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Matthew 21

21:1  And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and came unto Bethphage1, unto the mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
    JESUS' TRIUMPHAL ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM. (From Bethany to Jerusalem and back, Sunday, April 2, A.D. 30.) Matthew 21:1-12 Matthew 21:14-17 ; Mark 11:1-11 ; Luke 19:29-44 ; John 12:12-19

  1. Bethphage. See Mark 11:1.

21:2  saying unto them, Go into the village that is over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her1: loose [them], and bring [them] unto me.

  1. Ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her. See Mark 11:2.

21:3  And if any one say aught unto you1, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.

  1. And if any one say aught unto you, etc. See Mark 11:3.

21:4  Now this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet1, saying,

  1. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet. A combination of Isaiah and Zechariah ( Isaiah 62:11 ; Zechariah 9:9 ).

21:5  Tell ye the daughter of Zion1, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee2, Meek3, and riding upon an ass4, And upon a colt the foal of an ass.

  1. Zion. The poetical name for the city of Jerusalem.

  2. Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, etc. The prophecy is a combination of Isaiah 62:11 ; Zechariah 9:9 .

  3. Meek. He entered in meekness, for the ass was a symbol of peace as the horse was of war ( Job 39:19-25 ), but there was nothing degradingabout riding such a beast.

  4. And riding upon an ass. This is the only instance in which Jesus rode. The Eastern ass is smaller, but livelier, and better framed thanthe specimens found in our country. They constituted a chief asset inthe property of the wealthy ( Genesis 12:16 ; Genesis 30:43 ; 1 Kings 1:38 ; 1 Chronicles 27:30

21:7  and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their garments1; and he sat thereon.

  1. And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their garments. See Mark 11:7. They prepared both beasts, not knowing which hewould choose to ride.

21:8  And the most part of the multitude1 spread their garments in the way2; and others cut branches from the trees, and spread them in the way.

  1. And the most part of the multitude. Matthew would have us know that the demonstration was no small affair, but was well-nigh universal.Josephus estimates that the number present at one Passover was threemillion, or about one-half the population of Judea and Galilee. Thelanguage of the Pharisees in John 12:19 --"the world"--shows that theremust have been indeed an immense multitude. The people had always beenready to acknowledge Jesus as king, and, seeing that he had now anevident disposition to accept their homage, they hastened to render it.

  2. Spread their garments in the way, etc. See Mark 11:8.

21:9  And the multitudes that went before him, and that followed1, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David2: Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest3.

  1. The multitudes that went before him, and that followed, etc. See Mark 11:9.

  2. The Son of David. See Matthew 9:27.

  3. Hosanna in the highest. See Mark 11:10.

21:10  And when he was come into Jerusalem1, all the city was stirred, saying, Who is this?

  1. And when he was come into Jerusalem. See Mark 11:11.

21:12  And Jesus entered into the temple of God1, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of he money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves;

  1. Jesus entered into the temple of God, etc. On the Monday following the triumphal entry. See Mark 11:15.

21:13  and he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers.

  1. My house shall be called the house of prayer, etc. See Mark 11:17.

21:14  And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple1; and he healed them.

    Matthew 21:14 Matthew 21:15

  1. The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, etc. Matthew mingles this scene with events which apparently occurred on Monday, butthe enthusiasm and the Hosanna cry evidently belonged to the triumphantSunday.

21:15  But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children that were crying in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the son of David1; they were moved with indignation,

  1. The children that were crying in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the son of David. The presence of our Lord in the Temple should,indeed, have been heralded with joy, for as that was the day in whichthe paschal lamb was presented and set apart, it was fitting thatChrist our passover should be presented there amidst rejoicing.

21:16  and said unto him, Hearest thou what these are saying? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea: did ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise?

  1. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise. Psalms 8:2 as rendered by the Septuagint.

21:17  And he left them, and went forth out of the city to Bethany, and lodged there.

  1. He left them, and went forth of the city into Bethany. See Mark 11:11.

21:18  Now in the morning as he returned to the city, he hungered1.

    BARREN FIG-TREE. TEMPLE CLEANSED. (Road from Bethany and Jerusalem. Monday, April 4, A.D. 30.) Matthew 21:18 Matthew 21:19 Matthew 21:12 Matthew 21:13 ; Mark 11:12-18 ; Luke 19:45-48

  1. Now in the morning as he returned to the city, he hungered. See Mark 11:12.

21:19  And seeing a fig tree by the way side1, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only; and he saith unto it, Let there be no fruit from thee henceforward for ever2. And immediately the fig tree withered away.

  1. And seeing a fig tree by the way side, etc. See Mark 11:13.

  2. Let there be no fruit from thee henceforward for ever. See Mark 11:14.

21:20  And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled1, saying, How did the fig tree immediately wither away2?

    FINDING THE FIG-TREE WITHERED. (Road from Bethany to Jerusalem, Tuesday, April 4, A.D. 30.) Matthew 21:20-22 ; Mark 11:19-25 ; Luke 21:37 Luke 21:38

  1. When the disciples saw it, they marvelled. See Mark 11:20.

  2. Saying, How did the fig tree immediately wither away? See Mark 11:21.

21:21  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do what is done to the fig tree, but even if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou taken up1 and cast into the sea, it shall be done.

  1. Even if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou taken up, etc. See Mark 11:23.

21:22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer1, believing, ye shall receive.

  1. All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, etc. See Mark 11:24.

21:23  And when he was come into the temple1, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things2? and who gave thee this authority?

    IN REPLY TO THE QUESTIONS AS TO HIS AUTHORITY, JESUS GIVES THE THIRD GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. (In the Court of the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, A.D. 30.) A. INTRODUCTION Matthew 21:23-27 ; Mark 11:27-33 ; Luke 20:1-8

  1. When he was come into the temple, etc. See Mark 11:27.

  2. By what authority doest thou these things? See Mark 11:28.

21:24  And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one question1, which if ye tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things.

