(Mat 21:1 NASB) And when they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
(Mat 21:2 NASB) saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them, and bring them to Me.
(Mat 21:3 NASB) “And if anyone says something to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
Mat 21:3: Yeshua sent His disciples to Bethphage to get a donkey and a colt. There is no reason to assume anything supernatural in this incident. It is likely that Yeshua, or a representative of His, made these arrangements beforehand.
(Mat 21:4 NASB) Now this took place that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying,
(Mat 21:5 NASB) ”SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, ‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.'”
Mat 21:5: This is a quote from Zechariah 9:9. It is a very specific prophecy signifying the time that Yeshua publicly allowed Himself to be honored as King of Israel.
(Mat 21:6 NASB) And the disciples went and did just as Jesus had directed them,
(Mat 21:7 NASB) and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid on them their garments, on which He sat.
(Mat 21:8 NASB) And most of the multitude spread their garments in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees, and spreading them in the road.
Mat 21:8: 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).
(Mat 21:9 NASB) And the multitudes going before Him, and those who followed after were crying out, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!”
Mat 21:9: The multitudes were going before Him and following after Him. They were shouting “hosanna” which means “save now.” The quote is from Psalm 118:25-26 which is a request for prosperity.
(Mat 21:10 NASB) And when He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?”
(Mat 21:11 NASB) And the multitudes were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Mat 21:11: The multitudes recognize Him as “The Prophet” like Moses who was sent by Yahweh Himself (Deut. 18:15-19).
(Mat 21:12 NASB) And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves.
Mat 21:12: If Yeshua is indeed presenting Himself as a wave offering to or from Elohim, then He must be presented before Him. Therefore, it makes sense that He entered the Temple.
This cleansing of the Temple was prophesied by Malachi hundreds of years earlier (Mal. 3:1-3).
(Mat 21:13 NASB) And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”
Mat 21:13: Yeshua quotes two prophets while claiming authority to cleanse the Temple (Isa. 56:7, Jer. 7:11).
(Mat 21:14 NASB) And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
(Mat 21:15 NASB) But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant,
Mat 21:15: Yeshua demonstrated the proofs of being Messiah to the chief priests and scribes (Psalm 146:8, Isa. 35:4-6).
When they heard the children crying out for Him to “save now,” they became indignant. The fact of Him being Messiah did not affect the religiosity of the chief priests and scribes.
(Mat 21:16 NASB) and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABES THOU HAST PREPARED PRAISE FOR THYSELF’?”
Mat 21:16: This is a quote from Psalm 8:2. Earlier in Matthew, Yeshua credited little children with having wisdom while confounding the wise (Matt. 11:25-26).
(Mat 21:17 NASB) And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and lodged there.
(Mat 21:18 NASB) Now in the morning, when He returned to the city, He became hungry.
(Mat 21:19 NASB) And seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it, and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered.
Mat 21:19: Normally, small figs would appear before the leaves. Or at least they would appear at the same time. Large figs would appear after the leaves. But this tree has no figs.
Many Christian teachers claim that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel and Yeshua is cursing the nation of Israel. That is ridiculous. Israel is never represented in Scripture as a fig tree. It is signified by an olive tree. Regardless, Yeshua is about to cry over Jerusalem, not damn it.
This fig tree appears to be a symbol of hypocrisy. Yeshua rejects it completely. A fruit tree not bearing fruit is good for nothing (Matt. 7:19-23).
(Mat 21:20 NASB) And seeing this, the disciples marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”
(Mat 21:21 NASB) And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it shall happen.
(Mat 21:22 NASB) “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”
Mat 21:22: Elohim in His power, is able to do anything. All things are possible to him who believes. What does it mean to “believe?”
Believe – G4100. pisteuo, pist-yoo’-o; from G4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by impl. to entrust (espec. one’s spiritual well-being to Christ):–believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.
It means to entrust Him and commit to obey His Word. Yeshua gets these words from the Tanakh (Psalm 37:3-6, 21:1-7, 145:18-19, Deut 6:6-11, 2 Chron. 20:20).
