Entry into Jerusalem (21:1-11)
Jesus at the Temple (21:12-17)
Causing the Fig
Tree to Wither (21:18-22)
hosanna, Son of David, highest, house of prayer, wonderful, praise, faith,
1. The disciples
went and did as Jesus commanded them (6). The multitude followed and cried out
with shouts of praise (8,9). All the
city was moved, saying “Who is this”? (10). The blind
and the lame came to Him (14). The children praised Him (15). The chief priests
and scribes were indignant (15). The disciples marveled (20).
1. The great
multitude spread their clothes on the road and cut down branches and spread
them on the road. They went before and followed Jesus, crying out songs of
praise and prayer. The question by the entire city, “Who is this?” and the
response from the multitude, “This is Jesus…” was like the magnificent voice of
a choir singing in unison. The whole city of Jerusalem was stirred.
2. It was the
fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy. The owner of the donkey and the colt
agreed to lend them to Jesus. The colt, which no one has sat
on (Mk 11:2), was obedient instead of unruly. In unison, the great crowd
welcomed and praised the King with great fervor.
3a. The donkey is a lowly animal, which a king wouldn’t normally
3b. He is gentle
and lowly in heart (11:29). He never displayed His power and authority just to
receive people’s applause. His gentleness and humility made Him accessible by
all people, including the sick, the children, and the sinners. Likewise, He is
not a God who is far removed from us, but is someone we can approach with
5b. The sellers and buyers versus the blind and the lame. The
chief priests and scribes versus the children. Although everyone was at the
temple, not everyone pleased God. Although everyone “worshiped God,” not
everyone did so with the right attitude and intention.
6a. The term “den of thieves” is a quotation from Jer 7:11. The people worshiped God on the surface, but
their deeds were evil. The buyers and sellers seemed to be engaged in worship,
but they were evil either in their dealings or in their intention. Such
practice profaned the temple
of God, which God had
established as a place where people of all nations could call on God’s name.
6b. True worship
involves upright conduct and a sincere heart.
7. “Have you
never read?” Jesus exposed the ignorance of the chief priests and scribes in
the Scriptures and in God’s will. They were supposed to be the most
knowledgeable and closest to God, but they were more ignorant than the
children, who acknowledged Jesus as the Son of David. The lesson here is that
God reveals His will to the simple and sincere but hides it from those who do
not believe and are wise in their own eyes (11:25,26).
8a. Just as the
fig tree showed signs of life but was actually barren, many worshippers of God
(such as the buyers and sellers and the chief priests and scribes) were
actually unbelieving and far from God. The prophet Jeremiah compared God’s
people to the unfruitful fig tree (Jer 8:13; 24:1-8).
So the Lord’s cursing of the fig tree could be symbolic of God’s judgment on
the unbelieving race (cf. Mt 21:43).
8b. Having the appearance of godliness but indulging in sin
(2Tim 3:1-5). Hypocritically carrying out some religious
duties but having no sincere desire to obey God’s will (Mt 15:3-9). Using religion for self interest (1Tim 6:3-5). Preaching
false doctrines in the name of Christ (2Cor 11:13,14;
9a. The phrase “whatever you ask in prayer” must be qualified if
we were to look at other passages in the Bible. If our request is for the
purpose of indulgence, we will not receive what we ask for (Jas 4:3-4). The
apostle Paul also did not receive what he prayed for, because God had a better
purpose in his life (2Cor 12:7-9).
involves believing without doubt that God exists and that He rewards those who
seek Him (21; Heb 11:6). Faith means believing God’s promise even before its
fulfillment (Heb 11:1). Faith also involves trusting God’s sovereign choice and
that He will always do the best at the right time (Mt 26:39). So in whatever we
ask, we need to first examine our motive and ask that God’s will be done. Then
we will receive what we ask for (God’s will be done), even if God’s way turned out
to be different from our expectations (e.g. Paul’s prayer concerning the thorn
in his flesh; 2Cor 12:7-10).