Matthew 21

Matthew 21

What did I learn about Jesus?

  • Jesus was given the titles by the crowds, “the Son of David” (in answer to the prophecy that the Messiah would be from the line of David) and “prophet.”
  • Jesus has a brilliant mind, and worthily discusses and debates with the smartest religious and political people of the day.

What did I learn about disciple-making?

  • There are times to be bold verbally about our faith in Jesus.


Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:

For most of his ministry, Jesus steered clear of Jerusalem. He would arrive, teach, minister but then leave. This was the center of Jewish power and authority, and He was not yet ready to take them on. But in this chapter He does so with a vengeance. He calls himself “Lord” in verse 3. His ride into town on a colt is a fulfillment of prophecy (Zech. 9:9). He performs a violent act of cleansing in the temple. He curses a fruitless fig tree. And He pronounces further judgment on the religious leaders whom He likens to the murderers of an absentee landlord’s servants and son (JESUS is the Son in this parable, of course.) In other words, after avoiding Jerusalem, Jesus now claims it and pronounces his power over it! What amazes me, after cleansing the temple and thus upsetting everyone who made a living there, He continues to minister and returns again back to the “scene of the crime.” He was so bold! 

We present-day disciples are cautious about not standing out — about blending in. But Jesus’ bold, angry actions against the religious manipulations of his people chastise our caution, I think.

This chapter is a picture of angry Jesus. Cleansing the temple and cursing a fruitless fig tree (it is a parable for a recurring theme… something that appears healthy on the outside but does not bear fruit. Again, the hypocritical religious leaders.) We cannot ignore this side of Christ. Frequently in Matthew and other gospels, he reminds us that fruitless followers—fans, really—will be dealt with drastically. 

So… what is the fruit of your religious life? Does it just look good or can you point to actions, to disciples of your own making, that give evidence of your supposed faith? Harsh, I know. But this comes from Jesus himself.