LIFE OF CHRIST
A Harmony of the Gospels
THE PASSION WEEK
THE FIRST DAY
Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage,
at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
(2) saying to them, "Go into the
village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey
tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me.
(3) And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say,
'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them."
(4) All this was done that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
(5) "Tell the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your
King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.'"
So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. (7)
They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on
them, and set Him on them.
And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road;
others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the
road. (9) Then the multitudes who went before and
those who followed cried out, 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
(11) So the multitudes said, "This is Jesus, the prophet
from Nazareth of Galilee."
Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at
the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples;
(2) and He said to them, "Go into
the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you
will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and
bring it. (3) And if anyone says to you, 'Why are
you doing this?' say, 'The Lord has need of it,' and immediately
he will send it here."
So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door
outside on the street, and they loosed it. (5) But
some of those who stood there said to them, "What are you doing,
loosing the colt?"
(6) And they spoke to them just as Jesus had
commanded. So they let them go. (7) Then they
brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He
sat on it.
And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down
leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
(9) Then those who went before and those who followed
cried out, saying: "Hosanna!
'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' (10)
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes in the
name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had
looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He
went out to Bethany with the twelve.
And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany,
at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His
disciples, (30) saying, "Go
into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find
a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it
here. (31) And if anyone asks you, 'Why are you
loosing it?' thus you shall say to him, 'Because the Lord has
need of it.'"
So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He
had said to them. (33) But as they were loosing the
colt, the owners of it said to them, "Why are you loosing the
(34) And they said, "The Lord has need of him." (35)
Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes
on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.
And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.
(37) Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the
Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to
rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty
works they had seen, (38) saying: "'Blessed is
the King who comes in the name of the LORD! 'Peace in heaven and
glory in the highest!"
And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd,
"Teacher, rebuke Your disciples."
(40) But He answered and said to them, "I
tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would
immediately cry out."
(41) Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over
it, (42) saying, "If you had
known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that
make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
(43) For days will come upon you when your enemies will
build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on
every side, (44) and level you, and your children
within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one
stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your
|(12) The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when
they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, (13)
took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried
out: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!
'The King of Israel!"
(14) Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on
it; as it is written:
(15) "Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is
Sitting on a donkey's colt."
(16) His disciples did not understand these things at
first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that
these things were written about Him and that they had done these
things to Him.
(17) Therefore the people, who were with Him when He
called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead,
bore witness. (18) For this reason the people
also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign.
Pharisees therefore said among themselves," You see that you are
accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!"
Literally, "house of figs."
A village on the
Mount of Olives, on the
road going east from Jerusalem to Jericho.
The traditional site is North West of
Bethany (About a mile from Jerusalem).
A colt ... on which no one has ever sat
No animal was allowed to be employed in sacred uses, even among the
heathen, which had previously been
used for any domestic or agricultural purpose; and those that had never
been yoked were considered as sacred.
The foal was unbroken, as befitted an animal consecrated to such a
||The Lord was born of a woman who
||did not know a man
||The Lord was to be buried where
||no one had every been buried
||It is only fitting that He should ride a colt
||no one had every sat on
Spread their clothes on the road
These were the outer garments.
Thus acknowledging Him to be their King, for this was a custom observed
by the people when they found that God had appointed a man to the
kingdom. Observe, for example, when Jehu was anointed king over Israel:
(2 Kings 9:13 NKJV)
|"Then each man hastened to take his garment and put
it under him on the top of the steps; and they blew trumpets,
saying, "Jehu is king!"
branches...and spread them on the road
Matthew, Mark, and John
use a different word for "branches:"
Each group contributed its own road-decorations.
||Speaks of a young slip or shoot, a twig
||Speaks of a mass of straw, rushes, or leaves beaten together or
strewed (thrown) loose, so as to form a bed or carpeted way
||Speaks of palm-branches, the feathery
fronds forming the tufted crown of the tree
Robertson says that the
deliberate conduct of Jesus here could
have but one meaning, namely, that this was His formal presentation of
Himself as the Messiah.
