Matthew 21:23-46 Answering Those Who Ask

by | Nov 28, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. Don’t Resist Questioners V. 23

A. Jesus Received Them

1. He did not tell these men to go away
2. Jesus received many questioners during His ministry

a. Rich young ruler
b. Nicodemus
c. Samaritan woman at the well

3. He taught them, guided them into self examination, led them to the truth about Himself

B. We (Christians) Ought To Receive Questioners

1. V. 23- These are not unfair questions to ask

a. Jesus was making huge statements about Himself, Heaven, Hell, truth
b. We ought to ask these kinds of question to those who make great claims
c. This is especially important regarding things eternal.
d. We (Christians) should be happy when people ask us such questions

2. 1 Peter 3:15, 16a But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16having a good conscience…

a. Sanctify- be walking in holiness, w/an awareness that you belong to Jesus
b. Always be ready- How great it is to not have to “work yourself up” into the mindset of being willing to talk w/someone about Jesus. Be ready.
c. Defense- apologia- verbal defense, a reasoned statement or argument
d. Meekness & fear-

i. Meekness- gentle spirit
ii. Fear- phobos- fear of God, fear of your own potential for sinning, being aware of your constant need for Jesus’ strength & the H.S.
(Wuest- having a cautious distrust of self)

e. Having a good conscience- live in a way so as to not be self condemning

II. Use Wisdom When Talking To Questioners

A. Jesus Sought The Highest “Result” Re. This Conversation

1. He didn’t give them a quick answer, so as to dismiss them
2. He didn’t try to get through the discussion quickly b/c it was challenging/awkward
3. Remember, He knows that He will soon be killed by them, but He cares for them
4. He sought to minister to their greatest need: salvation

B. Jesus Didn’t Allow The Questioners To Lead The Conversation Vs. 24-27

1. If people ask us about eternity, they ought not to presume to lead the conversation
2. If they are asking, they need to be teachable. They need to be humble, listening.
3. They need to realize that they are lacking what they expect we have re. answers
4. The important thing is this:

a. If you ask these questions, you need to be ready for an honest answer
b. You need to be ready to respond to truth if you find it
c. If a person asks just for the sake of debate, then it isn’t an honest question

5. Jesus exposed their insincerity as he asked them about John the Baptist

a. Jesus is not trying to avoid the question they asked.
b. He is seeking to have them examine the sincerity of their own hearts
c. If they answer honestly, they must receive Jesus as Messiah, for so John had said
d. They had discredited John, and refused his testimony of Jesus.
e. If they answer dishonestly, why engage in this conversation with them?
f. In the end, it is revealed that they are not seekers of truth, but respecters of men, and those who sought to preserve their own positions of leadership
g. They are insincere and they are hypocrites, and Jesus refused to talk to them.
h. Proverbs 17:16 Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, Since he has no heart for it?
i. Turn to Matthew 7:6- There is a time to withhold teaching & sharing of truth
j. Turn to 2 Timothy 3:7-9 There are religious people who never come to the truth

C. Jesus Teaches Them A Principle Vs. 28-31

1. Before leading them to personal application, Jesus lays down a principle
2. This is important in sharing truth: go from the general to the specific. Build a foundation
3. Not those who talk about doing right, but those who do right: those are who are right
4. Jesus showed them their hypocrisy, and the genuine faith of those they despised
5. V. 32- They did not repent even as the worst sinners were getting converted

a. They ignored the evidence that was before them. They were not sincere
b. They ignored the evidence b/c they were self-righteous.

D. After Establishing A Principle, He Shows Them Previous Error Vs. 33-41

1. Once again, Jesus teaches principle by way of a parable
2. Parable: an earthly story which illustrates a heavenly truth.
3. The chief priests and elders understood the principle in the parable.
4. They were momentarily blind to the fact it was an illustration of the history of Israel.
5. The parable also spoke of them, in that they would be the ones to “kill the Son”.

E. Jesus Drives Home The Point & Application Vs. 42-45

1. He speaks to them from their own background and writings, the O.T.
2. He shows them how even their own writings speak of their fault
3. Very, very few of us have a system of religion, belief, philosophy that we live up to

a. Most “anarchists” will eventually object if the anarchy is leveled at them
b. Most “atheists” will eventually pray for a loved one or themselves
c. Often, people will find that they violate their own convictions and systems
d. This what Jesus is showing these self-righteous men

4. V. 43- Jesus drives the point home regarding their failure to be sincere

F. Jesus Ends With A General Truth Which They Could Still Accept V. 44

1. Jesus gives the qualifications of being in His kingdom
2. He refers to Himself in light of verse 42, which was part of their sacred writings.
3. I believe that He is still extending an invitation to them on a personal level
4. The religious leaders understood the truths that Jesus spoke
5. They did not respond b/c they sought to preserve their positions in life.