and wonderful act of devotion. And the more he highlights her actions, the more pointed the story is for us. This story raises some very searching questions.

The first question is a simple one: As we hear this story, what is our honest response? Which of the characters in the dining room is you? Do we have some sympathy with these glowering onlookers who disapprove of the woman’s recklessness? I’m frightened by the suggestion of my own heart that perhaps these people had a point. Or does the woman’s story make your heart leap at the thought of doing something so wonderful for the Lord Jesus? That is how it should be, of course. Yes, there is a time and a place for calculation – for remembering that prices can go down as well as up and for doing your sums very carefully! – but that time is not when you are making your commitment to Jesus. The measure of his commitment to us will be demonstrated within a week of this story, at the cross which fully reveals the reckless lengths of his extravagant love for us. How do our hearts respond?

That leads on to the second question. What do we value the most? Do we value money, or do we value Jesus the most? This woman’s answer, her scale of values, was clear. The perfume was probably the most precious thing she had ever owned, but with Jesus before her, she broke it and poured it out; and it was gone. Life would not be so secure from now on. That jar was her savings account. Our lives and actions reflect what is most important to us. If someone were to study our lives, what would they conclude? If they looked at the evidence of the books by your bed, or the history button on your web browser, what story would it tell? Or suppose, more searching still, they could read even your thoughts and dreams, what story would be revealed? Or, to put it another way, have you ever done anything extravagant for the Lord – anything reckless, where there was a real cost to you, a cost that made life risky and uncomfortable? Sadly, there are some who would reply, Well, I used to be like that. When I was younger, I used to give to the Lord freely and trust him to look after me. I used to tell him, Lord I will go anywhere, give anything to serve you. I used to love him like that. But not any more. Now I’m older, and I’m more sensible, and if I’m honest I’m more cynical. If you are honest enough to admit that, you need to understand that it doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t have to accept the kind of Christian life that will always play it safe, that needs to see before it will believe – the attitude that would always put the jar of perfume back in the cupboard and shut the door.

But there are others who will read this who have shown by your actions that it’s the Lord Jesus you value the most. You have given up your security, or left behind the people you loved, or given to the point of breaking your own lifestyle – and not to win points or to earn favour, but because you loved him. There have been times when people have questioned or mocked what you have done. They’ve told you it was pointless; they’ve asked, Why this waste? Perhaps there have even been times when you’ve wondered if they were right. But the Lord says, You have done a beautiful thing for me. You have done what you could.

Picturing his death

Now at last the Passover festival arrives. Mark tell the story of how Jesus takes this old, familiar feast, shocks everyone and seemingly hijacks the whole celebration. Passover recalls the day, 1, years before, when the Lord God rescued his people from captivity in Egypt and led them out towards the Promised Land. Every year, his people commemorate that night – God has told them to do that, and he has told them how; and while there are many of his commands that they don’t follow, this one they certainly do, en masse. It’s a national event. It’s a night to remember what God has done, the freedom he brought them so long ago. It’s a night of anticipation for what they are longing God will do again. It’s a night of excitement. It’s all about events of long ago – and here is Jesus saying, It’s about me, here and now, today. Even more shocking is that the heart of Passover is a death; and Jesus is saying that the death pictured by Passover is his own.

The time is now very short. Everything is in place for Jesus’ arrest and death; and this story pictures his death, now less than twenty-four hours away. It is safe to assume the story starts in Bethany, just outside Jerusalem, where Jesus has had his base for the week. In v, we have reached Passover time, the first day of the festival, when the lambs are sacrificed – recalling the slaughtered lambs whose blood was smeared around the doorposts on that first Passover night. It is quite natural that the disciples should ask Jesus where he plans to celebrate the feast: all Jews have to do it. But it’s not quite as simple as that. The Law is very clear that there is only one place you can slaughter and eat the Passover lamb (Deuteronomy ,7) – and that one place is Jerusalem. So, like many other pilgrims at this time, Jesus needs to locate a dining room within the city boundary. Hence Jesus’ plan in vv Most likely Jesus has arranged this – he has had plenty of time to do so as he’s passed in and out of the city for the last several days. He sends two of his friends ahead, probably for security reasons – he knows he is a target, whereas they will not be easily recognised. For the same reason, a signal has been arranged, probably a prearranged rendezvous. Jesus has a sympathetic contact in Jerusalem – a secret disciple, even – who owns an appropriate house with a room big enough for a party of thirteen. He arranges for a servant to intercept Jesus’ advance party; and the signal is that he is carrying a water jar. For a man to carry a water jar is unusual; like it or not, that is women’s work! The beauty of this scheme is they don’t even have to speak to him – the disciples simply follow the servant to the house, where clearly Jesus is known and expected.

It’s possible that this house belongs to Mark’s own family, which is the house where we read of the church meeting in Acts In any event, the room is already set up and the disciples have only to prepare for the feast itself. It all turns out exactly as Jesus has explained (v). The two of them now busy themselves with the preparations. There will be the unleavened bread and the wine; the bitter herbs which recall the bitterness of slavery; and the special sauce whose ingredients also connect with captivity and freedom. Finally, they will arrange for the Passover lamb which must be slaughtered after sunset, just as it was all those years ago. It is Thursday night: by Jewish reckoning, where the new day begins at sunset, it is the fifteenth day of the month Nisan: and before this day is out, the Lord Jesus will himself be dead. Evening has come, then; Jesus arrives at the house with the rest of the party. It’s normal for the Passover meal to run far into the night; and right across Jerusalem, many thousands of other households are eating exactly the same meal, the various dishes in precisely the same order. At each stage the head of the house explains exactly what it all means. At the beginning and end of the meal they sing Psalms to – known as the Hallel psalms. Stage after stage of the meal is accompanied by words of blessing to God and prayers that they will enjoy many further feasts in peace; that the city will be built up in safety; and blessing him for his great works of the past.

