Matthew 21:12-22

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

JESUS’ DRIVING THE TRADERS FROM

THE TEMPLE AND JESUS’ COMMENTS

REGARDING THE BARREN FIG TREE

INTRODUCTION:

 

The Problems of the King includes the narrative about Jesus (19:3 - 23:39), the Olivet Discourse (24:1 - 25:46), and the concluding statement, Matthew 26:1-2(1) And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, (2) Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

 

The narrative about Jesus in chapter 21 includes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (21:1-11), His driving the traders from the temple (21:12-17), His comments regarding the barren fig tree (21:18-22), His authority challenged by the chief priests and elders (21:23-27), His parable of the two sons (21:28-32), and His parable of the householder who planted a vineyard (21:33-46).

 

    I.     JESUS’ DRIVING THE TRADERS FROM THE TEMPLE – 21:12-17

 

            A.  JESUS ENTERED THE TEMPLE AND DROVE OUT ALL THOSE SELLING AND BUYING AND OVERTURNED THE MONEYCHANGERS’ TABLES AND THE SEATS OF THOSE SELLING DOVES – 21:12

 

Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.

 

And Jesus went into the temple of God is Jesus entered the temple of God and indicates that Jesus went into the courtyard of the temple or temple area rather than into the actual temple itself. People who were not priest were not permitted to enter the temple.

 

And cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple is and drove out (or expelled) all the ones who were selling and buying (or purchasing) in the temple.

 

And overthrew the tables of the moneychangers is and turned over (or upset) the tables of the moneychangers.

 

And the seats of them that sold doves indicates that Jesus also turned over (or upset) the seats (or chairs) of the ones who were selling the doves (or pigeons).

 

            B.  JESUS QUOTED FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT REGARDING THE TEMPLE – 21:13

 

Matthew 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

 

And said unto them is and He (i.e. Jesus) says to them (i.e. to the ones selling and buying, to the moneychangers, and to the ones selling doves).

 

It is written is it has been written, and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

 

What has been written is, My house shall be called the house of prayer; and it has been written in Isaiah 56:7 .

 

Isaiah 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

 

It is the LORD Who has said this. Its reference is to Yahweh or Jehovah.

 

My house is the LORD’s house and refers to the temple.

 

Shall be called indicates what the temple is and how the temple should be regarded.

 

The house of prayer is simply house of prayer, which means a place where prayer is to be made.

 

But ye have made it a den of thieves has been quoted from Jeremiah 7:11 .

 

Jeremiah 7:11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.

 

Ye is you (plural) and is emphatic.

 

It refers to those in charge of the temple as well as to those who were in the temple selling, buying, changing money, and selling doves.

 

In addition, have made it is made it, where it refers to the temple. It has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

 

The temple was made a den of thieves in the past and remained a den of thieves at the time Jesus cleansed it.

 

A den is primarily used of a cave, but in this context it suggests a hideout.

 

Of thieves (i.e. of robbers) suggests that the temple has become a place where thieves hide out.

 

They are stealing from the people by charging exorbitant prices for their services under the guise of serving the Lord.

 

Jesus’ cleansing of the temple took place less than one week before His crucifixion, but this was not the first time Jesus cleansed the temple. He did this previously in John 2:13-16 at the beginning of His public ministry.

 

            C.  JESUS HEALED THE BLIND AND LAME PEOPLE WHO CAME TO HIM IN THE TEMPLE – 21:14

 

And the blind is simply and blind (ones), and lame is lame (ones) or crippled (ones).

 

Came to him means came to (or approached) Him (i.e. Jesus).

 

In the temple indicates where Jesus was when blind people and crippled people approached Him. He was not in the temple itself but in the courtyard or temple area.

 

And he healed them means that Jesus healed the blind and the lame persons who came to Him. It implies that He healed all of them and that none of the blind or of the crippled left the temple area that day still blind or still crippled.

 

            D.  THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND SCRIBES WERE UPSET WHEN THEY SAW WHAT JESUS DID IN THE TEMPLE AND HEARD WHAT THE CHILDREN WERE SAYING; BUT JESUS REMINDED THEM OF WHAT WAS WRITTEN IN ???-16

 

Matthew 21:15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased.

 

And when may instead be understood in the sense of and after or and because.

 

The chief priests and scribes represent the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem.

 

Saw suggests that they perceived these things with their own eyes.

 

What they saw was the wonderful things that he did which suggests the wonders which Jesus did.

 

Healing the blind and the lame were wonderful things which they could not deny.

 

Not only did the chief priests and scribes see the wonderful things which Jesus did, but they also saw the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David.

 

Crying is calling or crying out (with a loud voice), and its tense indicates ongoing or repeated action occurring at the same time the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things Jesus did.

 

And saying indicates what the children kept crying out: Hosanna to the Son of David.

 

It was previously seen in verse 9.

 

Hosanna is a shout of praise.

 

It is a combination of two Hebrew words which mean help (or save) I (or we) pray and was familiar to everyone in Israel.

 

To the Son of David indicates that at this time the children were praising Jesus as the Messiah.

 

They were sore displeased indicates the reaction of the chief priests and scribes to the wonderful things Jesus did and to the children crying out loudly, Hosanna to the Son of David.

 

They were sore displeased means that they were indignant (or angry) or they became indignant (or angry).

 

Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

 

Jesus reminded the chief priests and scribes of something written in Psalms 8:2 .