The crowds realized this and entered into the
spirit of the occasion.
Those that went before and those that followed
|They that went before
|Consisted of the crowds that poured
out from the city of Jerusalem.
|They that followed
|Were those that had assembled at Bethany
and Bethphage the night before.
|The two streams met, and
Jesus was caught up in the center of these two great, ecstatic throngs.
Aramaic for "save" or "help now."
It is from the Hebrew "hoshiah na!"
which means basically the same.
This was a plea for help from oppression, and redress of grievances.
"Hosanna" was said once daily for 7
days at the Feast of Tabernacles as they marched with palm and other
branches around the altar. On the 8th day they marched 7 times, which
was the "great Hosanna," corresponding to the "hosanna in the highest"
Thus both the words and actions of the people prove that they
acknowledged Christ as their King, and looked to Him for deliverance.
|Not only did Jesus condone this
||but He also ENCOURAGED it!
|Not only did Jesus encourage it
||but He also INSTIGATED it!
The stones would immediately cry out
"Master, rebuke Your disciples!"
This from the Pharisees.
But He would
not do so. Of such importance was
His present conduct, being expressly predicted by one of their very own
prophets (Zech. 9:9) that if this multitude was silent, even the
stones would immediately cry out:
|"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
The words may have recalled to them the
threats which occur, amid denunciations against covetousness and cruelty, and the utter destruction by which they should be avenged, in the
prophet Habakkuk (Habakkuk 2:11-14):
The Pharisees felt that they were
powerless to stay the flood of enthusiasm.
|For the stone will cry out from the wall,
And the beam from the timbers will answer it.
Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed,
Who establishes a city by iniquity!
Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts
That the peoples labor to feed the fire,
And nations weary themselves in vain?
For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
As the waters cover the sea.
AND THEY WERE POWERLESS TO STOP IT ! ! !
He saw the city and wept over it
The road slopes by a gradual ascent up the Mount of Olives, through
green fields and under shady trees, till it suddenly sweeps round to the
northward. It is at this angle of the road that Jerusalem, which
hitherto has been hidden by the shoulder of the hill, bursts full upon
the view. There, through the clear atmosphere, rising out of the deep
valleys that surrounded it, the city of ten thousand memories stood
clear before Him and the morning sunlight, as it blazed on the marble
pinnacles and gilded roofs of the Temple buildings, was reflected in a
very fiery splendor which forced the spectator to avert his glance.
The Jerusalem of that day, with "its imperial mantle of proud towers," was regarded as one of the wonders of the world, and was a spectacle
Who can interpret, who can enter into the mighty rush of divine
compassion that, at that spectacle, shook the Savior's soul? As He gazed
on that "mass of gold and snow," there was no pride, no exultation in
the heart of its true King. He had dropped SILENT tears at the grave of Lazarus; here
HE WEPT ALOUD.
All the shame of His mockery, all the
anguish of His torture, was powerless, five days afterwards, to extort
from Him a single groan, or to wet His eyelids with one trickling tear; but here, all the pity that was within Him overmastered His human spirit
and He not only wept, but broke into a passion of lamentation
The days will come
||Build an embankment
AV translates it: "Cast a trench".
It is not a pit or large "ditch," but a pile
of earth, stones, or wood thrown up to guard a camp,
and to defend it from the approach of an enemy. This was
done at the siege of Jerusalem.
Josephus informs us that the Roman Emperor Titus, in order
that he might compel the city to surrender by "famine,"
built a wall around the whole circumference of the city. This
wall was nearly 5 miles in length, and was furnished with
thirteen castles or towers. This work was completed with
incredible labor in ten days.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by
||Close you in on every side
|The professed design of this wall was "to
keep" the city "in on every side."
Never was a prophecy more strikingly accomplished.
literally fulfilled when this city was besieged by Titus.