It’s near the start of the meal that Jesus drops the first bombshell, vv Although the most famous paintings of the Last Supper, like Leonardo da Vinci’s, show the party sitting upright, they would in reality be reclining on sofas or on carpets. Jesus looks around and solemnly declares that there is an enemy in their midst. From their reaction, it is clear that the disciples haven’t got a clue who he means. Interestingly, Mark does not name Judas in this story. Mark is most concerned to highlight the fact that Jesus is betrayed by someone who is so close to him – one who for three years has been part of this closely-knit group will turn out to be a double agent. Jesus’ words in v deliberately echo Psalm , the song of the righteous sufferer. They are at the point where bread is dipped into the special sauce and shared together – eating together is always meaningful for Jews, but this is a moment of supreme fellowship – and one who shares that bread is now to betray him.

The second bombshell soon follows. The leader would lift up the unleavened bread and bless it with the words: ‘Praised be you, O Lord, Sovereign of the world, who causes bread to come forth from the earth.’ He would break it and it would be passed round the room for each person to receive. But this time it’s different (v). Suddenly, this is no longer about 1, years ago. Jesus says, This is about me! Can you feel the shock? This bread which is broken is myself – it is myself which I am giving to you. Then at the end of the meal, as Passover comes to an end, a final cup is shared. The leader takes a cup of red wine, gives thanks over it and passes it round. But Jesus does something different (vv). If the broken bread hinted at violence, this time there is no mistaking the meaning. Jesus will die, violently and soon. This would be specially striking because of the stringent prohibitions in the Jewish Law on eating or drinking blood (Leviticus and – note especially in the connection with atonement). We don’t know, for the gospel writers don’t tell us, quite how the disciples react to all this. But for men who have taken part in this meal so many times, from when they were little children through to adulthood, gathered round the Passover table year after year until they know all the words off by heart, it can’t fail to shock them to the core.

Now the Passover meal is over. The usual hymn is sung, the second half of the Hallel psalms; and the group make their way out into the darkness of the streets. It’s around midnight, perhaps later; too late to return to Bethany, so like many others they prepare to camp out among the trees on the slopes of the Mount of Olives.

The story of the Last Supper presents Jesus’ death in four important ways. Firstly, Jesus’ death fulfils God’s plans. Look at how Jesus speaks of his betrayal in v literally Jesus says ‘departs’. He knows that his approaching death is all in God’s plan: it is ‘as it is written’. The Lord Jesus knows the prophets: all that is written about the suffering, dying servant in Isaiah, those mysterious words in Zechariah about ‘looking on the one they have pierced’, Psalm 22 with its depiction of horrible suffering. He knows those words have been written about him. Jesus goes to his death deliberately, freely, voluntarily, knowing that he is doing the will of God as he does so. Still, that does not make it any better for the one who betrays him (v). In other words, the betrayer of the Lord Jesus is going to hell. He is fully responsible for what he is doing; and he will face the consequences. Judas was tempted by Satan, but he can’t blame Satan. He was carried away by the world’s ideas of power and wealth, but he can’t blame the people who influenced him. His betrayal of Jesus is part of God’s plan, but he can’t blame God. We, like Judas, stand responsible for our own sin and failure. We too are accountable for every action we take. Yes, there is a mystery here. There is God’s sovereignty, whereby he brings about everything according to his own will. In this case he is doing something wonderful through an act of human evil: even the betrayal is part of his plan, yet the man involved is still responsible for his actions. His free will is absolutely genuine; so is ours.

It is this assurance that God is in charge that allows Jesus to go to the cross with confidence. The final words of the hymn they sing as they leave, the last words of Jesus as he heads out into the darkness, are from Psalm Empty words, we might think, under the circumstances. But they are not! Jesus can sing those words with meaning because he knows his Father is in control. See how Psalm 41, which he has virtually quoted in speaking of his betrayal, continues in vv This is the confidence that Jesus has as he approaches the cross. For us too, knowing that our Father is in control is what allows us to face times of pain and suffering with the confidence we are in God’s hands and he will bring us through.

Secondly, Jesus’ death takes our place (vv). There can be no doubt what this means. The red wine; the mention of the blood and the covenant; the Passover setting – Jesus is identifying himself with the Passover lamb. On that final night in Egypt, every Israelite household slaughtered a lamb. Its blood was brushed around the doorposts of the house. When God’s angel came past, he passed over every home like that; and wherever there was no blood, the angel slew the family’s eldest son. The death of each lamb substituted for the death of one son. Inescapably, the Passover speaks of a substitution. Now Jesus is saying, The true Passover lamb is me. Those lambs are just a picture: the reality is before you tonight. I am the one who takes your place so that you can be set free. This is my blood! My blood, he says in v, is ‘poured out for many’, reminding us of Both these verses echo Isaiah where the prophet speaks of the Servant who will bear the sin of many. Jesus dies as our substitute.

Thirdly, the death of Jesus proves God’s commitment (v). This, says Jesus, is covenant blood. The ‘covenant’ is God’s commitment to us. In the covenant with Moses, God commits himself to forgive sins and accept his people on the basis of blood sacrifices. In the blood of Jesus, that covenant is renewed. In the blood of Jesus, in fact, those sacrifices are brought to an end. This is the only way that a holy God could ever make a covenant with sinful people like us – through the blood of the perfect sacrifice, his Son the Lord Jesus. So Jesus’ death shows us God’s total, unbreakable commitment to us – that he did not even spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all (Romans ). This is the ultimate act of commitment. Do we recognise the depth of God’s commitment to us and how unreservedly he has expressed it?

