Read Matthew 21

Highlights:

Jesus' triumphal entry; Temple cleansed; fig tree cursed; more parables; tribute to Caesar; greatest Commandment.

All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass (Matt. 21:4-5).

Jesus was on His way into Jerusalem on Sunday morning (Palm Sunday), to present Himself as King of the Kingdom of Heaven. He began on foot from Bethany, which is only about two miles from Jerusalem.

Near Bethphage, located between Bethany and Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives, He sent His disciples to bring Him an ass and its colt. More than 500 years before this, the prophet Zechariah foretold that the King of kings would one day appear, riding upon an ass (Zech. 9:9).

Undoubtedly, a large crowd had followed Him. Also additional crowds of pilgrims had joined them who were on their way to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. They hailed the Lord as King, spreading their garments in the way as men had done formerly for kings (II Kings 9:13). They strewed His path with branches from the trees and cried: Hosanna to the son of David. They hailed the Lord as the Messiah, crying out the Messianic greeting: Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord (Matt. 21:9).

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 said unto Him, Hearest thou what these say? (21:15-16).

To these learned men of the Scriptures, Jesus responded: Yea; have you never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? (21:16). The Pharisees had agreed that if any man did confess that He (Jesus) was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue (John 9:22). But they were powerless that day, because of the overwhelming acclaim Jesus was receiving from the people.

In the Temple, He assumed supreme authority as the King of Peace. And soon He will return to gather his own to ever be with the Lord (I Thes. 4:17). And the hostile powers of the world will be just as powerless to withstand Him when He returns with His mighty angels . . . taking vengeance on them that know not God (II Thes.1:7-10).

Thought for Today:

Unless humility is shown before God and man, it is of little value.

Cross References:

For Matt. 21:5: See Is. 62:11; Zech. 9:9. Matt. 21:9: See Ps. 118:26. Matt. 21:13: See Is. 56:7; Jer. 7:11. Matt. 21:16: See Ps. 8:2. Matt. 21:33: See Ps. 80:8-9; Is. 5:1-2. Matt. 21:42: See Ps. 118:22-23. Matt. 22:24: See Deut. 25:5. Matt. 22:32: See Ex. 3:6. Matt. 22:37: See Deut. 6:5. Matt. 22:39: See Lev. 19:18. Matt. 22:44: See Ps. 110:1.

Word Studies:

21:2 over against you, ahead of you; facing you; 21:8 strawed . . . in the way, spread in His path; 21:33 husbandmen, tenant farmers; 21:42 The Stone . . . is become the Head of the corner, Christ (Ps.118:22-23) who is the Chief Corner Stone (Eph. 2:20; I Pet. 2:6).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Rita Guerra • Pray for Government Officials: Gov. Paul R. LePage (ME) and Rep. Alan Nunnelee (MS) • Country: Zimbabwe (11.2 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: English and Shona • Limited religious freedom • 59% Christian; 35% Traditional; 2% Muslim; 4% Other/non-Religious (Hindu, Buddhist, Baha'i, Jewish) • Prayer Suggestion: Let your faith in the Word of God overrule all fears (Prov. 3:6).

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 139:1-2