Matthew 21:1-17 The Rejection Of The King

by | Nov 28, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

Prior to this moment, the crowds had tried, by force, to make Jesus king. John 6:15
The people had been amazed at his miracle of multiplying the loaves and the fish, and feeding 5000 plus people.
But the moment for Jesus’ revealing of Himself as King was not yet come.

At different times in His ministry, Jesus suppressed people’s desire to make Him known.
He told people that he healed to not tell anyone that it was Jesus that had healed them.
He avoided being in the limelight, until this moment

Here is Matthew 21, the moment for His revealing as King had now come.
As deliberate as Jesus had been in avoiding public recognition, He now deliberately directs public recognition to Himself by His actions.

I. Jesus Presents Himself As King Vs. 1-4

A. Jesus Takes Deliberate Steps To Fulfill Scripture

1. When they drew near– Jesus acts in anticipation of His entrance into Jerusalem

a. Bethphage/Mt. of Olives is just across the Kidron Valley
b. There are about 2 million pilgrims in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast

2. Sent two disciples– He would not enter Jerusalem until He would enter as King
3. He deliberately involved His disciples: this would impact them re. His entrance

a. John 12:16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.

4. He gave them detailed instructions about what to expect and how to do things

a. Immediately you will find…and if anyone says anything- Very detailed
b. This was not a haphazard event. One of 300 O.T. prophecies.
c. Foreordained of God, spoken 100’s of years earlier by the prophets

5. Mark & Luke add-

a. “A colt no one has ever ridden”– further detail, less likely to happen
b. People asked what they were doing, & they answered as Jesus instructed

6. V. 3- The Lord has need of them– Not because He was tired. Jesus had walked many miles from Galilee to Jerusalem. It was only 2 miles from Bethany to Jerusalem. This was done as a sign, and as a fulfillment of prophecy.
7. All this was done- Jesus did all these things with this purpose in mind
8. Jesus knew that He would be brutalized and killed, yet He was still deliberate to enter Jerusalem in such a way as to be known.

B. Jesus & Prophetic Scripture Vs. 5, 6

1. General observation regarding prophecy

a. The Bible is about Jesus
b. Hebrews 10:7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ (Ps. 40, 1000 B.C.)

2. Matthew 21:5 is a quote from Zechariah 9, given 500 years previously.

a. The book of Zechariah was about restoration for Israel
b. The nation had been in exile for 70 years, they had returned, but were falling behind in rebuilding their Temple.
c. In that same spirit, Jesus is presented as the King of Israel
d. Note the emotion/intention- Tell the daughter of Zion…your King…

i. Zion was another name for Jerusalem
ii. They were informed that their King was arriving.

3. Jesus comes in humility, yet with appropriate dignity.

a. Instead of coming on a horse as a conquering Roman general, He comes on a colt, customary for royalty. He comes as the Prince of Peace.
b. When a ruler rode into a city upon a donkey it was a sign of peace.
c. Luke 19:41-44 41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
d. Jesus will “ride again” as Judge of the nations.
Revelation 19:11-16 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

C. Some Welcomed Jesus As King Vs. 7-11

1. V. 7- laid their clothes on them– This is another thing done for a king
2. V. 8– Often, beautiful rugs were laid out on the road. Clothes and palm branches would have accomplished the same thing.
3. V. 9- Hosanna- Literally- “save now”. They recognized Jesus as their King, but expected a political king. By the end of the week, they would turn against Him

a. Barclay- “Essentially it is a people’s cry for deliverance and for help in the day of their trouble; it is an oppressed people’s cry to their savior and their king.”

4. Son of David- A Messianic title. Jesus was from the physical lineage of David.

a. They look to Jesus for salvation (Hosanna means “save now!”).
b. They openly give Jesus the titles appropriate for the Messiah (Son of David . . . He who comes in the name of the Lord).

5. Jesus received & encouraged this worship- Luke 19:37-40 37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

6. Turn to Psalm 118:15-29 This was a specific day for Jesus to be hailed as King.

D. Others Reject Jesus As King V. 15

1. Ps. 118:22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

II. Jesus’ Actions As King

A. Confronted Sin V. 12

Drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple: What was the problem? Profiteers, in cooperation with the priests, robbed visitors to Jerusalem by forcing them to purchase “approved” sacrificial animals and currencies at inflated prices.

1. This is different than the previous cleansing of the Temple in John 2.
2. Barclay- A pair of doves could cost as much as 20 times the normal amount if purchased in the Temple area.
3. Jesus objected to those who bought and sold. The entire scene had become carnal and ungodly, and true worship of God had been lost.
4. This buying and selling was done in the court of the Gentiles.

B. Restored God’s Purposes V. 13

My house shall be called a house of prayer: As well, they did this in the outer courts of the temple, the only area where Gentiles could come and pray.
This place of prayer was made into a swap meet of thieves parading in religion.
Guzik- The Gospel of Mark contains the more complete quotation of Jesus’ reference to Isaiah 56:7: Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations?” (Mark 11:17).
The point was that Isaiah prophesied and Jesus demanded that the temple be a place for all nations to pray, the activity of all those who bought and sold in the outer courts made it impossible for any seeking Gentile to come and pray.

Barclay- “In that uproar of buying and selling and bargaining and auctioneering prayer was impossible. Those who sought God’s presence were being debarred from it from the very people of God’s House.”

C. Healed The Sick V. 14

After driving out the moneychangers and the merchants from the temple courts, Jesus didn’t found “The Society for the Cleansing of the Temple.” He got back to doing the business of the Messiah – showing the power of God in the context of compassion and mercy.
Remember- The religious leaders believed that people suffered from blindness or lameness because of sin. They would have viewed these people as on a lower spiritual level.

D. Corrected Spiritual Error Vs. 15, 16

The wonderful things that He did- Jesus’ deeds were obviously wonderful.
They rejected Him because of the hardness of their hearts
They were indignant: The hypocrisy of the religious leaders is evident.
Greed and theft in the temple didn’t bother them, but praise to Jesus did.
Do You hear what these are saying? Yes, He had heard what these are saying – and it is perfected praise in the ears of God.
We must come to Jesus as little children.

E. Symbolic/Spiritual Separation V. 17

1. He came to die for their sins, but found His lodging apart from them.
2. His support came from friends in Bethany who had opened their hearts to Him