Josephus gives a very particular account of the building of this
wall, which he says was effected in three days, though it was
not less than thirty-nine furlongs in circumference; and that,
when this wall and trench were completed, the Jews were so
enclosed on every side that no person could escape out of the
city, and no provision could be brought in, so that they were
reduced to the most terrible distress by the famine which
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright
(c) 1996 by Biblesoft)
||Level ... to the ground
Because you did not know the time
And as He approached, He saw the city, and He wept [audibly] over it,
exclaiming, "Would that you had known personally, even at
least in this your day, the things that make for peace (for freedom
from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin and upon
which your peace--your security, safety, prosperity, and
happiness--depends)! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
For a time is coming upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank [with
pointed stakes] about you and surround you and shut you in on every side.
[Isaiah 29:3; Jeremiah 6:6; Ezek 4:2.]
And they will dash you down to the ground, you [Jerusalem] and your
children within you; and they will not leave in you one stone upon
another, [all] because you did not come progressively to recognize
and know and understand [from observation and experience] the time of your
visitation [that is, when God was visiting you, the time in which God
showed Himself gracious toward you and offered you salvation through
Luke 19:41-44 (AMP)
I will encamp against you all around, I will lay siege against you
with a mound, and I will raise siegeworks against you. You
shall be brought down, you shall speak out of the ground; your
speech shall be low, out of the dust; your voice shall be like a
medium's, out of the ground; and your speech shall whisper out of
the dust. (NKJV)
"Cut down trees, and build a mound against Jerusalem. This is
the city to be punished. She is full of oppression in her midst.
As a fountain wells up with water, so she wells up with her wickedness.
Violence and plundering are heard in her. Before Me continually are
grief and wounds. Be instructed, O Jerusalem, lest
My soul depart from you; lest I make you desolate, a land not
Lay siege against it, build a siege wall against it, and heap up a mound
against it; set camps against it also, and place battering rams against it
all around. Moreover take for yourself an iron plate, and set it as
an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face against it, and it
shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it. This will be a sign
to the house of Israel. (NKJV)
|"Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city,
to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the Most Holy.
|"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command
to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.
|"And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come
shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood,
and till the end of the war desolations are determined."
|He was to be crucified at the end of the 69th week
Daniel 9:24-27, or 483 years after the commandment at the end of
the Babylonian captivity to restore Jerusalem and the temple.
AND THEY KNEW THAT!!!
The knowledge of all this brought Jesus,
He took no pleasure in the things that would befall His people, neither
in this world, or in the next.
|not to an outburst of anger,
but an outburst of anguish.
Say to them: 'As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'I have no pleasure in the
death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn,
turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but
is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that
all should come to repentance. (NKJV)
THE SECOND DAY
|(18) Now in the
morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. (19)
And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found
nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, "Let
no fruit grow on you ever again." Immediately the fig
tree withered away.
Mark 11:12-14, 20-24
(12) Now the next day, when they had come
out from Bethany, He was hungry. (13) And seeing
from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He
would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing
but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. (14)
In response Jesus said to it, "Let no one
eat fruit from you ever again." And His disciples
Nothing but leaves ... not the season for figs
It was not as yet the time for the gathering in the fruits.
Figs were ripe
in Judea as early as the Passover. Clark says that he has seen trees in
that climate with fruit on them all year round.
Also, the fig tree puts forth its fruit first, and afterwards its leaves.
