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Sabbath School Lessons on Matthew
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 10: Jesus in Jerusalem *
Introduction: Accepting a leader has consequences. Your acceptance
means that you agree that person should lead and make critical
decisions. Matthew makes a transition in his continuing proof that
Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus is Lord. Matthew now recites the
consequences of refusing to actively follow Jesus. Let's dig into our
study of the Bible and learn more!
- The Entrance
- Read Matthew 21:1-3. Would you question these directions
if Jesus gave them to you? (I would be concerned about
taking valuable assets on the basis that I should say "the
Lord needs them." However, if Jesus can see into the
future, how can I doubt anything He says?)
- Read Matthew 21:4-5. What is Matthew proving here? (Once
again, that Jesus fulfills the prophecy that He is the
Messiah. Notice that He comes gently.)
- Read Matthew 21:6-9. Read Matthew 16:20. What has
happened? (It is now time to proclaim that Jesus is the
- What does the crowd say about Jesus? (That He is the
"Son of David," the One who comes "in the name of the
Lord," and "Hosanna.")
- Read Psalms 118:25-26."Hosanna" means "save now" or
"please save." What additional point does Psalms 118
teach us about the cry of the crowd? (That Jesus is
the One who is coming to save them. This proclaims
that Jesus is Lord and the promised Messiah.)
- Read Matthew 21:10-11. Would this answer create a problem?
(Read Matthew 2:3-6. If the people were knowledgeable
about the Messianic prophecies, saying that Jesus was from
Nazareth created a conflict.)
- What would you have done if you were there listening
to this? (Investigated further, I hope!)
- Read Matthew 21:12-13. We heard what others say about
Jesus. We have followed Matthew's series of proofs about
Jesus. What is Jesus saying about Himself here? (He calls
the temple "My house" and He asserts authority over what
is happening in it.)
- Read Matthew 21:14-15. Are the religious leaders indignant
about Jesus healing people? (Read Matthew 21:16. They were
indignant about Jesus being called "the Son of David" and
then Him acting like their leader.)
- Read Psalms 8:1-2. This is the text that Jesus quotes.
What points does this text make? (That Jesus is Lord, that
God ordains praise from children, and the reason for this
is to "silence the foe and the avenger." Jesus calls the
religious leaders the "foe and the avenger!")
- Fig Tree
- Read Matthew 21:17-19. Is this a good or bad thing? Is
Jesus destroying something out of anger?
- What has the fig tree done that causes its
destruction? (The leaves mislead you into thinking it
- Is this a lesson for Christians who merely call
- Read Matthew 21:20-22. I recently saw a movie that
recorded several useless miracles. People developed gold
teeth, fake jewels came from nothing, etc. The useless
nature of the miracles made me wonder about their origin.
Are we dealing with useless miracles in Matthew 21:
causing a tree to wither and tossing mountains around?
(The tree is an object lesson for hypocrites. Mountains
might represent challenges and problems in your life.
Jesus tells us that faith is the answer to life's
- Read Matthew 21:33-36. What argument might the renters
make for their behavior? (They have no excuse for this.)
- Read Matthew 21:37-39. What is the motive for killing the
son? (Property. Greed. Theft.)
- Read Matthew 21:40-43. Jesus says this is a parable about
the religious leaders and the people who would kill Him.
What property did they want? What is their stolen
vineyard?(God expected His chosen nation to produce
spiritual fruit. Instead, they directed the profits and
the praise to themselves.)
- Think again about the withered fig tree. Is that truly a
senseless miracle? Senseless destruction? (This
illustrates why the Jewish nation that rejected Jesus
would soon be destroyed.)
- Read Matthew 21:44. Are these our two options in life?
- Read Matthew 21:45. Is the target of Jesus discussion in
doubt? (No. Matthew makes the point very clear.)
- Read Matthew 22:1-5. Why don't those who are invited to
the wedding come? (They are too busy.)
- How is their excuse like the motives of those who
wanted to steal the vineyard? (Both groups were
looking for financial gain. They were looking to
increase their property.)
- How important is the wedding to the king?
- Read Matthew 22:6-7. Is this fair? (They are murderers!
They insulted and enraged their king.)
- Isn't it excessive to kill people because they insult
you and make you mad? (Once again, consider the
context. Matthew previously recounts the story of the
fig and the story of the vineyard. Being a
hypocrite, opposing the gospel, mistreating and
killing God's followers, and rejecting God has
- Read Matthew 22:8-10. What is the selection criteria here?
Are there hypocrites and bad people in this crowd? (The
invitation was to all. "Bad" people (as well as good
people) accepted the invitation. The selection criteria is
accepting the invitation.)
- Read Matthew 22:11-12. What is so surprising about not
having the right clothes? These people were pulled off the
street corners, they were dressed for shopping, working,
- Why do you think only one person was not wearing the
right clothes? (This helps us fill in the gaps in the
facts. Everyone should be deficient in the dress
department, not just one man. Thus, we learn that the
king must have given wedding garments to all of the
guests, but this fellow refused.)
- Let's follow the logic here. The end of verse
12 tells us the man was "speechless." What
additional facts can we reasonably deduce? (The
king is not at fault. If the king charged for
the special garments, if they didn't fit, if
the man did not know anything about the special
garments, he would have given that excuse.
Somehow he thought he was right to refuse the
- What would make this guy think he was right to
refuse to wear the king's special wedding
garment? (He liked his own clothes better. He
did not need the generosity of the king, he was
a good dresser.)
- How about you? Do you pride yourself with
- Read Matthew 22:13. What happens to this fellow? (He gets
bound and tossed into darkness.)
- Let's focus on the end of this verse. What emotion
causes weeping and gnashing of teeth? (It would have
been so easy to accept the king's garment. How could
he make such a mistake in judgment?)
- Read Matthew 2:14. We saw that everyone mentioned in the
story gets invited. What does Jesus mean by "few are
chosen?" Only one guy seems to be surprised to miss the
wedding. (The only reasonable answer is that Jesus refers
to self-selection. All of the original invitees turned the
king down because they were too busy to pay attention.
They were no friend to the king. Apparently did not want
to come to the wedding because they mistreated his
- Friend, how about you? Are you too busy, too preoccupied
with life, to care about the invitation to accept Jesus as
your Lord and Savior? Or, are you part of the few who
think that your righteousness is good enough? Why not,
right now, pay attention, repent and accept Jesus' robe of
- Next week: Last Day Events.
* Copr. 2016, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.