Fourthly, Jesus’ death points to glory (v). They have drunk together the Passover cups of wine and water. Now Jesus says, That’s it. I won’t taste this again here on earth. This speaks of the imminence of his death, but he also looks far beyond, for he says, There is a time when I will drink this again. When the Kingdom I have begun here has arrived in full, then I will celebrate once more. The day will come when I will again share a feast with my friends. Again, this shows that Jesus knows ahead of time exactly what is going to happen. But these words of his take us on to the end of the age, when he returns to the earth in glory and majesty. Then will come what the Jews called the Messianic banquet, and what the New Testament calls the wedding supper of the Lamb, when the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, claims his bride the Church (Revelation ). If we belong to him, this blessing is for us. Our names are already written on the invitations. The place of that feast will not be the earthly city of Jerusalem, where Jesus ate with his friends that night and where very soon he would be condemned to die. The place will be the new Jerusalem, where the Lord Jesus lives with his people for ever more, without interruption by death or by anything else, as Revelation 21 promises us. Every time we share the Lord’s Supper together at the Communion table, we remember the death of the Lord Jesus; and we look ahead to the day of glory, when he comes again and we celebrate anew, with him, in the Kingdom of God.

Generously provided by Evangelical Press

A Ransom for Many: the Gospel of Mark Simply Explained (Welwyn Commentary Series); Wilmhurst, Steve; © EP Books.
Sours: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/ransom-for-many/ChapterThe-scene-is-set-Mark

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1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,

2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.

3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.

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

5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,

7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.

8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,

16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.

25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.



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1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,

2 Saying unto them, Go into the village aover against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.

3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.

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

5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy aKing cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,

7 aAnd brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.

8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, aHosanna to the Son of David: bBlessedis he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

11 And the amultitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

12 ¶ And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

13 And said unto them, It is written, My ahouse shall be called the house of bprayer; but ye have made it a cden of thieves.

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the achildren crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,

16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

17 ¶ And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

19 And when he saw a fig tree ain the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no bfruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And cpresently the fig tree withered away.

20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have afaith, and bdoubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this cmountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

22 And all athings, whatsoever ye shall bask in cprayer, believing, ye shall receive.

23 ¶ And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what aauthority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what aauthority I do these things.

25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a aprophet.

27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

28 ¶ But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go awork to day in my vineyard.

29 He answered and said, aI will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and awentbnot.

31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

32 For John came unto you in the way of arighteousness, and ye bbelieved him not: but the cpublicans and the harlots believed him: dand ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

33 ¶ aHear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to bhusbandmen, and went into a far country:

34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

35 And the husbandmen took his aservants, and bbeat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the aheir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out hisavineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The astone which the builders brejected, the same is become the head of the ccorner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

43 Therefore say I unto you, The akingdom of God shall be btaken from you, and cgiven to a dnation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

44 aAnd whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

45 aAnd when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

      • JST Matt. … and brought the colt, and put on it their clothes; and Jesus took the colt and sat thereon; and they followed him.

      • JST Matt. … children of the kingdom crying …

      • TG Righteousness.

      • TG Unbelief.

      • Luke ; (28–30).

      • JST Matt. –34 … and ye, afterward, when ye had seen me, repented not, that ye might believe him. For he that believed not John concerning me, cannot believe me, except he first repent. And except ye repent, the preaching of John shall condemn you in the day of judgment …

      • JST Matt. –35 … And again, hear another parable; for unto you that believe not, I speak in parables; that your unrighteousness may be rewarded unto you. Behold, there was …

      • TG Stewardship; Watchman.

Sours: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/matt/21?lang=eng
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Chapter 21 Summary \u0026 Analysis - Mark Twain - Mark Twain

Matthew 21 &#; The Beginning of Jesus’ Last Week

A. The triumphal entry.

1. () Jesus instructs His disciples regarding preparation for His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 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. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

“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.’”

So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.

a. When they drew near Jerusalem: Jesus knew that the religious leaders were going to arrest Him and condemn Him and mock Him and scourge Him and deliver Him to the Romans for crucifixion (Matthew ). Yet He had the courage to not only enter Jerusalem, but to enter in as public a way as possible. This contrasts to His previous pattern of suppressing publicity.

i. If Jesus had not deliberately suppressed the popular enthusiasm over Him and His credentials as Messiah – if Jesus had wanted it, this would have happened long ago and many times.

ii. “Jesus could not have chosen a more dramatic moment; it was into a city surging with people keyed up with religious expectations that he came.” (Barclay)

iii. “The applause and the crowds were not manipulated; they would have occurred in any case. But the ride on a colt, because it was planned, could only be an acted parable, a deliberate act of self-disclosure…Secrecy was being lifted.” (Carson)

b. You will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her: Jesus would ride upon the younger of these animals, the colt. He told the disciples how they would find these animals, and instructed them to bring both animals.

i. The Hebrew text of Zechariah 9 mentions one animal, not two. “If we assume that Matthew understood Hebrew, the full quotation affirms that Jesus rode on the ‘colt,’ not its mother. Mark and Luke say the animal was so young that it had never been ridden. In the midst, then, of this excited crowd, an unbroken animal remains calm under the hands of the Messiah who controls nature.” (Carson)

ii. “Mark tells us that the colt had never before been ridden (Mark ), so that it would be only prudent to bring its mother as well to reassure it among the noisy crowd.” (France)

iii. “Hath need of them: not for any weariness: he who had travelled on foot from Galilee to Bethany, could have gone the other two miles; but that he might enter into Jerusalem as was prophesied of him, Zechariah ” (Poole)

iv. “What a singular conjunction of words is here, ‘the Lord’ and ‘hath need!’ Jesus, without laying aside his sovereignty, had taken a nature full of needs; yet, being in need, he was still the Lord and could command his subjects and requisition their property.” (Spurgeon)

c. All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: Here, Jesus deliberately worked to fulfill prophecy, especially the prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, which many feel Jesus fulfilled to the exact day on His triumphal entry (Daniel ).

i. “It is possible that Matthew presents these verses as having been spoken by Jesus.” (Carson)

d. Your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey: Jesus came to Jerusalem in humility, yet with appropriate dignity. Instead of coming on a horse as a conquering general, He came on a colt, as was customary for royalty. He came to Jerusalem as the Prince of Peace.

i. “Asses were of old beasts that great persons used to ride on, Judges ; But after Solomon’s time the Jews got a breed of horses; so as only poor people rode upon asses, mostly reserved for burdens.” (Poole)

ii. “Therefore for those with eyes to see, Jesus was not only proclaiming his messiahship and his fulfillment of Scripture but showing the kind of peace-loving approach he was now making to the city.” (Carson)

iii. “This entry into Jerusalem has been termed the triumph of Christ. It was indeed the triumph of humility over pride and worldly grandeur; of poverty over affluence; and of meekness and gentleness over rage and malice.” (Clarke)

2. () Jesus receives and encourages adoration as the Messiah.