It was reasonable to expect to find ripe figs on the tree.
condemned the tree,
not only because of its fruitlessness,
because of its fruitlessness
IN THE MIDST OF A DISPLAY THAT PROMISED
This tree was intended to point out the state of the Jewish nation.
||They made a Profession of the
||They considered themselves the Peculiar
people of God, and despised and reprobated all others
||They were only Hypocrites, having
nothing of religion but the Profession
His conduct towards this tree was emblematical of the treatment and
final perdition that was to come upon the nation.
||It was a Proper time for them to
have borne Fruit
||The time was now at hand in
which God would require Fruit, and if it did not produce, the tree
should be hewn down by the Roman axe
||is properly the Jewish Nation
||is the sentence of destruction that had
now gone out against it
||The Withering Away
||is the final and total ruin of the
Jewish state by the Romans
His cursing the fig tree was not occasioned by any resentment or malice at
being disappointed, but to point out unto His disciples the wrath that was
coming upon a people who had now nearly filled up the measure of their
A FRUITLESS SOUL, that has had such cultivation bestowed on it, may expect
to be dealt with as God did with this unrighteous nation.
See also the Fruit of the Spirit in
Galatians 5:22, 23.
Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all
those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the
tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold
doves. (13) And He said to them, "It
is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but
you have made it a 'den of thieves.'"
Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He
healed them. (15) But when the chief priests and
scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children
crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of
David!" they were indignant (16) and said to
Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?"
And Jesus said to them, "Yes. Have you
never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have perfected praise'?"
Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He
So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and
began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and
overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of
those who sold doves. (16) And He would not allow
anyone to carry wares through the temple. (17) Then
He taught, saying to them, "Is it not
written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all
nations'? But you have made it a 'den of thieves.'"
And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they
might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people
were astonished at His teaching.
When evening had come, He went out of the city.
Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who
bought and sold in it, (46) saying to them, "It
is written, 'My house is a house of prayer,' but you have made
it a 'den of thieves.'"
And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests,
the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy
Him, (48) and were unable to do anything; for all
the people were very attentive to hear Him.
In John 2:13-22 is recorded the first time Jesus cleansed the
The background information and the basic procedure followed are much the
same in both accounts.
Jesus drove them out that sold.
|He did it before with a scourge of small cords
|Now he did it with a look, with a frown, with a
word of command.
Some reckon this none of the least of Christ's miracles,
that he should himself thus clear the temple, and not be
opposed in it by them who by this craft got their living, and were
backed in it by the priests and elders.
It is an instance of his power over the spirits of men, and
the hold he has of them by their own consciences. This was the only
act of regal authority and coercive power that Christ did in the days of
his flesh; he began with it, John 2 and here ended with it.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition,
Copyright (c) 1991 by
The children crying out in the temple
"Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise" is
from the 8th Psalm.
It was a common thing among the Jews for the children to be employed in
the public acclamations; and thus they were accustomed to hail their
celebrated rabbins. This shouting of the children was therefore no strange
thing in the land; only they were exasperated, because a person was
celebrated against whom they had a rooted hatred. As to the prophecy that
foretold this, they regarded it not.
||tried to prevent the little children from
||tried to quiet the blind men at Jericho
as they cried out to "Jesus, son of David."
||tried to quiet
the disciples as they sang "Hosanna to the son of David."
||The Chief Priests
|tried to quiet the children as they
sang "Hosanna to the son of
Tried to prohibit:
||Loving Jesus and receiving blessing
||Proclaiming His presence and Lordship
||(the Blind men)
||Praising Him -Proclaim His Lordship
||Praising Him -Proclaim His Lordship
THE THIRD AND FOURTH DAYS
Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the
elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and
said, "By what authority are You doing these things? And who
gave You this authority?"
But Jesus answered and said to them, "I
also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise
will tell you by what authority I do these things: (25)
The baptism of John -- where was it from? From heaven or from
they reasoned among 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 multitude, for
all count John as a prophet." (27) So they answered
Jesus and said, "We do not know."
And He said to them, "Neither will I tell
you by what authority I do these things."
Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the
temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to
Him. (28) And they said to Him, "By what authority
are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to
do these things?"
But Jesus answered and said to them, "I
also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell
you by what authority I do these things: (30) The
baptism of John -- was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me."
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From
heaven,' He will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?'
(32) But if we say, 'From men'" -- they feared the people,
for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. (33)
So they answered and said to Jesus, "We do not know."
