As the sun was rising on that next Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, came to the tomb. The other Gospels tell us that Salome was with them and that there were probably other women with them also (Mark 16:1-2, Luke 23:56 – 24:1). John just mentions Mary Magdalene, because she is the one who ran and told the disciples (John 20:1-2).
The chief priests and elders took counsel against Yeshua. Apparently they found Him guilty, even though He was innocent of any evil. But this was necessary in order for prophecy to be fulfilled.
Now, if we have this timing correct, this is on a Tuesday and Passover is on Thursday in 32 AD… Some people claim that Yeshua was crucified on a Friday, but that is not possible. We are told in John 11:54 to John 12:1 that Yeshua traveled from Bethany to Jerusalem six days previous. That means He would have walked at least 15 miles as the crow flies on that day. It was probably closer to 25 miles or more since waterways had to be crossed. If Yeshua were crucified on a Friday, six days previous would have been on the Sabbath Day. He probably would not have traveled that far on the Sabbath. Paul sometimes made it a point not to travel on the Sabbath. Yeshua would have done the same unless it was absolutely necessary.
This chapter is to be taken in context of the way the previous chapter ends. Yeshua was just saying that we are not to be “asleep” or act as if we are unawares. This is a reference to keeping Torah in our lives.
In this chapter in Matthew, we have a discourse by the Yeshua that speaks of the signs that point to His second coming and of the end of the age. The disciples already were familiar with what would happen on the last days because of the writings of the prophets (Zeph. 1:14-18, Micah 5:5-15, and many others). They knew it would be a terrible and dreadful time. They just didn’t know “when” it would take place. There are many out there who would love to set precise times and dates for the return of the Messiah, but He told us we would not know the hour or the day (Matt. 25:13).
Christianity has struggled with the answer to this passage. Is Yeshua saying the opposite of what He has been saying all along? Is He now saying to obey what the Pharisees say and follow their traditions even though their actions are wrong? One good answer is to look in the Shem Tov.
The King is Elohim (Psalm 45:10-16). The Wedding Feast is the marriage supper of the Lamb. This is the event that will apparently usher in the Kingdom of Heaven. His slaves are His prophets He sent to warn Israel (Jer. 25:4). Those who had been unwilling to come are the Jewish people who would not listen to Him in that day, especially the religious leaders (Jer. 6:16-17).
The multitudes heard of the miracles performed by Yeshua and were desiring to honor Him as Messiah. It would appear that the use of the branches might indicate that they are offering Him as a “wave offering” to Yahweh (Num. 8:11-13). Yeshua is presented as the Lamb of Elohim and is honored in a similar way after His return (Rev. 7:9-10).
Yeshua uses a parable to illustrate this Truth. In the parable, the landowner is Yeshua, or the Father. This is consistent with the parables told in chapter 13. The vineyard is Israel (Isaiah 5:1-6). The workers in the vineyard are those who sacrificed themselves to be followers of Messiah obedient to His Father’s Word. Those in Israel agreed to follow Him and they will enter the Kingdom of Heaven after the regeneration. This agreement they made is the Covenant they have with the Father (Exodus 19:5-8). The payment they agreed to receive is their apportionment in the land. Each man is to get an equal portion of the Land (Ezek. 47:13-14).
Once again, the Pharisees were trying to put Yeshua on the spot publicly. The dilemma (at least the Pharisees perceived it as a dilemma) is that Elohim says He hates divorce (Mal. 2:14-16). But Torah allows for divorce in the case of indecency in the woman (and probably in the man also – remez) (Deut. 24:1-4). The Pharisees thought they could publicly test Yeshua because there were two rabbinic schools of thought on divorce in those days. Some taught that it was allowed only in the case of some sexual indecency while others taught that it was allowed for trivial reasons. They probably brought this up in order to at least divide the crowd that was following Him.
Humbling oneself as a child comes from the Tanakh (Psalm 131:1-3). We are to humble ourselves as a little child relying on his mother.
This was a picture of the Kingdom when it comes. Transfiguration essentially means “transformed.” This was a picture of Yeshua in His resurrected state along with Elijah and Moses. In this vision, Moses and Elijah are both transformed also. Moses represents those who have died in faithfulness to Elohim. Elijah represents those who will not taste death before He returns. When Yeshua returns, those dead in Messiah will be raised and those still alive will be caught up in the air to be with Him. We do not know what we will be like, but we know we will be like Him (1 John 3:2).