(Mat 21:23 NASB) And when He had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?”
Mat 21:23: The chief priests and elders approach Yeshua in an authoritative manner. They believe they have the authority to question Him and demand answers. Yeshua will show them that they have no such authority.
(Mat 21:24 NASB) And Jesus answered and said to them, “I will ask you one thing too, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things.
(Mat 21:25 NASB) “The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?” And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’
(Mat 21:26 NASB) “But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude; for they all hold John to be a prophet.”
Mat 21:26: Yeshua is showing the religious leaders that He is skilled at theological riddles also. The question concerning John is an excellent one. If they say John’s baptism is of men, then they will lose credibility from among the people because they considered John a prophet. If they say his baptism is from heaven, then they should have held to his testimony of Yeshua.
They could not answer this and maintain their position of authority. They could only avoid answering.
(Mat 21:27 NASB) And answering Jesus, they said, “We do not know.” He also said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mat 21:27: These men considered themselves the authority among the people. But the fact is, they are just hypocritical men who are not interested in the things of the Father at all. They are hypocrites.
They are the fig tree that was cursed by Yeshua. They have the outward appearance of following the Father. But they actually bear no fruit.
(Mat 21:28 NASB) “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’
(Mat 21:29 NASB) “And he answered and said, ‘I will, sir’; and he did not go.
(Mat 21:30 NASB) “And he came to the second and said the same thing. But he answered and said, ‘I will not’; yet he afterward regretted it and went.
(Mat 21:31 NASB) “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The latter.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax-gatherers and harlots will get into the kingdom of God before you.
Mat 21:31: Yeshua tells this parable of two sons. One tried to leave the impression with his father that he would do his father’s will, but he did not. The second son was disobedient, but truly repented and obeyed.
The chief priests and elders are the hypocritical first sons. The repentant tax-gatherers and prostitutes are the second sons. They will enter the Kingdom of Elohim before the religious leaders.
(Mat 21:32 NASB) “For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax-gatherers and harlots did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.
Mat 21:32: John came proclaiming righteousness and they did not believe him. John condemned the Sadducees and Pharisees in the same way as Yeshua (Matt. 3:1-10).
When John proclaimed righteousness to the tax-gatherers and prostitutes, they repented. The Sadducees and Pharisees did not even feel remorse for their sins.
(Mat 21:33 NASB) “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey.
Mat 21:33: This parable is consistent with the others. The landowner is Elohim. The vineyard is Israel. This parable starts with a quote from Isaiah 5:1-7.
(Mat 21:34 NASB) “And when the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce.
(Mat 21:35 NASB) “And the vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third.
(Mat 21:36 NASB) “Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them.
Mat 21:36: The servants of the Landowner are the prophets.
(Mat 21:37 NASB) “But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
(Mat 21:38 NASB) “But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize his inheritance.’
(Mat 21:39 NASB) “And they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
(Mat 21:40 NASB) “Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?”
Mat 21:40: Yeshua is predicting His own death once again.
(Mat 21:41 NASB) They said to Him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.”
(Mat 21:42 NASB) Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES’?
Mat 21:42: Yeshua quotes Psalm 118:22-23. It is interesting to combine this with the previous verse (Psalm 118:21) that ends with the word “salvation.” The Hebrew word for Salvation is “Yeshua.”
(Mat 21:43 NASB) “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.
Mat 21:43: Though the Pharisees were to inherit the Kingdom, they will not. It will be given to someone who will be obedient and produce fruit.
(Mat 21:44 NASB) “And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”
Mat 21:44: Yeshua is quoting Isaiah 8:14-16. Those that are against Yeshua will be crushed like dust.
(Mat 21:45 NASB) And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.
(Mat 21:46 NASB) And when they sought to seize Him, they feared the multitudes, because they held Him to be a prophet.
Mat 21:46: Yeshua is intentionally kindling the fire that will lead to His death that He has been speaking of. But the time was not just yet…
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas