After stating 4 times that He would be killed, but would rise again on the 3rd day, so that He might ‘give His life as a ransom for many’; that purpose immediately begins to play out with what has come to be called the Passion Week. More than 1/4 of Matthew’s Gospel account focus’ on this one-week period.
From Matthew 21, the account begins with 6 parts, the first being Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on Sunday, with verses 1 thru 11. The next account, verses 12 thru 17, is from the Monday following, when Jesus cleared the Temple Court of the Gentiles of all the merchantmen. In both of these instances, the people are using words, ‘the Son of David,’ which indicate they believed that Jesus is their Messiah. The third passage, 18 thru 22, commences that very long stretch that is Tuesday of Passion Week. This appears to run clear thru 26:16. Verses 18 thru 22 is the account of the fig tree that withers, and is used as an occasion to encourage faith on the part of His Disciples, particularly in prayer. When Jesus arrived at the Temple, He begins to teach the people, and the leaders come to question His authority with verses 23 thru 27. This gives rise to tell a parable of Two Sons to these leaders with verses 28 thru 32. The purpose was to express the necessity to #6, repent and #7, believe, which He called ‘the way of #1, righteousness,’ in order to enter #10, the Kingdom. This was followed with verses 33 to the last verse, 46, with the Parable of the Tenants to explain that due to Israel’s #2, sin and lack of #6 repentance, they were going to be #3, judged for rejecting the Son of God, even alluding to the #5, Gospel element of His death. It’s Passion Week, and Messiah must be slain for the sins of His people, then rise again on the 3rd day as their Savior!
Chapter 22 is 5 parts and extends His narrative with another parable, of a Wedding Banquet. Because of Jewish rejection of their Messiah, they would be excluded, but the Gentiles would be invited in. Thru all of this, we twice see the matter of #3, severe judgment upon rejecting people with verses 7 and 13. Verses 15 thru 22 had to do with the test of Jesus in the matter of paying taxes to Caesar. The passage, 23 thru 33, was of marriage at the resurrection. Jesus’ point in verse 32 turned on the very tense of the verb used in Exodus 3:6! Verses 34 thru 40 is perhaps more misused than any in Matthew, but ‘The Golden Rule’ from 7:12. Jesus is not instructing people that they can save themselves, if they just obey these 2 commandments as best they can! Note that they are perfect absolutes. No one can keep these! And, that is His point. From these, we are to see our #2, sin, fear for our #3, judgment, #6, repent and #7, believe on the Savior, in order to enter #10, the Kingdom! From this, Jesus attempts to point His hearers to Himself, from their own performance of the Law, with verses 41 thru 46. Look to Jesus as your Lord and Savior! You must be born again… it’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell