21
Jesus entered Jerusalem humbly on a donkey, but with great acclaim by the crowd.
Matthew 21:1-11
1-2 As we approached Jerusalem, we came near Bethphage village, near Olive Tree Hill. Jesus said to two of his disciples, “Go to the village just ahead of us. As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey and her foal that are {someone has} tied up. Untie them and bring them here to me. If anyone says anything to you about your doing that, tell him, ‘The Lord needs them.’ He will then allow you to lead them away.” 4-5 When all this happened, what was written by a prophet {what a prophet wrote about} was fulfilled {happened}. The prophet wrote, “Tell the people who live in Jerusalem [SYN], ‘Look! Your king is coming to you! He will come humbly. He will show that he is humble, because he will be riding on a colt, the offspring of a donkey.’ ”
So the two disciples went and did what Jesus told them to do. They brought the donkey and its colt to Jesus. They placed their cloaks on them to make something for him to sit on. Then Jesus mounted the colt and sat on the cloaks. Then a large crowd spread some of their clothing on the road, and other people cut off branches from palm trees and spread them on the road. They did those things to decorate the road in order to honor Jesus. The crowds that walked in front of him and those who walked behind him were shouting things like, “Praise the Messiah, the descendant of King David!” “May the Lord God bless this one who comes as God's representative and with God's authority [MTY].” “Praise God, who is in the highest heaven!” 10 As Jesus entered Jerusalem, a crowd of people [MTY] from all over the city became excited and were saying, “Why are they honoring this man like that?” 11 The crowd that was already following him said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee!”
Jesus chased buyers and sellers from the temple, and he rebuked the Jewish leaders for objecting to children praising him.
Matthew 21:12-17
12 Then Jesus went into the Temple courtyard and chased out all of those who were buying and selling things there. He also overturned the tables of those who were giving Temple tax money in exchange for Roman coins, and he overturned the seats of those who were selling pigeons for sacrifices. 13 Then he said to them, “It is {◄ Jeremiah/A prophet► has} written in the Scriptures that God said, ‘ I want my house to be called a place where people pray’, but you bandits have made it [MET] your hideout!”
14 After that, many blind people and lame people came to Jesus in the temple in order that he would heal them, and he healed them. 15 The high priests and the men who taught the people the Jewish laws saw the wonderful deeds that Jesus did. They also saw and heard the children shouting in the Temple, “We praise the Messiah, the descendant of King David!” The religious leaders were indignant because they did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. 16  They thought that Jesus should not be allowing the children to say that, so they asked him, “ How can you tolerate this [RHQ]? Do you hear what these children are shouting?” Then Jesus said to them, “Yes, I hear them, but if you remembered what you have read in the Scriptures about children praising me, you would know that God is pleased [RHQ] with them. The psalmist wrote, saying to God, ‘You have taught infants and other children to praise you perfectly.’ ”
17 Then Jesus left the city. We disciples went with him to Bethany town, and we slept there that night.
Jesus taught the disciples a lesson from what happened to a fig tree.
Matthew 21:18-22
18 Early the next morning, when we were returning to the city, Jesus was hungry. 19 He saw a fig tree near the road. So he went over to it to pick some figs to eat. But when he got close, he saw that there were no figs on the tree. There were only leaves on it. So to illustrate how God would punish the nation of Israel, he said to the fig tree, “May you never again produce figs!” As a result, the fig tree withered that night. 20  The next day when we disciples saw what had happened to the tree, we marveled, and we said to Jesus, “◄It is astonishing that the fig tree withered so quickly!/How is it that the fig tree dried up so quickly?►” [RHQ] 21 Jesus said to us, “Think about this: If you believe that God has power to do what you ask him to and you do not doubt that, you will be able to do things like what I have done to this fig tree. You will even be able to do marvelous deeds like saying to a nearby hill, ‘Uproot yourself and throw yourself into the sea’, and it will happen! 22 In addition to that, whenever you ask God for something when you pray to him, if you believe that he will give it to you, you will receive it from him.”
Jesus refused to state the basis for his authority, because the Jewish leaders refused to admit where John the Baptizer's authority came from.
