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Matthew 21:1-22

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The Parable Of The Vineyard (Luke 20:9-16; Matthew 21:33-41; Mark 12:1-9)


Matthew 21:1-22

Matthew 21:23-46

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Matthew 21

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Jesus: A Man Misunderstood

The Two Sons (Mt. 21:28-32)




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Matthew 21

Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph
And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them: Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 And if anyone says something to you, you shall say: The Lord has need of them. And immediately he will send them. 4 Now this happened so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying: 5 Tell the daughter of Zion: Look, your King comes to you, meek and riding upon an ass and upon a colt the foal of an ass.  
 6 And the disciples went and did as Jesus directed them, 7 and brought the ass and the colt and put on them their garments; and he sat thereon. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed shouted: Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!
   10 And when he had arrived in Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying: Who is this? 11 And the crowds said: This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.

Jesus clears the temple and heals people there
   12 And Jesus entered into the temple of God and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple. and overthrew the tables of the money-changers and the seats of them that sold the doves. 13 And he said to them: It is written, my house shall be called a house of prayer; but you make it a den of robbers.
   14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them. 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 David!, they were moved with indignation, and said to him: 16 Do you hear what these are saying? And Jesus said to them: Yes. Did you never read: Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise? 17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.
Jesus condemns a fig tree
 18 Now in the morning as he returned to the city, he became hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the roadside, he went to it and found nothing thereon but leaves only; and he said to it: Let there be no fruit from you again. And immediately the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying: How did the fig tree immediately wither away? 21 And Jesus answered and said to them: Truly I say to you, If you have faith and doubt not, you shall not only do what is done to the fig tree, but even if you shall say to this mountain: Be taken up and cast into the sea, it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.
Jesus is challenged by the authorities in the temple
23 And when he had entered into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said: By what authority do you do these things? And who gave you this authority? 24 And Jesus answered and said to them: I also will ask you one question, 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 discussed it among themselves, saying: If we shall say, from heaven, he will say to us, why then did you not believe him? 26 But if we shall say, from men, we fear the crowd, for all hold John as a prophet. 27 And they answered Jesus and said: We do not know. He replied to them: Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Jesus’ parable of the two sons
28 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said: Son, today go and work in the vineyard. 29 And 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; but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father? They replied: The first. Jesus said to them: Truly I say to you, that the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and afterwards when you saw it, you still did not repent and believe him.
Jesus’ parable of the vineyard and the husbandmen
33 Hear another parable. There was a man that was master of a house, who planted a vineyard and set a hedge about it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen; and went into another country. 34 And when the harvest season drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, to get his fruit. 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 the same to them. 37 And last of all he sent his son to them, saying: They will respect my son. 38 But the husbandmen, when they saw the son, said among themselves: This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and take his inheritance. 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen? 41 They said to him: He will miserably destroy those miserable men and will let out the vineyard to other husbandmen, who shall pay him the fruits in their seasons. 42 Jesus said to them: Did you never read in the scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner. This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. 43 Therefore say I to you: The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it. 44 And he that falls on this stone shall be broken to pieces, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will scatter him as dust.
   45 And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.



21:5 A humble King was a contradiction in terms. A King was supposed to ride upon a battle horse, not a donkey. It’s like a President arriving in a battered 20 year old small car, rather than a cavalcade of Mercedes.

21:9 The crowd were so fickle. A few days later they would cry “Crucify him!”; and 6 weeks later claim to have accepted the preaching of Peter. Fickleness is part of our nature; what God and Jesus desire, as we do in any relationship, is stability, loyalty to the end, faithfulness.

21:14 The blind and lame had been banned from the temple due to a Jewish misapplication of 2 Sam. 5:8. But Jesus welcomed into God’s house those whom man had banned from it.

21:18 He hungered for spiritual fruit on Israel, the fig tree. He was prepared to eat even the unripe fruit which the leaves promised to be there. He cursed it because there was an appearance of fruit, i.e. it had leaves, but in reality there wasn’t even the beginnings of spiritual fruit. He is satisfied with even our immature spirituality- if we do at least something (Mt. 25:27).

21:22 We should visualize the answer to our prayers and act and feel as if they have been answered. But this verse is only part of the overall Bible teaching about prayer- we can only pray with such confidence if we know it is according to God’s will (1 Jn. 5:14).

21:30 Often parables present two kinds of people- those who appear to be righteous and aren’t; and those who are openly disobedient but repent. Churches seem full of the first category, but these aren’t those whom God accepts. We have to accept that we are serious sinners, and repent.

21:35 These servants represent God’s prophets whom He sent to Israel in the Old Testament.

21:37 Here is the hopefulness of God. On one hand, He knew from the beginning that Israel would reject and kill His Son. But He had such hope that they would not. The God who is omnipotent sometimes and in some ways limits His power; and He does the same with His knowledge, His omniscience. He has entered into relationship with us and therefore He has in a way limited Himself in order to conduct that relationship with us on a legitimate, meaningful level. Hence we read of God’s shock, hurt and surprise at human actions.

21:44 This refers to how the image of Daniel 2, representing the kingdoms of men, is to be ground to powder by the return of Christ to the earth. He will judge those who reject Him along with the world whose ways they so loved (1 Cor. 11:32). We either fall upon Christ and are broken, through recognizing our sins (1 Pet. 2:8); or He will fall upon us and break us at the last day. So there is a logic to all this- we must be broken people now, or we will be broken then. The true community of believers is one of broken men and women.