And Jesus answered and said to them, "Neither
will I tell you by what authority I do these things."
Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in
the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and
the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him
(2) and spoke to Him, saying, "Tell us, by what authority
are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this
But He answered and said to them, "I also
will ask you one thing, and answer Me: (4) The
baptism of John -- was it from heaven or from men?"
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From
heaven,' He will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?'
(6) But if we say, 'From men,' all the people will stone
us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet." (7)
So they answered that they did not know where it was from.
(8) And Jesus said to them, "Neither
will I tell you by what authority I do these things."
By what authority
Referring particularly to:
||His receiving the acclamations of the people
as the promised Messiah.
||His expulsion of the traders out of the
||His publicly teaching the people in the Temple.
We might liken this to: His right to be in charge-day-to-day!
||His right to expect us to acclaim Him Lord of
||His right to expect us to keep our life free
from the "filthiness of the flesh."
||His right to expect us to study His Word, and
meditate in His Law day and night.
The baptism of John, where was it from?
"We do not know" should have been truthfully, "We will not tell," for:
|If John is acknowledged as the
|Jesus must be acknowledged as the Christ!
what do you think? A 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 regretted
it and went. (30) Then he came to the second and
said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did
not go. (31) Which of the two did the will of his
They said to Him, "The first."
Jesus said to them, "Assuredly, I say to
you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God
before you. (32) For John came to you in the way of
righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors
and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not
afterward relent and believe him."
|The first son
||was the Rebellious one
||The Publicans and the Sinners (vs. 31)
who saw the error of their ways, and were not too proud to repent
|The second son
||was the Hypocritical one
||the Religious Leaders with all their
self righteousness who were like the fig tree with all the leaves (or
show), but no fruit.
But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses
are like filthy rags. (NKJV)
1 Timothy 1:15
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
"Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a
vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and
built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a
|(34) Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his
servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit.
(35) And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one,
and stoned another. (36)
|Again he sent other servants, more than the
first, and they did likewise to them.
|(37) Then last of all he sent
his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' (38) But when
the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is
the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.'
they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.
|(40) "Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he
do to those vinedressers?"
|(41) They said to Him, "He will destroy those wicked men miserably,
and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to
him the fruits in their seasons."
|(42) Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures:
'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the LORD's doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes'?
(43) "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from
you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. (44) And whoever
falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it
will grind him to powder."
|(45) Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables,
they perceived that He was speaking of them. (46) But when they
sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because
they took Him for a prophet.
|(1) Then He
began to speak to them in parables: "A
man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for
the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers
and went into a far country.
Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he
might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the
vinedressers. (3) And they took him and beat him and sent
him away empty-handed.
Again he sent them another servant, and at him they threw stones,
wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated.
And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others,
beating some and killing some.
Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to
them last, saying, 'They will respect my son.' (7) But
those vinedressers said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come,
let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' (8)
So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.
"Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come
and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not even read this Scripture:
'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief
(11) This was the LORD's doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes'?"
|(12) And they
sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they
knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and
|(9) Then He
began to tell the people this parable: "A
certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and
went into a far country for a long time.
(10) Now at vintage-time he sent a
servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the
fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him
(11) Again he sent another servant;
and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away
(12) And again he sent a third;
and they wounded him also and cast him out.
(13) "Then the owner of the vineyard
said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. probably they
will respect him when they see him.' (14) But when the
vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying,
'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may
be ours.' (15) So they cast him out of the vineyard
and killed him.
Therefore what will the owner of the
vineyard do to them? (16) He will come and destroy
those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others."
And when they heard it they said, "Certainly not!"
|(17) Then He
looked at them and said, "What then is this
that is written:
'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief
(18) Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on
whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."
|(19) And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour
sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people -- for they
knew He had spoken this parable against them.
A parable in some respects similar to that of the
Barren Fig Tree.