 

And said unto him means that the chief priests and scribes said to Jesus.

 

What they said is, Hearest thou what these say?, which means, Do you hear (i.e. are you hearing or are you listening to) what these (children) are saying?

 

And Jesus saith unto them, Yea is and Jesus says to them, Yes.

 

He did indeed hear what the children were saying. Furthermore, He approved of it; or He would have stopped them from saying it and corrected them.

 

Jesus’ answer continues, Have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

 

Have you never read? suggests, Did you chief priests and scribes never read?; and it has been translated as emphasizing its existing result.

 

Jesus then quotes Psalms 8:2 .

 

Psalms 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

 

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings suggests out of the mouth of very young children (i.e. infants, children) and nursing (babies).

 

Thou hast perfected praise is, You have prepared praise for Yourself.

 

In Psalms 8:2 , Thou is the LORD our Lord.

 

It indicates that God is able to use even the very youngest children to praise Himself.

 

By contrast, the chief priests and scribes could not bring themselves to praise Jesus.

 

            E.  JESUS LEFT JERUSALEM AND LODGED IN BETHANY – 21:17

 

Matthew 21:17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

 

And he (i.e. Jesus) left them (i.e. the chief priests, scribes, and the people including the children in the temple area).

 

And (He, i.e. Jesus) went out of the city into Bethany, a village on the Mount of Olives. Bethany was the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus and Simon the Leper and also the place from which He would eventually ascend to heaven after His resurrection.

 

And he lodged there suggests and He spent the night there (or in that place, i.e. in Bethany).

 

  II.     JESUS’ COMMENTS REGARDING THE BARREN FIG TREE – 21:18-22

 

            A.  JESUS RETURNED FROM BETHANY TO JERUSALEM AND WAS HUNGRY – 21:18

 

Matthew 21:18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

 

Now (or and) in the morning suggests and early in the morning.

 

As he returned into the city suggests while He (i.e. Jesus) was returning into the city (i.e. into Jerusalem).

 

He hungered suggests He became hungry or He was hungry.

 

            B.  WHEN JESUS FOUND A FIG TREE WHICH SHOULD HAVE HAD FIGS ON IT BUT HAD NOTHING BUT LEAVES, HE CURSED IT; AND IT DRIED UP – 21:19

 

Matthew 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

 

And when he (i.e. Jesus) saw a fig tree in the way is understood in the sense of and after He noticed a fig tree by the road (or by the roadside).

 

He came to it indicates that Jesus came (or went) to the fig tree.

 

And found nothing thereon, but leaves only means that He found no figs on the fig tree. All He found was leaves.

 

But leaves only is except leaves only. Although there should have been figs on the tree, there were none.

 

And said unto it is and He says to it (i.e. to the fig tree).

 

Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever is, May fruit no longer be produced from you forever.

 

And presently the fig tree withered away is at once (or immediately) the fig tree dried up.

 

            C.  THE DISCIPLES WERE AMAZED AT HOW QUICKLY THE FIG TREE DRIED UP – 21:20

 

Matthew 21:20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

 

And when the disciples saw it refers to the drying up or withering of the fig tree.

 

They (i.e. the disciples) marvelled is they were astonished or amazed.

 

Saying suggests and were saying.

 

It introduces their comment expressing their amazement: How soon is the fig tree withered away! It is, How (did) the fig tree dry up immediately?

 

            D.  JESUS ADVISED HIS DISCIPLES THAT, IF THEY HAD FAITH, THEY COULD MOVE MOUNTAINS – 21:21

 

Matthew 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

 

Jesus answered and said unto them introduces what Jesus said to His disciples.

 

Verily is truly.

 

I say unto you is I (i.e. Jesus) am saying (or declaring) to you (i.e. to you disciples).

 

If ye have faith, and doubt not is the condition in a conditional statement whose structure indicates that no assumption is made regarding its truthfulness.

 

It is if you (plural) have faith (i.e. belief or trust) and do not doubt (or do not waver).

 

The conclusion of this condition is the rest of this verse, which contains a second conditional statement.

 

Ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree is you (plural) will not only do what (is done) to the fig tree.

 

As indicated by the italics, which is done has been supplied by the translators in reference to causing the fig tree to dry up.

 

But also introduces a statement in strong contrast to Ye shall not only do what (is done) to the fig tree.

 

It is a second thing which the disciples will be able to do if they have faith.

 

It is also in the form of a conditional statement whose structure indicates that no assumption may be made regarding its truthfulness.

 

The condition is, If ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and its conclusion is, it shall be done.

 

If ye shall say unto this mountain is if you (plural) say to this mountain.

 

Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea is be picked up (i.e. be taken up or arise), and be thrown into the sea.

 

It shall be done is it will happen or it will take place. It indicates that they will be able to accomplish tremendous things through prayer. It must be remembered that these things must be consistent with God’s will.

 

            E.  JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES THAT IF THEY HAD FAITH, THEY WOULD RECEIVE WHATEVER THEY REQUESTED IN PRAYER – 21:22

 

Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

 

And all things . . . ye shall receive is literally, You will receive all things.

 

Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer limits the meaning of all things.

 

It is whatever you (plural) ask in prayer.

 

Ye refers to the disciples.

 

Believing is understood in the sense of if you believe.

 

Ye shall receive is you will get or you will obtain, and its tense indicates something which will definitely happen in the future.

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