Matthew 21 -- 22
On the Monday preceding His crucifixion, and just one day after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus entered (the courts of) the Temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the Temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers . . . And (He) said to them, It is written, My House shall be called the House of Prayer (Matthew 21:12-13; see Isaiah 56:7).
The chief priests were outraged. They dispatched a delegation to investigate who interrupted Jesus as He was teaching. They demanded: By what authority do You do these things? (Matthew 21:23). They were referring to His accepting all the hosannas and praises that the multitude had given Him as the Messiah, the Son of David. They demanded to know who gave Him authority to dismiss their money changers. Jesus was interfering with their profits as well as their positions of "authority." For these reasons they conspired to kill Him (see Mark 11:18).
Just as Jesus had announced earlier that He is Lord of the Sabbath, He now made clear that He is also Lord of the Temple. The Temple belonged to God and God was standing in their midst -- though they chose not to recognize Him. The cleansing of the Temple illustrates the cleansing that Christ brings into our lives through His atoning blood.
After pronouncing His judgment upon the Temple activities, Jesus spoke to them again by parables, and said, The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them who were invited to the wedding. . . . But they made light of it, and went their ways. . . . And the remnant took his servants . . . and slew them. . . . When the king heard thereof . . . he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, The wedding is ready. . . . Go therefore into the highways, and as many as you find (either Jew or Gentile), bid to the marriage. . . . And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who did not have on a wedding garment: And he said . . . to the servants . . . cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:1-14). Since hell is so final and so terrifying, Jesus said more about hell than all other writers of the New Testament combined.
The wedding garment is symbolic of the new life in Christ that is clothed with His righteousness. It is made available as a free gift to all who truly have turned from the old life of sin and gladly accepted His wedding garment. But one man sat at the wedding banquet without a wedding garment. In this parable, Jesus exposes all who assume they are good enough to be called a Christian if they join the church and become active in its functions, even though they have never repented of their sins. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness. . . . And put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof (Romans 13:12,14).
For Matthew 21:5: See Isa. 62:11; Zech. 9:9. Matt. 21:9: See Psa. 118:26. Matt. 21:13: See Isa. 56:7; Jer. 7:11. Matt. 21:16: See Psa. 8:2. Matt. 21:33: See Psa. 80:8; Isa. 5:1-2. Matt. 21:42: See Psa. 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 Psa. 110:1.
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