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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!

  1. The Entrance

    1. 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?)

    2. 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.)

    3. Read Matthew 21:6-9. Read Matthew 16:20. What has happened? (It is now time to proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah.)

      1. 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.")

      2. 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.)

    4. 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.)

      1. What would you have done if you were there listening to this? (Investigated further, I hope!)

  2. Temple

    1. 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.)

    1. 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.)

    2. 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!")

  1. Fig Tree

    1. Read Matthew 21:17-19. Is this a good or bad thing? Is Jesus destroying something out of anger?

      1. What has the fig tree done that causes its destruction? (The leaves mislead you into thinking it has figs.)

      2. Is this a lesson for Christians who merely call themselves that?

    2. 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 challenges.)

  2. Vineyard

    1. Read Matthew 21:33-36. What argument might the renters make for their behavior? (They have no excuse for this.)

    2. Read Matthew 21:37-39. What is the motive for killing the son? (Property. Greed. Theft.)

    3. 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.)

    4. 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.)

    5. Read Matthew 21:44. Are these our two options in life?

    6. Read Matthew 21:45. Is the target of Jesus discussion in doubt? (No. Matthew makes the point very clear.)

  3. Wedding

    1. Read Matthew 22:1-5. Why don't those who are invited to the wedding come? (They are too busy.)

      1. 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.)

      2. How important is the wedding to the king?

    2. Read Matthew 22:6-7. Is this fair? (They are murderers! They insulted and enraged their king.)

      1. 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 consequences.)

    3. 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.)

    4. 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, and relaxing!

      1. 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.)

        1. 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 king's garments.)

        2. 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.)

          1. How about you? Do you pride yourself with your works?

    5. Read Matthew 22:13. What happens to this fellow? (He gets bound and tossed into darkness.)

      1. 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?)

    6. 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 servants.)

    7. 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 righteousness?

  4. 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.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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