They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 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 in the highest!”

And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

a. Laid their clothes on them…spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road: All this was done to honor Jesus as a great, triumphant person coming into Jerusalem in the season of Passover.

i. Wiseman says of the spreading out of garments for Jehu in 2 Kings “The act of spreading out the garment was one of recognition, loyalty and promise of support.” (Wiseman)

ii. “Carrying palm and other branches was emblematical of victory and success. See 1 Maccabees ; 2 Maccabees ; and Revelation ” (Clarke) On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the year one hundred and seventy-one, the Jews entered the citadel with shouts of jubilation, waving of palm branches, the music of harps and cymbals and lyres, and the singing of hymns and canticles, because a great enemy of Israel had been destroyed. (1 Maccabees )

iii. In one way, this crowd was glorious. “It is a mark of Christ’s presence when the church becomes enthusiastic. We sometimes hear complaints about revivals being too exciting. Perhaps the censure is deserved, but I would like to see a little of the fault. This age does not generally sin in the direction of being too excited concerning divine things. We have erred so long on the other side that, perhaps, a little excess in the direction of fervor might not be the worst of all calamities; at any rate, I would not fear to try it.” (Spurgeon)

iv. In another way, this crowd was ridiculous – in worldly eyes. “Why, if Pilate himself had heard about it he would have said — ‘Ah! There is nothing much to fear from that. There is no fear that that man will ever upset Caesar; there is no fear that he will ever overturn an army. Where are their swords? There is not a sword among them! They have no cries that sound like rebellion; their songs are only some religious verses taken out of the Psalms.’ ‘Oh!’ says he, ‘the whole thing is contemptible and ridiculous.’” (Spurgeon)

b. Hosanna to the Son of David! This was open Messianic adoration of Jesus. They look to Jesus for salvation (Hosanna means “save now!” and was addressed to kings, as in 2 Samuel and 2 Kings ). They openly give Jesus the titles appropriate for the Messiah (Son of David… He who comes in the name of the LORD).

i. Jesus received and indeed encouraged this worship. Again, this was because this is the day that the LORD has made (Psalm ), the day when the Messiah came as Savior to Jerusalem in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy.

ii. “‘Hosanna’ transliterates the Hebrew expression that originally was a cry for help: ‘Save!’… In time it became an invocation of blessing and even an acclamation… The people praise God in the highest heavens for sending the Messiah and, if ‘Hosanna’ retains some of its original force, also cry to him for deliverance.” (Carson)

iii. “Essentially it is a people’s cry for deliverance and for help in the day of their trouble; it is an oppressed people’s cry to their saviour and their king.” (Barclay)

iv. “‘Vox populi, vox Dei’ they used to say; but the saying is false: the voice of the people may seem to be the voice of God when they shout ‘Hosanna in the highest’; but whose voice is it when they yell out, ‘Crucify him, crucify him’?” (Spurgeon)

c. When He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved: Jesus also showed that He wasn’t afraid of chief priests and Pharisees. He knew they were plotting to kill Him, yet He came openly to the city as Messiah.

i. “When the Magi came looking for the King of Jews, ‘all Jerusalem’ was troubled (Matthew ). Now when the king arrives all the city is stirred.” (France)

ii. “How strange is it that these same people…should, about five days after, change their hosannas for, Away with him! Crucify him! Crucify him! How fickle is the multitude! Even when they get right, there is but little hope that they will continue so long.” (Clarke)

iii. It was here, before He entered the city, that He looked over the city and wept, knowing the judgment that would come upon Jerusalem (Luke ).

iv. “Our Lord loves his people to be glad. His tears he kept to himself, as he wept over Jerusalem; but the gladness he scattered all around, so that even the boys and girls in the streets of Jerusalem made the temple courts to ring with their merry feet and gladsome songs.” (Spurgeon)

d. This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee: This continues the earlier identification of Jesus with Nazareth (Matthew ). It would sound strange to many – especially to the religious establishment – that a prophet would come from the obscure and unnoted city of Nazareth.

i. “When our Lord grants revivals to his church, the congregations and the multitude outside begin to ask, ‘Wherefore this stir? What meaneth all this? Who is this Christ, and what is his salvation?’ This spirit of inquiry is eminently desirable. It is just now a matter to be sought for by importunate prayer.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “They had not profited so much, or made so far progress in the mystery of Christ, as to know him to have been born a Bethlehemite.” (Trapp)

B. Jesus cleanses the temple.

1. () Jesus forcibly stops the commercial desecration of the temple.

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 money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 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.’”

a. Drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple: This seems distinct from the cleansing of the temple courts mentioned in John , which happened towards the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Yet the purpose was the same; to drive out the merchants, who in cooperation with the priests cheated visitors to Jerusalem by forcing them to purchase approved sacrificial animals and currencies at high prices.

i. Barclay notes, “A pair of doves could cost as little as 4p outside the Temple and as much as 75p inside the Temple.” This is almost 20 times more expensive.

ii. Yet Jesus’ anger was against all those who bought as well as those who sold. “Sellers and buyers viewed as one company – kindred in spirit, to be cleared out wholesale…The traffic was necessary, and might have been innocent; but the trading spirit soon develops abuses which were doubtless rampant at that period.” (Bruce)

iii. What Jesus did was important more as an acted-out parable than for what it accomplished in itself. “There is no indication, nor is it likely, that any lasting reform was achieved; no doubt the tables were back for the rest of the week, and Jesus took no further action.” (France)

iv. France says that there was a contemporary expectation that the Messiah would cleanse the temple, both approving it after the pagan conquerors (such as Antiochus Epiphanes and Pompey), but also from the false worship from God’s own people.

