The Gospel According to Matthew

Chapter 21

Christ rides into Jerusalem upon a donkey, 1-11; drives the buyers and sellers out of the temple, 12-16; curses the fig-tree, 17-22; puts to silence the priests and elders, 17-27, and rebukes them by the similitude of the two sons, 28-32, and the farmers who slew those who were sent to them, 33-46.

1 And when they drew near to Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 Saying to them, "Go into the village over against you, and immediately you shall find a donkey tied and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 And if any man says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." 4 All this was done so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,

"Tell the daughter of Zion,/
'Behold, your King comes to you,/
meek, and sitting upon a donkey,/
even a colt, the foal of a donkey.

6 And the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them, 7 And brought the donkey and the colt and put their clothes on them, and they set him thereon. 8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way. Others cut down branches from the trees and strewed them in the way. 9 And the multitudes, who went before and who followed, cried, saying,

"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 had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, "Who is this?" 11 And the multitude said, "This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee."

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God and cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves, 13 And said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it 'a den of thieves.'"

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did and the children crying in the temple, and saying, "Hosanna to the son of David," they were greatly displeased, 16 And said to him, "Do you hear what these say?" And Jesus says to them, "Yes. Have you never read,

'Out of the mouth of babies and infants/
you have perfected praise

17 And he left them and went out of the city into Bethany and lodged there.

18 Now in the morning as he was returning into the city, he was hungry. 19 And when he saw a fig-tree in the way, he came to it and found nothing on it, but leaves only, and said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you from now on forever." And immediately the fig-tree withered.

20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, "How has the fig-tree withered so soon?" 21 Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig-tree, but also, if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and cast into the sea,' it shall be done. 22 And all things whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive."

23 And when he had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority do you do these things, and who gave you this authority?" 24 And Jesus answered and said to them, "I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven, or from men?" And they reasoned with 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 men,' we fear the people, for all hold John as a prophet." 27 And they answered Jesus, and said, "We cannot tell." And he said to them, "Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

28 "But what do you think? A certain man had two sons. And he came to the first, and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.' 29 He answered and said, 'I will not.' But afterward, he repented and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' and did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They say to him, "The first." Jesus says to them, "Truly I say to you, that the tax collectors and the harlots 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 harlots believed him. And you, when you had seen it, did not repent afterward to believe him.

33 "Hear another parable. There was a certain householder who planted a vineyard, hedged it around, dug a wine-press in it, built a tower, and lent it out to farmers, then went into a remote country. 34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers so that they might receive its fruits. 35 And the farmers took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants more in number than the first, and they did to them in like manner. 37 But last of all he sent to them his son, saying, 'They will reverence my son.' 38 But when the farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and let us seize his inheritance.' 39 And they caught him, cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40 Therefore, when the Lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?" 41 They say to him, "He will miserably destroy those wicked men and will lease out his vineyard to other farmers, who will render him the fruits in their seasons."

42 Jesus says to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures,

'The stone which the builders rejected,/
the same has become the head of the corner./
This is the Lord's doing/
and it is marvelous in our eyes

43 "Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth its fruits. 44 And whoever falls on this stone shall be broken, but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."

45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Matthew, Chapter 21[➚]


[v.1-9] - Gospel Link: Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-38.

[v.2] - "Untie" - Or, release. The word untie works better here since it is mentioned that the donkey and colt were tied up to something.

[v.4-9] - Gospel Link: John 12:12-15.

[v.5] - Quoting Zechariah 9:9.

[v.9a] - "Hosanna" - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "Hosanna signifies, 'Save now, we beseech thee,' referring to Psalm 118:25-26, where the Messiah is prophesied of as the Head-stone of the corner, though the builders refused him; and all his loyal subjects are brought in triumphing with him, and attending him with hearty good wishes to the prosperity of all his enterprises. Hosanna to the Son of David is, 'This we do in honor of the Son of David.'" This exclamation is also similar to, "God save the king!" as in 1st Samuel 10:24.

[v.9b] - Quoting Psalm 118:26 (LXX).

[v.12-13] - Gospel Link: Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46; John 2:13-16.

[v.13] - Quoting Isaiah 56:7 (LXX); Jeremiah 7:11 (LXX).

[v.16] - Quoting Psalm 8:2 (LXX).

[v.17] - Gospel Link: Mark 11:11.

[v.18-19] - Gospel Link: Mark 11:12-14.

[v.20-22] - Gospel Link: Mark 11:20-23.

[v.23-27] - Gospel Link: Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8.

[v.33-41] - Gospel Link: Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-16.

[v.33] - This parable is taken from Isaiah 5:1-7.

[v.42a] - Quoting Psalm 118:22-23 (LXX).

[v.42b] - Gospel Link: Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17.

[v.44] - Gospel Link: Luke 20:18.