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Matthew 21:23-46 Authority

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Authority

The Pharisees wanted to know by what authority that Jesus was doing the things He did. He healed the sick, lame and blind by God’s authority.

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.

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Matthew 21:23-46

23. “Presumably the crowds took a measure of delight in seeing Jesus challenge the religious authorities as he did. Perhaps they even recognized a measure of fulfillment of the prophecies about the purifying mission of the Messiah (recall Malachi 3:1-4).” (Blomberg, Craig L., The New American Commentary, Volume 22, Matthew. [Nashville: Broadman Press], 319)

“The officials remain outraged and demand to know by what authority Jesus has taken such drastic steps. The answer of course is simple—he is acting on divine authority.” (Blomberg, 319)

But he can’t say that because “he could be accused of blasphemy.” (Blomberg, 319)

“If He claimed only human authority, He would leave Himself vulnerable to the charge of sinful action against the temple. But if He claimed divine authority, He might be open to the charge of blasphemy by claiming divine prerogatives.” (The Moody Bible Commentary, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, [Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, 2014], 1492)

Question?

24. But first Jesus is going to ask the chief priest and elders one question.

25. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? (KJV)

“In taking them back to the ministry of John, Jesus was not trying to avoid the issue. John had prepared the way for Jesus. Had the rulers received John’s ministry, they would have received Jesus.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 77)

26. “But they were afraid of the crowd: for they all hold that John was a prophet. [Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber (2012). HNTC Vol. 01: Matthew. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]

27. “So the chief priests and elders answered, We don’t know, leaving Jesus with no compulsion to answer their question.” [Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber (2012). HNTC Vol. 01: Matthew. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]

Two Sons

28. “The vineyard, of course, speaks of the nation of Israel (Psalm 80:8-16; Isaiah 5). The two sons represent the two classes of people in that nation: the self-righteous religious people, and the publicans and sinners.” (Wiersbe, 78)

“The vineyard owner represents God, the first son the known sinners who, before John started his ministry were disobedient to God but repented under John.” (Moody, 1492)

29. “This son at first refused to heed his father’s word but later changed his mind.” (Blomberg, 321)

30. The second son “promises obedience but then reneges, like the seemingly faithful Jewish leaders who have rejected God’s kingdom emissaries, John and Jesus.” (Blomberg, 321)

31. “The obedient son did his father’s bidding despite his initial refusal.” (Blomberg, 321)

“The Lord places publicans and harlots on a higher plane than these religious leaders.” (McGee, 113)

32. “When a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, the interior is not only redecorated, it is made new.” (McGee, 114)

Vineyard

33. “The landowner’s journey represented the time until Christ’s return at the end times. This was a period of stewardship, and a reckoning would come.” [Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber (2012). HNTC Vol. 01: Matthew. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]

34. “This parable is based on Isaiah 5:1-7, and in it Jesus reminded the Jews of God’s goodness to them as a nation.” (Wiersbe, 78)

“The landowner sought to receive his produce, a percentage of the yield divided with those who farmed it.” (Moody, 1493)

“This part of the parable represented the accountability of Israel’s leaders before God, not only at the end of time but throughout their period of responsibility.” [Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber (2012). HNTC Vol. 01: Matthew. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]

35-36. “The servants’ fate recalls the treatment of God’s prophets throughout Old Testament history (e.g., Jeremiah 20:1-2; 1 Kings 18:4; 2 Chronicles 24:20-21; and cf. Matthew 23:34.”

37. “The farmer hopes that his own kin will gain more respect than did the hired help. The ‘son’ seems to be a veiled self-reference by Jesus.” (Blomberg, 323)

38. At this time the owner did not send “his armies to destroy these wicked men. But instead he sent his own son to them.” (Wiersbe, 78)

Jesus

39. They killed the owner’s son!

40-41. “The landowner will punish the thugs and replace them with farmers who will pay him.” (Moody, 1493)

42. “Psalm 118:22-23 became a favorite early Christian messianic proof text (cf. Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7).” (Blomberg, 325)

43. “The kingdom would be taken from them and given to faithful stewards. In this statement, with the mention of fruit, Jesus returned briefly to the agricultural word picture, before turning again to the picture of a stone in 21:44.” [Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber (2012). HNTC Vol. 01: Matthew. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]

44. “Jesus then returned to the “stone” imagery of 21:42, using language from Isaiah 8:14-15. He had described himself as a potential “stumbling block” for those who did not believe in him (11:6).” [Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber (2012). HNTC Vol. 01: Matthew. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]

45. “The hypocrites could take a hint. They knew Jesus was accusing them of mismanaging God’s kingdom and that he was pronouncing judgment on them.” [Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber (2012). HNTC Vol. 01: Matthew. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]

46. “Jesus was still the king. He was the one who insisted that the leaders’ evil work be done during Passover. In this way, the king himself guaranteed the actual fulfillment of the Passover. His death took place on the Passover since he was the true Passover Lamb of God (cf. Exod. 12; 1 Cor. 5:7 ” [Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber (2012). HNTC Vol. 01: Matthew. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]

References

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Blomberg, Craig L., The New American Commentary, Volume 22, Matthew. Nashville: Broadman Press
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
The Moody Bible Commentary, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, 2014
Robertson, A. T., A Harmony of the Gospels. New York, HarperCollins Publishers
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004

 

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