THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW
Matthew 21:1-27 Explanations
THE BEGINNING OF JESUS/YESHUA’S LAST WEEK
A. The triumphal entry.
1. (1-6) Jesus/Yeshua instructs His disciples regarding preparation for His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
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 20:19). 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.
b. You will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her: Jesus/Yeshua 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.
1). Mark tells us that the colt had never before been ridden (Mark 11:2), so that it would be only prudent to bring its mother as well to reassure it among the noisy crowd.
c. All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: Here, Jesus/Yeshua deliberately worked to fulfill prophecy, especially the prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, which many feel Jesus/Yeshua fulfilled to the exact day on His triumphal entry (Daniel 9:24-27).
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.
2. (7-11) Jesus/Yeshua receives and encourages adoration as the Messiah.
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/Yeshua as a great, triumphant person coming into Jerusalem in the season of Passover.
1) Wiseman says of the spreading out of garments for Jehu in 2 Kings 9:13: “The act of spreading out the garment was one of recognition, loyalty and promise of support.” (Wiseman)
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 14:4 and 2 Kings 6:26). They openly give Jesus/Yeshua the titles appropriate for the Messiah (Son of David. He who comes in the name of the LORD).
c. When He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved: Jesus/Yeshua 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.
d. This is Jesus/Yeshua, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee: This continues the earlier identification of Jesus/Yeshua with Nazareth (Matthew 2:23). It would sound strange to many – especially to the religious establishment – that a prophet would come from the obscure and unnoted city of Nazareth.
We must remember there were thousands to proclaimed Him the Savior, crying Hosanna, but only about 500 who gathered to see Him rise in the clouds after His resurrection. But only 120 met in the upper room and out of those only 3 were close confidants Peter, James, and John. And John laid his head on Jesus’/Yeshua’s chest and only John was given the revelation of Jesus Christ/ Yeshua Ha’ Masiach
B. Jesus cleanses the temple.
1. (12-13) Jesus forcibly stops the commercial desecration of the temple.
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 2:13-22, 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.
1). 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.
2). Yet Jesus’/Yeshua’s 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.
3). One source 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.
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).
1). Mark’s record contains the more complete quotation of Jesus’ reference to Isaiah 56:7: Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations?” (Mark 11:17). 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.
Rev. 18:13 states when talking about Babylon, the world system, (judgment/justice) And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
Symbolically/spiritually: Merchandizing the bodies and souls of men is placing much value on church organizations, church growth, buildings, membership, money to support , selling of book and tapes etc. Even much emphasis on conference fees, books, tapes could be with wrong motives the merchandizing of souls. Many leaders feel that God gave them the saints to make them successful and to pay money so they can be supported, build greater buildings, be on tv and take mission trips. There is nothing wrong with these activities taking place, but the perception and motive for such a minister is contrary to God’s purpose for giving to servant leaders for material gain. The disciples and even Paul had jobs. None of what they did was for worldly gain. Jesus/Yeshua told the disciples when sent out, 3And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.4 “Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” Luke 9:3-5 Money that was given to Jesus and His disciples was held in community and used to feed the poor.
2. (14) Jesus/Yeshua carries on God’s compassionate work in the temple courts.
1). 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. 2)After purging the court of the Gentiles of merchants and robbers, Jesus/Yeshua then ministered to the outcasts who congregated there.
c. 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.
Matt. 21:17-27 Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry.19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?”21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things:25 “The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’26 “But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.”27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
21:17-27 And he leaves them and goes from outside the city to Beth Anya — and remains there. YAH SHUA CURSES THE FIG TREE
And at dawn, when he returns to the city, he famishes: and he sees one fig tree in the way and comes to it, and finds naught within whatever except if leaves only: and he words to it, No fruit becomes within you again eternally. — and straightway the fig tree withers. And the disciples see and amaze, and are wording, How straightway the fig tree withers! Yah Shua answers, wording to them, Amen! I word to you, If you are trusting within, and not doubting, you not only work this to the fig tree, but even though you word to this mountain, Take and fall into the sea!— so be it. And all that you ask in prayer, trusting, you take.
RABBI PRIESTS AND ELDERS OF THE PEOPLE QUESTION THE AUTHORITY OF YAH SHUA And when Yah Shua comes to the priestal precinct there approach him Rabbi Priests and the elders of the people when doctrinating, and they word to him, By whose sultanship work you these? and, Who gives you this sultanship? And Yah Shua answers, wording to them, I also ask you, I — one word, if you word to me, I also word, I — to you in what sultanship I work these. The baptizing of Yah Chanan, from whence has it been? — Of the heavens? Or of humanity? And they reason with their souls, wording, If we word, Of the heavens, he words concerning us, Why trust you him not? — and if we word, Of humanity: we frighten of the congregation for all hold Yah Chanan as being a prophet. — and they answer Yah Shua, wording to him, We know not. Yah Shua words to them, Not even I — I word not to you in what sultanship I do these. Aramaic NC
A.The Lesson of the Fig Tree
1. (18-19) Jesus /Yeshua rebukes a fig tree.
1). He was perfectly human and therefore physically hungry, for hunger is a sign of health.
a. Let no fruit grow on you ever again: In a dramatic way, Jesus/Yeshua performed one of His few destructive miracles. His curse made the fig tree to wither away.
1). It is worth noting that the two destructive miracles of Jesus/Yeshua. This and the events that ended in the destruction of the herd of pigs, Matthew 8:30-32) were not directed towards people.
b. Found nothing on it but leaves: This explains why Jesus/Yeshua 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.
1).The first Adam came to the fig tree for leaves, but the Second Adam looks for figs.
20. In this acted-out-parable, Jesus warned of coming judgment/justice 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.
2. (20-22) How did Jesus/Yeshua do this?
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 ( by the faith of God). Mark 11:22-25 He then encouraged His marveling disciples to also have this kind of faith (the faith of God, faith without doubt), 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/Yeshua.
1). 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.
2). We know that we already have the God kind of faith in our spirit man. Gal. 2:20 But it must be activated in our soul without doubt.
B. Jesus/Yeshua answers the Jewish leaders.
1. (23-27) Jesus/Yeshua is questioned by the religious leaders as He comes back into the temple.
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/Yeshua drove out the moneychangers and merchants from the temple courts. Now He returned there to teach, unafraid of the religious leaders.
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/Yeshua as well (The baptism of John: where was it from?).
1). His question is far more profound. If the religious authorities rightly answer it, they will already have the correct answer to their own question.”
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/Yeshua didn’t answer their question to Him.
1). They could not say, of men, for they were cowards. They would not say, of heaven, for they were hypocrites.
2). Jesus/Yeshua kindly and compassionately met the needs of the hurting multitude, as demonstrated in Matthew 21:14. But Jesus/Yeshua didn’t show much patience with those who arrogantly questioned Him and hoped to trap Him in His own words. Jesus/Yeshua never fell into their trap.
We will continue with explanations Matt. 21 next week.
We will continue with Les.7 next week.
The blessings of the Lord are upon you whether by blood, adoption/sonship or assignment. The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. Prov. 10:22
David & Mary Sue