v. “I do not believe we shall thoroughly purify any church by Acts of Parliament, nor by reformation associations, nor by agitation, nor by any merely human agency. No hand can grasp the scourge that can drive out the buyers and sellers, but that hand which once was fastened to the cross. Let the Lord do it and the work will be done, for it is not of man, nor shall man accomplish it.” (Spurgeon)

b. My house shall be called a house of prayer: The merchants operated in the outer courts of the temple, the only area where Gentiles could come and pray. Therefore, this place of prayer was made into a marketplace, and a dishonest one (a ‘den of thieves’).

i. Mark’s record contains the more complete quotation of Jesus’ reference to Isaiah Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations?” (Mark ). The point was that Isaiah prophesied, and Jesus demanded that the temple be a place for all nations to pray. The activity of all those who bought and sold in the outer courts made it impossible for any seeking Gentile to come and pray.

ii. “In that uproar of buying and selling and bargaining and auctioneering prayer was impossible. Those who sought God’s presence were being debarred from it from the very people of God’s House.” (Barclay)

2. (14) Jesus carries on God’s compassionate work in the temple courts.

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

a. The blind and the lame came to Him: The bold action of Jesus when He drove out the merchants and money changers from the temple courts did not discourage the needy from coming to Him.

i. The blind and the lame were restricted to the court of the Gentiles; they could not go closer to the temple and could not go to the altar to sacrifice. After purging the court of the Gentiles of merchants and robbers, Jesus then ministered to the outcasts who congregated there.

b. And He healed them: After driving out the moneychangers and the merchants from the temple courts, Jesus didn’t establish “The Society for the Cleansing of the Temple.” He got back to doing the business of the Messiah, a significant part of which was showing the power of God in the context of compassion and mercy.

3. () The indignation of the Jewish leaders.

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 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’?” Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.

a. They were indignant: This was their response to the wonderful things that He did, and to the praise of children for Jesus in the temple courts. The hypocrisy of the religious leaders is evident. Greed and theft in the temple didn’t bother them, but praise to Jesus did.

i. “It was a common thing among the Jews for the children to be employed in public acclamations; and thus they were accustomed to hail their celebrated rabbins. This shouting of the children was therefore no strange thing in the land: only they were exasperated, because a person was celebrated against whom they had a rooted hatred.” (Clarke)

ii. This reminds us that children can have a real relationship with God and spiritual life, yet they will still be children. “For a boy to put on the air and manners of a man is not sanctification; that is to spoil him, not to sanctify him. And for a girl to be other than a girl, and to assume the air and tone of her careful mother, should be very mischievous. God does not sanctify children into men, but he sanctifies children in their own childlike way.” (Spurgeon)

b. Do You hear what these are saying? Jesus answered this question from the chief priests and scribes. The answer was clear: Yes, He had heard what these are saying – and it was perfected praise in the ears of God.

i. “Luther was greatly encouraged when he found that the children met together for prayer. He said, ‘God will hear them. The devil himself cannot defeat us now the children begin to pray.’” (Spurgeon)

c. He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there: At the time of Passover, thousands and thousands of pilgrims crowded into Jerusalem. It was common for some to stay in the surrounding villages, and Bethany was close by.

i. “At Passover time quarters could not easily be got in the city, but the house of Martha and Mary would be open to Jesus (cf. Luke ).” (Bruce)

C. The lesson of the fig tree.

1. () Jesus rebukes a fig tree.

Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. 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.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.

a. He was hungry: Some wonder why Jesus would be hungry in the morning leaving the home of Martha and Mary. Spurgeon speculated it was because He woke early to have time with His heavenly Father, and took no time to eat.

i. “He was perfectly human and therefore physically hungry, for hunger is a sign of health.” (Morgan)

b. Let no fruit grow on you ever again: In a dramatic way, Jesus performed one of His few destructive miracles. His curse made the fig tree to wither away.

i. It is worth noting that the two destructive miracles of Jesus (this and the events that ended in the destruction of the herd of pigs, Matthew ) were not directed towards people.

c. Found nothing on it but leaves: This explains why Jesus did this destructive miracle. Essentially, the tree was a picture of false advertising, having leaves, but no figs. This should not be the case with these particular fig trees, which customarily did not bear leaves apart from figs.

i. “The first Adam came to the fig tree for leaves, but the Second Adam looks for figs.” (Spurgeon)

ii. In this acted-out-parable, Jesus warned of coming judgment upon an unfruitful Israel. It showed God’s disapproval of people who are all leaves and no fruit. “The story is clear and simple, and its point obvious, that what counts is not promise but performance.” (France)

2. () How did Jesus do this?

And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?” 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 the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

a. How did the fig tree wither away so soon? Jesus explained that this miracle was really the result of a prayer made in faith (if you have faith and do not doubt). He then encouraged His marveling disciples to also have this kind of faith, trusting that God would hear them also.

b. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive: This promise of God’s answer to the prayer of faith was made to disciples, not to the multitude. This is a promise to those who are following Jesus.

i. “Nothing is too big for true faith to obtain, but that faith must have a promise to lean upon.” (Poole)

ii. “We can only believe for a thing when we are in such union with God that his thought and purpose can freely flow into us, suggesting what we should pray for, and leading us to that point in which there is a perfect sympathy and understanding between us and the divine mind. Faith is always the product of such a frame as this.” (Meyer)

D. Jesus answers the Jewish leaders.

1. () Jesus is questioned by the religious leaders as He comes back into the temple.

