Daily Bible Reading (Monday, January 29th)


Matthew 21 (ESV)


The Triumphal Entry

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt,[a] the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

12 And Jesus entered the temple[b] and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,

“‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies
    you have prepared praise’?”

17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.

20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’26 But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

The Parable of the Tenants

33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants[c] to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;[d]
this was the Lord's doing,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”[e]

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.


  1. Matthew 21:5 Or donkey, and on a colt
  2. Matthew 21:12 Some manuscripts add of God
  3. Matthew 21:34 Or bondservants; also verses 3536
  4. Matthew 21:42 Greek the head of the corner
  5. Matthew 21:44 Some manuscripts omit verse 44


The fig tree parable is interesting, in that the Pharisees looked good from the outside, but had nothing to offer on the inside. And Jesus ended the tree's life instantly. How much more calling do we need to seek the repentance of others in hopes that the Lord will save them? There will be a day for the world just like that day for the fig tree, where no opportunity is left.

V.23-27 really show the cleverness of Jesus - he just gets right down to the heart of the matter. He sees around their questioning, straight to their hearts and responds very wisely bringing to attention their unbelief.

I too, need to do well to continue to surrender under Christ's authority. He is the only sovereign, provident and perfect one who ordains everything in our lives. I pray we'll submit every unworthy thought and inclination to Him, again and again always looking to Him and believing each day that this is the day the Lord has given. And submit to Him in obedience increasingly as He shows us each area which remains unsubmitted.

As far as the fig tree is concerned I know Jesus was upset. I won't read into it, though.

And yes, the Pharisees are referred to, indeed.

In reference to the crowds of people, not the Pharisees is what I meant to say.

Mason, in looking at Matthew 13, Jesus says this to the crowds of people, “Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "'"You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive." For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:10-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

So that's all I'm referring to, is Holy Scriptures.

Theme Summary: Jesus is welcomed and praised by the crowds of Jerusalem as a prophet and coming king, who then cleanses his temple and heals all who come to him. The religious leaders reject Jesus authority, however, and so he proclaims that great sinners are entering the kingdom of God before them, curses the fruitless fig tree as he would curse the fruitless Jerusalem, teaches the disciples that they can pray in faith even for the mountain to be thrown into the sea, and prophecies that the kingdom would be taken away from the Jewish leaders and given to others who would bear fruit.

Just as Jesus was able to curse the fig tree for not producing fruit (symbolic for the temple or Jerusalem?), Jesus teaches the disciples that they can do the same through faithful prayer. As they gaze across the valley between Bethany and the Temple mount of Jerusalem, Jesus teaches that they would even be able to pray that the mountain would be taken up and tossed into the sea. Not our typical prayer meetings today.

Verse 5 highlights the irrationality of the response of the chief priests and scribes. When they saw the wonderful things Jesus did, and heard the cries of children praising God, they were...indignant. I'm trying to think through ways I might do that. May I have a heart of thanks and praise to God, not one of criticism or complaint.

He was talking to the Pharisees and explained the parables to them. They percieved he was talking about them. Or am I wrong? Was he talking to the Pharisees and the explained only to the disciples. It seems like he was explaining them to the Pharisees. Just curious

Mason, Jesus explained the parables only to his apostles. The people didn't get it. And yes Dee the Pharisees should've repented. Thank God for people like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.

The account of the fig tree is very interesting. A fig tree with leaves is supposed to have fruit but this one doesn't. It represents hypocritical faith, looking like you have something that you don't, which was obviously the case with the formal religion of Israel at the time. But genuine, undoubting faith that takes God at His word bears real fruit. Jesus can tell the real from the fake. And take note of the promise regarding prayer. I am desirous of practicing the kind of prayer Jesus talks about in verse 21.

Are these parables the only ones he explained to people outside of the disciples. If so why?

So verse 43 is a clear indication that if we are disobeying and not doing what God wants us to do then the kingdom of God will be taken away. The fruits are in the Spirit of God. Jesus is Salvation. Repent or else!

Verse 46 says the chief priests and Pharisees feared the crowds. It would have been better for them to have feared God and repented of their unbelief.

The Pharisees seem to have got it is what I meant. And the answer to your questions Sarah is a yes and no. What they really wanted was a king like King David so what happened is they the people got disappointed.

I love the parables. After reading verse 45 it brought to my attention the word, "duh". No disrespect to the apostle Matthew. The Pharisees seemed to have got. Verse 44 is terrifying, in a sense.

The triumphal entry has always baffled me. The triumphal entry happened because the crowd recognized that Christ was the Messiah... Yet after recognizing Christ for who He is and celebrating that Christ was the Messiah they had waited so long for, they choose to brutally kill Him just a few days later. So does that mean that they really didn't understand/believe who Christ was in the first place? Or did they truly understand/believe that Christ was the Messiah, but because of the hardness of their hearts they chose to reject Him in full knowledge of the truth?

In verses 26 and 46 the chief priests and elders said, “we fear the people,“ and this was the root cause of their whole problem: they didn’t fear God at all. The fear of God leads to salvation. The fear of man is arrogance towards God. Verse 44 reminded me of Daniel 2:35; Jesus is prophecy fulfilled, and He will fulfill it all soon! Until then, I pray we will produce the fruit of His Kingdom like it says in verse 43.

These are some great passages to call to mind when we encounter those who think that because Jesus loves them, that He would accept their sinful lifestyle. He makes it clear throughout chapter 21 that this is not the case. Our deeds and fruit matter. They can't earn us salvation, but Jesus teaches clearly that they are an indication of our belief in His deity and authority.

The world continues to question the authority of Jesus to this day. We shouldn't be surprised when we see our culture challenging the things in Scripture. But, it's my prayer that we all bow to the authority of Jesus in our lives, daily. As Bruce often says, being a Christian means Christ gets to call the shots.

I am thankful for the triumphal entry of Jesus and the great humility in which he went about it. Furthermore, I was struck by v. 32 which says, “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.” I think I’m drawing the right conclusion here, but if not please correct me. I am thankful God calls anyone into his kingdom who in their heart believes in him. I pray for continued heart change and I praise God for allowing me to see and believe!

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