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21. Triumphal Entry

1And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and came unto Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying unto them, Go into the village that is over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 3And if any one say aught unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. 4Now this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,

5Tell ye the daughter of Zion,

Behold, thy King cometh unto thee,

Meek, and riding upon an ass,

And upon a colt the foal of an ass.

6And the disciples went, and did even as Jesus appointed them, 7and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their garments; and he sat thereon. 8And the most part of the multitude spread their garments in the way; and others cut branches from the trees, and spread them in the way. 9And the multitudes that went before him, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 10And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, Who is this? 11And the multitudes said, This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.

12And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of he money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; 13and he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers. 14And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 15But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children that were crying in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were moved with indignation, 16and said unto him, Hearest thou what these are saying? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea: did ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise? 17And he left them, and went forth out of the city to Bethany, and lodged there.

18Now in the morning as he returned to the city, he hungered. 19And seeing a fig tree by the way side, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only; and he saith unto it, Let there be no fruit from thee henceforward for ever. And immediately the fig tree withered away. 20And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How did the fig tree immediately wither away? 21And Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do what is done to the fig tree, but even if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou taken up and cast into the sea, it shall be done. 22And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

23And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? 24And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one question, which if ye tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or from men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him? 26But if we shall say, From men; we fear the multitude; for all hold John as a prophet. 27And they answered Jesus, and said, We know not. He also said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. 28But what think ye? A man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in the vineyard. 29And he answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented himself, and went. 30And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31Which of the two did the will of his father? They say, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye saw it, did not even repent yourselves afterward, that ye might believe him.

33Hear another parable: There was a man that was a householder, who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into another country. 34And when the season of the fruits drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, to receive his fruits. 35And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them in like manner. 37But afterward he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38But the husbandmen, when they saw the son, said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and take his inheritance. 39And they took him, and cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40When therefore the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will let out the vineyard unto other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures,

The stone which the builders rejected,

The same was made the head of the corner;

This was from the Lord,

And it is marvelous in our eyes?

43Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44And he that falleth on this stone shall be broken to pieces: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will scatter him as dust. 45And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46And when they sought to lay hold on him, they feared the multitudes, because they took him for a prophet.

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12. And Jesus entered into the temple. Though Christ frequently ascended into the temple, and though this abuse continually met his eye, twice only did he stretch out his hand to correct it; once, at the commencement of his embassy, 1313     “Quand il commença à exercr son office d’ambassadeur;” — “when he began to discharge his office as ambassador.” and now again, when he was near the end of his course. But though disgraceful and ungodly confusion reigned throughout, and though the temple, with its sacrifices, was devoted to destruction, Christ reckoned it enough to administer twice an open reproof of the profanation of it. Accordingly, when he made himself known as a Teacher and Prophet sent by God, he took upon himself the office of purifying the temple, in order to arouse the Jews, and make them more attentive; and this first narrative is given by John only in the second chapter of his Gospel. But now, towards the end of his course, claiming again for himself the same power, he warns the Jews of the pollutions of the temple, and at the same time points out that a new restoration is at hand.

And yet there is no reason to doubt that he declared himself to be both King and High Priest, who presided over the temple and the worship of God. This ought to be observed, lest any private individual should think himself entitled to act in the same manner. That zeal, indeed, by which Christ was animated to do this, ought to be held in common by all the godly; but lest any one, under the pretense of imitation, should rush forward without authority, we ought to see what our calling demands, and how far we may proceed according to the commandment of God. If the Church of God have contracted any pollutions, all the children of God ought to burn with grief; but as God has not put arms into the hands of all, let private individuals groan, till God bring the remedy. I do acknowledge that they are worse than stupid who are not displeased at the pollution of the temple of God, and that it is not enough for them to be inwardly distressed, if they do not avoid the contagion, and testify with their mouth, whenever an opportunity presents itself, that they desire to see a change for the better. But let those who do not possess public authority oppose by their tongue, which they have at liberty, those vices which they cannot remedy with their hands.

But it is asked, Since Christ saw the temple filled with gross superstitions, why did he only correct one that was light, or, at least, more tolerable than others? I reply, Christ did not intend to restore to the ancient custom all the sacred rites, and did not select greater or smaller abuses for correction, but had only this object in view, to show by one visible token, that God had committed to him the office of purifying the temple, and, at the same time, to point out that the worship of God had been corrupted by a disgraceful and manifest abuse. Pretexts, indeed, were not wanting for that custom of keeping a market, which relieved the people from trouble, that they might not have far to go to find sacrifices; and next, that they might have at hand those pieces of money which any man might choose to offer. Nor was it within the holy place that the money-changers sat, or that animals intended for sacrifice were exposed to sale, but only within the court, to which the designation of the temple is sometimes applied; but as nothing was more at variance with the majesty of the temple, than that a market should be erected there for selling goods, or that bankers should sit there for matters connected with exchange, this profanation was not to be endured. And Christ inveighed against it the more sharply, because it was well known that this custom had been introduced by the avarice of the priests for the sake of dishonest gain. For as one who enters a market well-stocked with various kinds of merchandise, though he does not intend to make a purchase, yet, in consequence of being attracted by what he sees, changes his mind, so the priests spread nets in order to obtain offerings, that they might trick every person out of some gain.




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