Matthew 21:23-27
23 After that, Jesus went into the Temple courtyard. While he was teaching the people, the chief priests and the elders of the Jewish Council approached him. They asked, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who authorized you to do what you did here yesterday [DOU]?” 24 Jesus said to them, “I also will ask you a question, and if you answer me, I will tell you who authorized me to do these things. 25 Where did John the Baptizer get his authority to baptize those who came to him? Did he get it from God or from people? [MTY/EUP]” The chief priests and elders debated among themselves about what they should answer. They said to each other, “If we say, ‘ It was [MTY/EUP] from God’, he will say to us, ‘Then ◄you should have believed his message!/why did you not believe John's message?► [RHQ]’ 26 If we say, ‘It was from people’, we are afraid that the crowd will react violently, because all the people believe that John was a prophet sent by God.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know where John got his authority.” Then he said to them, “ Because you did not answer my question, I will not tell you who authorized me to do the things I did here yesterday.”
Jesus rebuked the religious leaders and said that it is more likely that God would accept notorious sinners than that he would accept them.
Matthew 21:28-32
28  Then Jesus said to the chief priests and elders, “Tell me [RHQ] what you think about what I am about to tell you. There was a man who had two sons. He went to his older son and said, ‘My son, go and work in my vineyard today!’ 29 But the son said to his father, ‘I do not want to go and work in your vineyard today!’ But later he changed his mind, and he went to the vineyard and worked. 30 Then the father approached his younger son and said what he had said to his older son. That son said, ‘Sir, I will go and work in the vineyard today.’ But he did not go there. 31 So which of the man's two sons did what their father desired?” They answered, “The older son.” Jesus explained to them what that parable meant by saying, “Think about this: It is more likely that other people, including tax collectors and prostitutes, whom you think are very sinful, will enter where God rules, than it is that you Jewish leaders will enter. 32 I say this to you because, even though John the Baptizer explained to you how to live righteously, you did not believe his message. But tax collectors and prostitutes believed his message, and they turned away from their sinful behavior. In contrast, you, even though you saw what they did, refused to turn away from your sinful behavior, and you did not believe John's message.”
Jesus told a parable about the Jewish religious leaders rejecting him as Messiah.
Matthew 21:33-46
33 “Listen to another parable that I will tell you. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He built a fence around it. He dug a hole in the ground inside the fence. He placed in the hole a stone tank to collect the juice that would be pressed out of the grapes. He also built a tower inside that fence that someone would sit in to guard that vineyard. He arranged for some men to care for the vineyard and to give him some of the grapes in return. Then he went away to another country. 34 When it was time to harvest the grapes, the landowner sent some of his servants to the men who were taking caeg of the vineyard to get his share of the grapes that the vineyard had produced. 35 But the renters seized the servants. They beat one of them, they killed another one, and killed another one of them by throwing stones at him. 36  So the landowner sent more servants than he had sent the first time. The renters treated those servants the same way that they had treated the other servants. 37 Later, knowing this, the landowner sent his son to the renters to get his share of the grapes. When he sent him, he said to himself, ‘They will certainly respect my son and give him some of the grapes.’ 38 But when the renters saw his son arriving, they said to each other, ‘This is the man who will inherit this vineyard! Let's kill him and divide the property among ourselves.’ 39 So they grabbed him, dragged him outside the vineyard, and killed him. 40  Now I ask you, when the landowner returns to his vineyard, what do you think he will do to those renters?” 41  The chief priests and elders replied, “He will thoroughly destroy those wicked renters! Then he will rent the vineyard to others. They will give him his share of the grapes when they are ripe.” 42 Jesus said to them, “ That is right, so you need to think carefully about these words which you have read [RHQ] in the Scriptures:
The builders rejected a certain stone. But others put that same stone in its proper place, and it has become the most important stone of the building [MET]. The Lord has done this, and we marvel as we look at it.
43 So, because you reject me, I am going to tell you this: God will no longer let you Jews be the people over whom he rules. Instead, he will let non-Jews be the people over whom he rules, and they will do [IDM] what he asks them to do. 44  The important stone in the building represents me, the Messiah, and those who reject me are like people who fall on this stone. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken into pieces {This cornerstone will break into pieces anyone who falls on it}, and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
45 When the chief priests and the elders who were Pharisees heard this parable, they realized that he was accusing them because they did not believe that he was the Messiah. 46 They wanted to seize him, but they did not do so because they were afraid of what the crowds would do if they did that, because the crowds considered that Jesus was a prophet.