Matthew Lesson 22 Day 3

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Matthew Lesson 22 Day 3

Matthew 21:23-32

6. The chief priests and elders confront Jesus.

They ask, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”

The religious leaders asked Jesus who was authorizing Him to do “these things.” Previously they accused Him of casting out a demon by the power of Beelzebub. (Matthew 12:24)

b. In addition to miracles, the most recent things likely included throwing the money changers out of the temple. (Matthew 21:12-23). Hitting them in their wallets and causing them to lose control of the temple must have hurt! They really wanted to prove He was not operating under God’s authority in order to discredit Him.

Luke 19:47–20:8 includes interesting points: 

  • Jesus was teaching in the temple courts. Even today, wouldn’t someone in leadership ask the same question if someone from the crowd began to teach? Anyone was allowed to do so at that time. It was also common to question what was taught. Today, that behavior would be considered out of line.
  • Jesus was “proclaiming the good news.”
  • The chief priests, teachers, and leaders were trying to kill Jesus. 
  • They were stumped because the people “hung on His words.” (Oh, that we would do the same!)

Through the preaching of John the Baptist, God had already shown Jesus’ opponents the way to true righteousness. They rejected John’s call to repent and continued to stand on their own works.

It’s harder for religious people to believe in the grace of God than any other group of people. That’s because their good deeds are so dear to them. The open sinners know they don’t have any goodness to offer the Lord, so when they hear of God’s mercy and forgiveness as a gift, they are quick to receive it. But those who trust in themselves are offended that all their goodness doesn’t buy them access to God. But it’s only by faith that people have access into God’s grace (Romans 5:1-2). Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.

Matthew 13:11–15—Principles that apply to those who questioned Jesus’ authority:

  • The knowledge of the secrets of heaven has been hidden from them because they did not believe in Jesus. (Colossians 2:3 HCSB) All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him.)
  • Those who aren’t receptive, even what little openness they have will be taken from them. (1 Corinthians 2:14 HCSB)  But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.)
  • They hear, but they don’t “get” it.
  • They see, but they look right through it.
  • They refuse to see or listen.
  • Their hearts are so hardened, they refuse to allow Jesus to heal them.

7. Personal response

I believe it is important to remember we are no longer living under the first covenant. When Jesus said “It is finished,” the second covenant began.

2 Peter 1:3—His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.”

Even the Apostle Paul said what he wants to do, he doesn’t. So to suggest that perfect obedience or even willingness to obey every word spoken by Jesus is a prerequisite to receiving the grace and knowledge of God is just as impossible now as it was under the Old Covenant.

I remember a conversation I had with the Lord quite a few years ago. I had discovered two employees, who were also family members, were embezzling money.

I was angry. I confessed to the Lord, “I don’t want to forgive them, but I WANT to want to forgive them. Please help me.” And He did.

8. Parable of the two sons

A man sent both of his sons to the vineyard. One said no, but went anyway. The second son said he would go but didn’t.

Jesus asks the religious leaders, “which one obeyed his father?” They answered, “the first son.”

At that, Jesus says, ““Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 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.” Matthew 21:31-32

The tax collectors and prostitutes—the sinners—are represented by the son who said he would not work but later did.

The religious leaders who opposed Jesus are represented by the son who agreed to work but did not. 

Walking the walk wins over talking the talk. 

Those who talk the talk, lack humility and transparency.

The opposite is those who desire to walk the walk and do so with humility and transparency.

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1 used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
7 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
8 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Matthew Lesson 22 Day 3