Ferrar Fenton Bible: Matthew 21

The Royal Entry into Jerusalem

Now when they were nearing Jerusalem, and had come to Bethphage, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent forward two of His disciples, saying to them:

"Go into the village before you, and you will find an ass tied ready, and a colt along with her; loosen, and bring them to Me. And should any one speak to you about it, say in reply, 'The Master has need of them'; and at once he will send them." And all this occurred in order that the statement might be verified which was delivered through the prophet, saying,

Say to the daughter of Zion,
See! your King comes to you humbly,
And sitting upon an ass, with a colt,
A foal of a beast of burden!l

His disciples then went and did just as Jesus had ordered them; leading the ass and the colt, upon which they placed their cloaks, and He seated Himself upon them. And the mass of the people spread their own cloaks along the road, while others plucked branches from the trees, and scattered them upon the path; and the crowd going on before, and following in the rear, called out, exclaiming,

Hosanna to the son of David!
Blessed is the One Who comes in the Name of the Lord;
Hosanna from the highest!2

And when He had entered Jerusalem, all the city became excited, asking, "Who is He?" To this the crowd made reply, "He is Jesus the Prophet, Who comes from Nazareth of Galilee."

Clearing out the Temple

Then Jesus entered the temple of God; and sent out of the temple all the buyers and sellers, and overturned the tables of the money-brokers, and the stands of the pigeon dealers, and told them, "It is recorded, My house shall be called a house of prayer;3 but you have turned it into a den of thieves.4" They also brought blind and lame people into the temple, and He cured them.

But the chief priests and professors, observing the miracles which He performed, and hearing the young men cheering and exclaiming in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they became mad with indignation, and asked Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?"

"Yes," said Jesus in reply to them; "have you never read that Out of the mouths of children and sucklings I have obtained praise?"5

Then leaving them, He went out of the city into Bethany, and there lodged for the night.

The Worthless Fig-tree

Now in the early dawn, while returning to the city, He became hungry; and seeing a fig-tree by the roadside, He went to it, but found nothing upon it except leaves. He accordingly said, "Never from now let more fruit grow upon you." And at once the fig-tree began to wither.

And the disciples, seeing it, wondered, exclaiming, "How quickly that fig-tree has dried up!"

"I tell you truly," Jesus answered them, "if you possessed faith, and never doubted, you could do not only what has been done to the fig-tree, but more; were you to say to this hill, 'Remove, and be flung into the sea!' it would be done; and all that you ask believingly in prayer, you shall receive."

Credentials Demanded

Now on His entering the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people approached Him, while He was teaching, demanding, "By what authority do You act in this way; and who gave You that authority?"

Jesus, replying to them, said, "I also will ask you just one question; which, if you can answer Me, I, in return, will tell you under whose authority I am working. The baptism of John, whence was it; from heaven, or from men?"

They accordingly consulted among themselves apart, saying, "If we should reply,'From heaven,' He will ask us,'Why then did you not believe him?' But if we should say, 'From men,' we must reckon with the public; for all regard John as a prophet."

Returning then to Jesus, they said, "We do not know."

"Neither will I," said Jesus in reply to them, "tell you by whose authority I am acting.

The Two Sons

"But what do you think? A man had two sons; and coming to the elder one, he said, 'Son, go and work to-day in my vineyard.' 'I will not,' was his answer; but he afterwards repented, and went. Then going to his second son, he said the same. 'I go, father,' was his reply; but he did not go. Which of these two did the will of his father?"

"The first," they replied.

Jesus, continuing, said to them, "I tell you indeed, that the extortioners and harlots will precede you into the Kingdom of God. For John came to you on a mission of righteousness, and you put no faith in him; but the extortioners and the harlots believed in him; while you, looking on, did not repent after all to believe him.

The Wicked Tenants

"Listen to another illustration: A particular landowner planted a vineyard, fenced it round about, and in it dug a wine-vat, and erected a watch-tower; then he let it out to tenants, and went off upon a journey. But when the season arrived for the fruit to be ripe, he sent his servants to the cultivators for the rents.

"The tenants, seeing the servants, maltreated one of them, murdered another, and stoned a third. He sent again, and a larger number than on the first occasion; but they were treated in the same way. Afterwards he sent his own son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son!' The tenants, seeing him, however, said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come on, let us murder him, and seize his estate!' Laying hold of him, they accordingly kicked him out of the vineyard, and murdered him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"

They answered Him, "In their wickedness he will end them according to their deserts; and will let out his vineyard to other tenants, who will pay him, at the appointed time, that which is his due."

Jesus then said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures? —

A Stone which the builders rejected,
That has been fitted as the Chief Keystone;
It came from the LORD,
And it is wonderful in our eyes.6

"I therefore tell you, that the Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and will be given to a nation that produces its fruits. And whoever falls upon this Stone shall be broken; but upon whoever it falls, it will crush him to dust."

And when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He spoke about themselves; but when they desired to apprehend Him, they dreaded the public, who held that He was a prophet.

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  1. Zech. 9:9.
  2. Psalms 68:25,26.
  3. Isa. 56:7.
  4. Jer. 7:11.
  5. Psalms 8:2.
  6. Psalms 118:22,23.

Transcribed by Mark Hicks on 01-01-2015