  1. I also will ask you one question. See Mark 11:29.

21:25  The baptism of John, whence was it1? from heaven or from men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven2; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him?

  1. The baptism of John, whence was it? etc. See Mark 11:30.

  2. If we shall say, From heaven, etc, See Mark 11:31.

21:26  But if we shall say, From men1; we fear the multitude; for all hold John as a prophet.

  1. But if we shall say, From men, etc. See Mark 11:32.

21:27  And they answered Jesus, and said, We know not1. He also said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

  1. We know not, etc. See Mark 11:33.

21:28  But what think ye1? A man had two sons2; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in the vineyard.

    IN REPLY TO THE QUESTIONS AS TO HIS AUTHORITY, JESUS GIVES THE THIRD GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. (In the Court of the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, A.D. 30.) B. PARABLE OF THE TWO SONS. Matthew 21:28-32

  1. But what think ye? By these words Jesus put them on notice that he was about to propound something which would require an answer, andtherefore demanding the strictest attention.

  2. A man had two sons. The two sons stand for the Jewish common people.

21:29  And he answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented himself, and went1.

  1. I will not: but afterward he repented himself, and went. The common people made no special pretension to religious excellence, and therulers regarded them as very careless about the will or law of theirFather, God, and made disparaging contrasts between their own conductand that of the people ( John 7:48 John 7:49 ). But this very same commonpeople repented and did the will of God when they heard the preachingof John the Baptist ( Matthew 3:5 Matthew 3:6 ).

21:30  And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I [go], sir: and went not1.

  1. I [go], sir: and went not. The rulers, though all the while professing to be very zealous for the will of God, utterly refused toenter the kingdom or to work therein as God bade them to by the voiceof John the Baptist ( Matthew 3:7-9 ).

21:31  Which of the two did the will of his father? They say, The first1. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots2 go into the kingdom of God before you3.

  1. They say, The first. They gave the true answer and did not perceive that in so doing they confirmed a parable which condemned themselves.

  2. That the publicans and the harlots. The very worst representatives of the common people.

  3. Go into the kingdom of God before you. Rather than you.

21:32  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 saw it, did not even repent yourselves afterward, that ye might believe him.

  1. For John came to you in the way of righteousness. The term "righteousness", as Plumptre observes, seems used in a half-technicalsense, as expecting the aspect of righteousness which the Phariseesthemselves recognized ( Matthew 6:1 ), and which includes, as its threegreat elements, the almsgiving, fasting, and prayer that were soconspicuous both in the life and the teaching of the Baptist. Surelythey could have presented its demands in a form more acceptable to theJewish rulers.

    The parable of this subdivision is the outgrowth of the precedingsubdivision. These rulers had demanded that Jesus show his authorityfor his assumption of right as teacher, prophet, etc. The parable is anindirect response to this demand, as if Jesus said, "It is in vain forme to tell you that I act under the authority of the Father, fordespite all your great profession to the contrary, you really andactually, in your persistent rejection of another (the Baptist), whoalso acted under it, repudiate utterly his authority; though in sodoing you see yourselves condemned by the conduct of even the publicansand harlots, who have felt the force of the Father's authority, andhave repentantly obeyed it". The situation must have given great forceto the parable, for the rulers in their private conversation had justadmitted to each other that the people recognized and obeyed the divineauthority of John, while they, the rulers, rejected it.

21:33  Hear another parable: There was a man that was a householder1, who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into another country.

    IN REPLY TO THE QUESTIONS AS TO HIS AUTHORITY, JESUS GIVES THE THIRD GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. (In the Court of the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, A.D. 30.) C. PARABLE OF THE WICKED HUSBANDMEN. Matthew 21:33-46 ; Mark 12:1-12 ; Luke 20:9-19\

  1. There was a man that was a householder, etc. See Mark 12:1.

21:34  And when the season of the fruits drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, to receive his fruits.

  1. He sent his servants to the husbandman, etc. See Mark 12:2.

21:35  And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one1, and killed another, and stoned another.

    Matthew 21:35 Matthew 21:36

  1. The husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, etc. See Mark 12:3.

21:37  But afterward he sent unto them his son1, saying, They will reverence my son.

  1. But afterward he sent unto them his son, etc. See Mark 12:6.

21:38  But the husbandmen, when they saw the son, said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him1, and take his inheritance.

  1. This is the heir; come, let us kill him, etc. See Mark 12:7.

21:39  And they took him, and cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him1.

  1. And they took him, and cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. See Mark 12:8.

21:41  They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those miserable men1, and will let out the vineyard unto other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

  1. He will miserably destroy those miserable men, etc. See Luke 20:16.

21:42  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected1, The same was made the head of the corner; This was from the Lord, And it is marvelous in our eyes?

  1. The stone which the builders rejected, etc. See Mark 12:10.

21:44  And he that falleth on this stone shall be broken to pieces: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will scatter him as dust1.

  1. And he that falleth on this stone shall be broken to pieces: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will scatter him as dust. The stone, ofcourse, represents Jesus, and the two fallings set forth his passive("on whomsoever it shall fall") active ("he that falleth on thisstone") states. In the day when he passively submitted to be judged,those who condemned him were broken ( Matthew 27:3-5 ; Luke 23:48 ; Acts 2:37 ); butin the great day when he himself becomes the acting party and calls hisenemies to judgment, they shall prefer, and pray, that a mountain fallupon them ( Revelation 6:15-17 ).

21:46  And when they sought to lay hold on him1, they feared the multitudes, because they took him for a prophet.

  1. When they sought to lay hold on him, etc. See Mark 12:12.

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