The general application of this parable seems to be:
||The Jewish Nation
||Divine Protection (Set a hedge around it)
||The Law and Sacrificial Rites
||The Temple, in which the Divine Presence was
||The Priests and Doctors of the Law
||The Prophets sent from God
||The Lord Jesus Christ
He provided all for them - They returned nothing but wickedness to Him.
Also in conjunction with this parable is Isaiah 5:1-7
Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His
My Well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill.
He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest
He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; so
He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild
"And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge,
please, between Me and My vineyard.
What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it?
Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it
bring forth wild grapes?
And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard:
I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; and break
down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned or dug, but there
shall come up briers and thorns.
I will also command the clouds That they rain no rain on it."
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house
of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help. (NKJV)
The stone which the builders rejected
This is taken from Psalm 118:22.
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone. (NKJV)
And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:
(2) "The kingdom of heaven is like a
certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, (3)
and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the
wedding; and they were not willing to come. (4) Again,
he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited,
"See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are
killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding."' (5)
But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own
farm, another to his business. (6) And the rest seized
his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. (7)
But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out
his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
(8) Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is
ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. (9)
Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to
the wedding.' (10) So those servants went out into the
highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and
good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
(11) "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a
man there who did not have on a wedding garment. (12)
So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a
wedding garment?' And he was speechless. (13) Then the
king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away,
and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and
gnashing of teeth.'
(14) "For many are called, but few are chosen."
Arranged a marriage
The phrase refers to the marriage feast, rather than the ceremony.
Not the principle meal of the day, but a "noon-breakfast," a luncheon.
(This feasting with guests went on for a
week after the wedding).
Tell those who are invited
The custom included an initial invitation and a second call at the
Made light of it
Not in the sense of "jeering."
They simply gave it no heed. It was of no importance to them. They preferred
earthly things to heavenly blessings.
And went their ways
These are two different classes of unbelievers:
Each equally guilty, and "not worthy." (vs. 8).
Seized his servants
The invited ones, here certainly Israel, refused this call,
and when further explanatory entreaties were made, became either brazenly
rude or positively murderous.
Compare Jewish treatment of John (Matt
21:25), Stephen (Acts 7:59), and James (Acts 12:2).
If the scene describes a marriage that involved the recognition of the
son as heir, then refusal to attend showed disloyalty as well as
discourtesy. This accounts for the violent destruction brought upon the
rebels by the king's forces.
Did not have on a wedding garment
The language here is drawn from the remarkable passage in Zephaniah 1
"Be silent in the presence of the Lord
GOD; for the day of the LORD
is at hand, for the LORD has prepared a sacrifice;
He has invited His guests. And it shall be, in the day of the
LORD's sacrifice, that I will punish the
princes and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with
There are here three classes who are not allowed to enter:
||Those who are
||Have no desire to enter
||Those who are HOSTILE
||Have no desire to enter
||Those who are UNPREPARED
||He would enter, but "in
his own garments"
(Purposely Unprepared - The Pharisees with there "own
Excerpts from Farrar (concerning the Three Parables)
(Life of Christ by Dr. Frederic W. Farrar Copyright: 1949)
|Teachings so obvious in their import filled the minds of the leading
Priests and Pharisees with a more and more bitter rage. He had begun the
day by refusing to answer their dictatorial question, and by more than
justifying that refusal. His counter-influence that they so haughtily
exercised over the people, but had reduced them to the ignominious silence
of hypocrisy. Then followed His parables:
||In the FIRST
The Two Sons
||He convicted them of false
Professions, unaccompanied by action.
||In the SECOND
||He depicted the trust and
responsibility of their office, and indicated a terrible
retribution for its cruel and profligate abuse.
||In the THIRD
||The Wedding Feast
||He indicated alike the punishment
that would ensue upon the rejection of His invitations, and the impossibility of deceiving the
eye o f His Heavenly Father by a mere nominal and pretended acceptance.
Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in
And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying,
"Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in
truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the
person of men. (17) Tell us, therefore, what do You
think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why
do you test Me, you hypocrites? (19) Show Me the tax
|So they brought Him a
(20) And He said to them, "Whose image
and inscription is this?" (21) They said
to Him, "Caesar's." And He said to them, "Render
therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the
things that are God's." (22) When they had
heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.
Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to
catch Him in His words.
When they had come, they said to Him, "Teacher, we know that You
are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person
of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay
taxes to Caesar, or not? (15) Shall we pay, or shall
we not pay?"
knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, "Why
do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it."
|(16) So they
brought it. And He said to them, "Whose
image and inscription is this?" They said to Him,
(17) And Jesus answered and said to them, "Render
to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that
And they marveled at Him.
So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous,
that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the
power and the authority of the governor.
Then they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, we know that You say and
teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach
the way of God in truth: (22) Is it lawful for us to
pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
|(23) But He
perceived their craftiness, and said to them, "Why
do you test Me? (24) Show Me a denarius.
Whose image and inscription does it have?"
They answered and said, "Caesar's."
(25) And He said to them, "Render
therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the
things that are God's."
(26) But they could not catch Him in His words in the
presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept
The word is "kenson."
It refers here to the poll tax that the Jews paid
the Emperor (of Rome).
This payment was objectionable to them for two
||It was a sign of subjection to a foreign power.
||The coin with which it was to be paid, the
denarius, bore the Emperor's effigy stamped upon it.
Is it lawful?
Rather - "is it permissible, is it allowed, or permitted?"
The Jews were
not discussing the legality of paying poll tax to Caesar, but whether a
Jew should do so in view of his theocratic relationship to God.
pressed for an answer, "Yes" or "No," as if there were no other possible
answer. They hoped, in view of His Jewish
background and teaching, that He would say no. That would involve Him at
once with the Roman authorities.
Jesus perceived their wickedness
Answer to this question was extremely difficult:
||In the presence of the
||who professed to have no other king but
God, and looked on their
independence as an essential point of their religion.
||In the presence of the
||who were ready to stir up the people
against Him, if His decision could be at all construed to be
contrary to their prejudices, or to their religious rights.
||In the presence of the
||who, if the answer should appear to be
against Caesar's rights, were ready to inflame their master (Herod)
to avenge, by the death of Jesus, the affront offered to Herod's
master, the Roman Emperor.
Jesus shows His profound wisdom
them, and showing that He knew the very secrets of their
This must cover them with confusion, when they saw that their
MOTIVES were thus discovered.
||By not attempting to discuss the question at large;
but settled the business by seizing a maxim that was common among
all people, and acknowledged among the Jews themselves:
That the prince who causes his image and titles to be stamped on the
current coin of a country, is virtually acknowledged thereby
as the governor.
||By making them answer to their own confusion.
They came to ensnare Jesus in His discourse, and now they are
ensnared in their own. He who digs a pit for another
ordinarily falls into it himself!
His answer is full of consummate wisdom. It:
||Establishes the limits
||Regulates the rights
||Distinguishes the jurisdiction of the two empires
of Heaven and Earth
|The image of PRINCES
stamped on their COIN
|Denotes that temporal things belong to their
|The image of GOD stamped on the
|Denotes that all its faculties and powers
belong to the Most High, and should be employed in His service
When our lives are examined by men, whose image do they see?
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who ... made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a
servant ... he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh,
to fulfill the lusts thereof. (KJV)
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works and glorify your Father in heaven. (KJV)
The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection,
came to Him and asked Him, (24) saying: "Teacher,
Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother
shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.
(25) Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died
after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to
his brother. (26) Likewise the second also, and the
third, even to the seventh. (27) Last of all the
woman died also. (28) Therefore, in the
resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all
Jesus answered and said to them, "You are
mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.
