Matthew 21

As Jesus “drew near to Jerusalem,” He received a hero’s welcome from the crowds, but the religious leaders did not join in the celebration. Christ was fulfilling important Messianic passages in the Psalms and the prophets, and performing miracles of healing and signs of judgment as the Son of God. Many ordinary men and women concluded that He was “the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee” and the long-awaited “Son of David.” The “priests” and “scribes,” however, were not shouting “Hosanna!”
The spiritual rulers among the Jews were “indignant” and openly dismissive of the Man who made the deaf hear and the blind see. They said to Jesus, “Do you hear what these are saying?” He offered no apology for the reception He received from the eager throng, but only quoted Psalm 8:2, “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise.” The events taking place in those final days of His life were the fulfillment of centuries of Old Testament promises.
The “fig tree” of Israel was fruitless and would be judged by the Almighty. God would raise up a new assembly of worshipers to follow the King with faith and obedience. “The tax collectors and the prostitutes” would enter the courts of the Lord “before” the Sanhedrin. The recognized pillars of society who were called “the builders” in Psalm 118:22 had “rejected” the Lord. Christ was the “stone” upon which the church would be raised up. The haughty had not repented at the message of John the Baptist, and now they would “fall” on Jesus and be “broken to pieces.”
The “kingdom” would be “taken away” from the chief men of the holy city and be “given to a people producing” appropriate “fruits.” Proud priests and Pharisees knew that Jesus was speaking parables against them, but what could they do? The crowds “held Him to be a prophet.” The truth was that Yahweh had come in person.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, You are in charge of every detail of our redemption. In the most important week of human history, You sent Your Son into Jerusalem in complete fulfillment of all prophecy. The salvation that He won for us is greater than we can even imagine. We ask You to purify our worship and to make us whole in body and soul. We look for increased fruitfulness in Your church. Bless us with faith that is able to move mountains of unbelief. Help us to submissively hear Your voice in the Scriptures and to obey. Cast out of us any spirit of arrogance or evil. We want to follow You, O Lord, not only with our lips, but especially with our lives. Bring many into Your kingdom even today. You have accomplished a powerful work of grace. Grant us faithfulness in Your service forever. Our entire being is built upon the Stone that the builders rejected. He is the one source of eternal life.