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?” 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: 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?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” 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.”

a. The chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching: In His previous visit on the day before, Jesus drove out the moneychangers and merchants from the temple courts. Now He returned there to teach, unafraid of the religious leaders.

i. “When we think of the extraordinary things Jesus had been doing we cannot be surprised that the Jewish authorities asked him what right he had to do them.” (Barclay)

b. By what authority are You doing these things? The religious leaders raised the question of Jesus’ authority, and He answered by raising the question of their competence to judge such an issue. Their ability to judge John the Baptist and his ministry was a measure of their ability to judge Jesus as well (The baptism of John: where was it from?).

i. “His question is far more profound. If the religious authorities rightly answer it, they will already have the correct answer to their own question.” (Carson)

ii. “Hence now-a-days those Popish questions to the professors of the truth: By what authority do you do these things? Where had you your calling, your ordination? Where was your religion before Luther? Whereunto it was well answered by one once, ‘In the Bible, where yours never was.’” (Trapp)

c. We do not know: They answered only after carefully calculating the political consequences of either answer. They didn’t seem interested in answering the question honestly, only cleverly. This showed they were more interested in the opinions of the multitude rather than the will of God, so Jesus didn’t answer their question to Him.

i. “They could not say, ‘Of men,’ for they were cowards. They would not say, ‘Of heaven,’ for they were hypocrites.” (Morgan)

ii. Jesus kindly and compassionately met the needs of the hurting multitude, as demonstrated in Matthew But Jesus didn’t show much patience with those who arrogantly questioned Him and hoped to trap Him in His own words. Jesus never fell into their trap.

2. () The parable of the two sons.

“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.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 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. 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.”

a. A man had two sons: This parable shows us two different kinds of sons. They were in the same house, and we could say that the father had a right to the services of both his sons. Perhaps they wished that the father would just leave them alone, but he did not. It was good and right for the father to expect that the sons would work for him.

i. By general Biblical principle, we can say that it is not our duty to separate them except through exhortation and appeal to conscience. Their sure separation must await the end of the age; until then, the tares and the wheat grow together.

b. Son, go work today in my vineyard: There is much to see in these simple words of the father to the son.

· The father spoke to this son individually; he did not speak to the sons together. Though the same invitation was given to both sons (he came to the second and said likewise), it was an individual call to work.

· The father appealed to him first as a son. Knowing he was the son of his father should have made him willing to do his will.

· The father asked the son to work; to participate together in the family business. Yet it was work and not play.

· The father asked the son to work today, not in some distant time.

· The father asked the son to work in “my vineyard.” It belonged to the father, so it should have mattered to the son.

c. He answered and said, “I will not,” but afterward he regretted it and went: The first son refused to work for his father. He didn’t want to bend to the father’s will. Yet later he regretted it and went. He spoke wrong, but did right.

d. He answered and said, “I go, sir,” but he did not go: The second son said the right thing and he said it with respect (sir), but he did not do what he said he would.

i. There are many churchgoers that imitate the second son.

· They admit that the Word of God is true.

· They intend to get serious about it someday.

· They talk about doing the Father’s work.

· They keep up the external appearance of religion, but their heart is not right with God.

· They think that words and promises are enough.

ii. “The second son said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he went not; and these people do not go. They talk of repenting, but they do not repent. They speak of believing, but they never believe. They think of submitting to God, but they have not submitted themselves to him yet. They say it is time they broke up the fallow ground, and sought the Lord, but they do not seek him. It all ends in a mere promise.” (Spurgeon)

iii. They are sinning against the light, because they know better. This is dangerous, because it is lying to the Holy Spirit; it is dangerous, because it hardens the conscience.

e. Which of the two did the will of his father? The point of this parable is clear. What matters is living for God, not saying the right words. The religious leaders were good at talking righteous talk, but their stubbornly unrepentant hearts showed that repentant sinners would enter the kingdom before them.

i. “The shock value of Jesus’ statement can only be appreciated when the low esteem in which tax collectors were held, not to mention prostitutes, is taken into account.” (Carson)

f. When you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him: These proud religionists should have repented all the more when they saw the notorious sinners repenting, but they did not.

3. () The parable of the wicked servants.

“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. Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”

a. There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it: Jesus told of a landowner who prepared his vineyard carefully and hired men to manage it (the vinedressers). The men who were supposed to manage his vineyard mistreated and killed the messengers sent by the landowner. Finally he sent his son, and they killed him also – foolishly believing they would take control of the vineyard. Yet the response of the landowner was not to yield to the vinedressers but to judge and destroy them.

i. The Old Testament often used the picture of a vineyard to speak of Israel (Deuteronomy , Psalm , Jeremiah , and especially Isaiah ).

b. They will respect my son…This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance: Jesus portrayed the madness of the chief priests and elders who plotted to kill the Father’s Son sent to the rebellious leaders of Israel.

i. “The husbandmen treat the messengers in the most barbarous and truculent manner: beating, killing, stoning to death; highly improbable in the natural sphere, but another instance in which parables have to violate the natural probability in order to describe truly men’s conduct in the spiritual sphere.” (Bruce)

ii. “By the servants here sent to the husbandmen are doubtless to be understood those extraordinary prophets.” (Poole)

iii. “They caught him in the garden of Gethsemane; they cast him out in their Council in the hall of Caiaphas, and when he was led without the gate of Jerusalem; they slew him at Calvary.” (Spurgeon)

c. He will destroy those wicked men miserably: The message of this parable is clear enough. With this answer, the chief priests and elders understood what the wicked servants deserved. Truly, those who rebel against their master this way deserve judgment.

i. They knew the owner of the vineyard had the right to expect the fruits in their seasons. In the same way, God looked for fruit from Israel’s leadership, but found little (as shown in the fig tree incident).

ii. “Oh, that the Lord may raise up a race of men ‘who shall render him the fruits in their seasons!’ The hallmark of a faithful minister is his giving to God all the glory of any work that he is enabled to do. That which does not magnify the Lord will not bless men.” (Spurgeon)

d. And lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons: The leaders of Israel were so corrupt that God was transferring leadership to others – specifically, to the apostles and then to the Jewish/Gentile church they would lead.

4. () Jesus warns the religious leaders of the result of their rejection.

Jesus said to them, “Have 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’?

Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.

a. Have you never read the Scriptures: This manner of speaking to the chief priests and elders of Israel must have angered them. Jesus speaks to the leading theologians of Israel and asks them if they have ever read their Scriptures.

b. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone: Jesus quoted this from Psalm to remind them that their rejection of Him said more about their guilt and coming judgment than it said about Jesus Himself. Though they reject Him, He is still the chief cornerstone, fulfilling the great Messianic Psalm

i. Like a painting from a great master, Jesus is not on trial – those who look at Him are. These leaders who rejected Jesus had to hear the eventual consequences of their rejection.

ii. Clearly, Jesus claimed to be the rejected stone of Psalm that God appointed to become the chief cornerstone. He is also the stone of Isaiah that people stumble over, the foundation stone and precious cornerstone of Isaiah , and the stone of Daniel , that destroys the world in rebellion to God.

c. The kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it: Jesus warned the religious leaders that if they continued their rejection of God and His Messiah, they could expect that God would pass the leadership of His work on earth to others.

i. “The doom is forfeiture of privilege, the kingdom is taken from them and given to others.” (Bruce)

ii. “The sphere in which we must look for God at work in salvation is no longer the nation of Israel but another nation. This is not the Gentiles as such (that would require the plural ethnesin, not the singular ethnei), but a people of God derived from all nations, Jew and Gentile.” (France)

iii. “What a warning is this to our own country! We, too, are seeing the sacrifice and deity of our Lord questioned, and his Sacred Word assailed by those who should have been its advocates. Unless there is speedy amendment, the Lord may take away the candlestick out of its place and find another race which will prove more faithful to him and his Gospel than our own has been.” (Spurgeon)

d. Whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder: The choice before the religious leaders is the choice before every person. We can be broken in humble surrender before God or be completely broken in judgment.

e. They sought to lay hands on Him: Instead of repenting, the religious leaders responded with anger, continuing to increase the greatness of their sin of rejecting Jesus.

i. They perceived that He was speaking of them: “Who told them so, but their own guilty consciences?” (Trapp)

© David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Sours: https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/matthew/

21 mark chapter

Matthew 21

Matthew 21 is the twenty-first chapter in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament section of the Christian Bible. Jesus triumphally or majestically arrives in Jerusalem and commences his final ministry before his Passion.

Structure[edit]

The narrative can be divided into the following subsections:

Text[edit]

The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 46 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Old Testament references[edit]

New Testament parallels[edit]

Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (–11)[edit]

Main article: Triumphal entry into Jerusalem

The narrative takes some topics from previous chapters:

  • the fulfillment of prophecies (cf. , etc.)
  • Jesus' entry into Jerusalem (cf. ; )
  • his 'meekness' (cf. )
  • his status as 'king' (cf. )
  • 'Son of David' (cf. —18)
  • 'the coming one' (cf. ; ), and
  • 'prophet' (cf. )

The initial part reminds of the finding of donkeys for Saul (1 Samuel –9). It is also offer two "firsts":

  • (1) Jesus' (indirect) 'public claim to messianic kingship', and
  • (2) the crowds' 'recognition of that kingship' (contrast –14).

These two "firsts" challenge the people of Jerusalem to make a decision about "who is this Jesus" (cf. verse 10).

Verse 2[edit]

"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."[5]

Commentator Dale Allison is reminded of the finding of donkeys for King Saul in 1 Samuel –9.

Verse 3[edit]

"If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

For Arthur Carr, this account "leads to the inference that the owner of the ass was an adherent of Jesus, who had perhaps not yet declared himself".[7] To William Robertson Nicoll, "it was to be expected that the act would be challenged".[8] For Henry Alford, it is the LORD Jehovah who needs them, for the service of God;[9] for Nicoll, it is Jesus who is the Lord or master who needs them, using the term Ὁ κύριος, ho kurios, in the same manner as where it refers to Jesus in Matthew "Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!"[8]

Verse 11[edit]

And the multitude said,
This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.[10]

Cleansing of the Temple (–17)[edit]

Main article: Cleansing of the Temple

Verse 12[edit]

And Jesus went into the temple of God,
and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple,
and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers,
and the seats of them that sold doves,[11]

"Money changers": are certain people who sat in the temple at certain times, to receive the "half shekel", and sometimes change the money for it to themselves. It was a custom for every Israelite, once a year, to pay half a shekel towards the temple charge and service, based on the orders given by God to Moses in the wilderness during the numbering of the Israelites, to take half a shekel out of everyone twenty years of age and older, rich or poor (Exodus ), though this does not seem to be designed as a perpetual rule. However, it became a fixed rule, and was annually paid.[12] Every year a public notice was given in all the cities in Israel, that the time of paying the half shekel was nearing, so the people will be ready with their money, for everyone was obliged to pay it, as stated,[13] Notice being thus given,[14]"on the fifteenth day (of the same month), "tables" were placed in the province, or city (which Bartenora [14] interprets [as] Jerusalem; but Maimonides says,[13] the word used is the name of all the cities in the land of Israel, excepting Jerusalem), and on the twenty fifth they sit "in the sanctuary". The same is related by Maimonides.[15] This gives a plain account of these money changers, their tables, and their sitting in the temple, and on what account. These exchangers had a profit, called "Kolbon", in every shekel they changed.[16] This "Kolbon" gives the name "Collybistae" for these exchangers in this text.[17][18] The large gain must amount to a great deal of money. They seemed to work within the frame of law when Christ overturned their table, unless it should be objected, that this was not the time of their sitting, because that happened a few days before the Passover, which was in the month Nisan (the tenth of Nisan, when Christ entered the temple), whereas the half shekel should be paid in the month Adar until the twenty fifth of Adar. Moreover, these men had other business, such as money exchange, especially at such a time as the passover, when persons came from different parts of world to attend it; and might want to exchange their foreign money for current money.[19][20]

Verse 13[edit]

And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.[21]

Citing from Isaiah ; Jeremiah
Cross reference: Mark ; Luke

Authority of Jesus questioned (–27)[edit]

Main article: Authority of Jesus questioned

Verses 24–27[edit]

Jesus 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: 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?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet”. So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.”[22]

Allison notes that "this section is less about Jesus or [John] the Baptist than it is about the chief priests and elders, characterising these as (a) less spiritually aware and perceptive than the multitudes over whom they preside, and (b) moral cowards driven by expediency.

Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen (–46)[edit]

Main article: Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen

Verse 43[edit]

Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.[23]

Protestant biblical commentator Heinrich Meyer notes that "Jesus is not here referring to the Gentiles, as, since Eusebius’ time, many have supposed, but, as the use of the singular already plainly indicates, to the whole of the future subjects of the kingdom of the Messiah, conceived of as one people, which will therefore consist of Jews and Gentiles, [the] new Messianic people of God",[24] the "holy nation" addressed as such in 1 Peter The phrase "the fruits of it" means "the fruits of the kingdom".[25]

See also[edit]

  • Bethany and Bethphage on Mount of Olives
  • Fig tree
  • Parables of Jesus
  • Other related Bible parts: Psalm 8, Isaiah 5, Isaiah 56, Jeremiah 7, Zechariah 9, Mark 11, Mark 12, Luke 19, Luke 20, John 2, John 12

References[edit]

  1. ^"Liste Handschriften". Münster: Institute for New Testament Textual Research. Retrieved 27 August
  2. ^Thomas, J. David. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri LXIV (London: ), pp.&#;7–9.
  3. ^Kirkpatrick, A. F. (). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p.&#; Retrieved February 28,
  4. ^Matthew NKJV
  5. ^Carr, A. (), Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: Matthew 21, accessed 12 March
  6. ^ abNicoll, W. R., The Expositor's Greek Testament: Matthew 21, accessed 12 March
  7. ^Alford, H., Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary: Matthew 21, accessed 12 March
  8. ^Matthew NKJV
  9. ^Matthew NKJV
  10. ^"On the first day of Adar (corresponds to February) they proclaimed concerning the shekels. Misn. Shekalim, c. 1. sect. 1.
  11. ^ abMaimonides. Hilch. Shekalim, c. 1. sect. 1. 7. Quote: "it is an affirmative command of the law, that every man in Israel should pay the half shekel every year; even though a poor man that is maintained by alms, he is obliged to it, and must beg it of others, or sell his coat upon his back and pay it, as it is said, Exodus The rich shall not give more, etcAll are bound to give it, priests, Levites, and Israelites, and strangers, and servants, that are made free; but not women, nor servants, nor children."
  12. ^ abMisn. Shekalim, c. 1. sect. 3.
  13. ^Maimonides. Hilch. Shekalim, c. 1. sect. 9. Quote: "On the first of Adar they proclaim concerning the shekels, that every man may prepare his half shekel, and be ready to give it on the fifteenth; "the exchangers" sit in every province or city, and mildly ask it; everyone that gives them it, they take it of them; and he that does not give, they do not compel him to give: on the twenty fifth, they sit in the sanctuary to collect it; and henceforward they urge him that does not give, until he gives; and everyone that does not give, they oblige him to give pledge, and they, take his pledge, whether he will or not, and even his coat."
  14. ^Maimonides. Hilch. Shekalim, c. 3. sect. 1. Quote: "When a man went to an exchanger, and changed a shekel for two half shekels, he gave him an addition to the shekel; and the addition is called "Kolbon"; wherefore, when two men gave a shekel for them both, they were both obliged to pay the "Kolbon".
  15. ^The gain which these men had, is clarified in Misn. Shekalim, c. 1. sect. 7. Quote: "How much is the "Kolbon?" A silver "meah", according to. R. Meir; but the wise men say, half an one." (Maimonides. Hilch. Shekalim, c. 3. sect. 7)
  16. ^Maimonides & Bartenora in Misn. Shekalim, c. 1, sect. 7. & Cholin, c. 1. sect. 7. Quote: "what is the value of the "Kolbon?" At that time they gave two pence for the half shekel, the "Kolbon" was half a "meah", which is the twelfth part of a penny; and since, "Kolbon" less than that is not given." A "meah" was the half of a sixth part of the half shekel, and the twenty fourth part of a shekel, and weighed sixteen barley corns: half a "meah" was the forty eighth part of a shekel, and weighed eight barley"
  17. ^Maimonides. Hilch. Shekalim, c. 2. sect. 2. Quote "In the sanctuary there were before them, "continually", or "daily", thirteen chests (and there were as many tables according to Misn. Shekalim, c. 6. sect 1.); every chest was in the form of a trumpet: the first was for the shekels of the present year, the second for the shekels of the year past; the third for everyone that had a "Korban", or vow upon him to offer two turtledoves, or two young pigeons; the one a burnt offering, the other a sin offering: their price was, cast into this chest: the fourth for everyone that had the burnt offering of a fowl only on him, the price of that was cast into this chest. The fifth was for him, who freely gave money to buy wood, to be laid in order on the altar; the sixth, for him that freely gave money for the incense; the seventh, for him that freely gave gold for the mercy seat; the eighth, for the remainder of the sin offering; as when he separated the money for his sin offering, and took the sin offering, and there remained of the money, the rest he cast into this chest; the ninth, for the remainder of the trespass offering; the tenth, for the remainder of the doves for men and women in fluxes, and women after childbirth; the eleventh, for the remainder of the offerings of the Nazarite; the twelfth, for the remainder of the trespass offering of the leper: the thirteenth, for him that freely gave money for the burnt offering of a beast."
  18. ^John Gill. John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible. Exposition of the Old and New Testament. Published in Public DomainThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  19. ^Matthew KJV
  20. ^Matthew –27 NKJV
  21. ^Matthew NKJV
  22. ^Meyer, H. A. W., Meyer's NT Commentary on Matthew 21, accessed 5 October
  23. ^Matthew footnote in Holman Christian Standard Bible

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_21
The Holy Bible - Matthew Chapter 21 (KJV)

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