(30) For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are
given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
(31) But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you
not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, (32)
'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of
Jacob'? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."
|(33) And when
the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.
Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to
Him; and they asked Him, saying: (19) "Teacher,
Moses wrote to us that if a man's brother dies, and leaves his
wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his
wife and raise up offspring for his brother. (20)
Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying,
he left no offspring. (21) And the second took her,
and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third
likewise. (22) So the seven had her and left no
offspring. Last of all the woman died also. (23)
Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will
she be? For all seven had her as wife."
Jesus answered and said to them, "Are you
not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures
nor the power of God? (25) For when they rise
from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but
are like angels in heaven. (26) But concerning the
dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in
the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?
(27) He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the
living. You are therefore greatly mistaken."
Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a
resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, (28)
saying: "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man's brother
dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother
should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.
(29) Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a
wife, and died without children. (30) And the second
took her as wife, and he died childless. (31) Then
the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they
left no children, and died. (32) Last of all the
woman died also. (33) Therefore, in the
resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her
Jesus answered and said to them, "The sons
of this age marry and are given in marriage. (35)
But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the
resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in
marriage; (36) nor can they die anymore, for they
are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the
resurrection. (37) But even Moses showed in the
burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called
the Lord 'the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of
Jacob.' (38) For He is not the God of the dead
but of the living, for all live to Him."
some of the scribes answered and said, "Teacher, You have spoken
well." (40) But after that they dared not question
And raise up offspring for his brother
This law is mentioned in Deuteronomy 25:5, and an example of this is the
situation between Ruth and Boaz.
The son produced by the second union is to be reckoned in the genealogy of
the deceased brother, and enjoy his estates.
"If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the
widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the
family; her husband's brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife,
and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. And it shall be
that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his
dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
The purpose of the Mosaic legislation here was to prevent a family
inheritance from being broken up. Since the 7 men have died, and also the
woman, the interest of the case had passed over into the future life, if
there was such a thing, which the Sadducees doubted.
The Sadducees (and the Pharisees also, so far as they connected marriage
and the propagation of the race with the future life), showed themselves
incapable of conceiving a power that could produce an entirely different
order from any within their experience. They assumed either that God could
not raise the dead, or that He could raise them only to a life that would
be a counterpart of the present, or even more replete with material
Like the angels
Literally, "in the same manner as, after the fashion of."
It speaks of
similarity and equality, here limited to the restrictions of the context
that speaks of marriage and the propagation of the race.
Angels were originally created.
There is the same number of angels in
existence today as when they were created.
They do not propagate their
Human beings in the next life will not be angels, but they will be
like angels in this respect, that they will not propagate their kind.
Thus, the hypothetical case of the Sadducees has no relation to the future
I am the God of Abraham
Abraham was dead over 300 years when these words were spoken by God to
|yet still God calls Himself the God of Abraham.
Now Jesus properly
observes that God
|is not the God of "the dead"
(that word being equal, in the sense of the Sadducees,
to an eternal annihilation),
|but of "the
living;" it therefore follows that, if He be the God of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob, these are not dead, but are alive, though they had ceased, for
some hundreds of years, to exist among mortals.
This quotation is taken from Exodus 3:6,16; and as the five books of Moses were the only part of the Scripture that the Sadducees acknowledged
as Divine, Jesus, by confuting them from those books, proved the second
part of His assertion, "Ye are ignorant of those very Scriptures which you
profess to hold sacred."
|(34) But when
the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they
gathered together. (35) Then one of them, a lawyer,
asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, (36)
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
(37) Jesus said to him, "'You shall
love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your mind.' (38) This is the first
and great commandment. (39) And the second is like it:
'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' (40)
On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
|(28) Then one
of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together,
perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is
the first commandment of all?"
(29) Jesus answered him, "The first of
all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the
LORD is one. (30) And you shall love the LORD your God
with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and
with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.
(31) And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your
neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than
(32) So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You
have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other
but He. (33) And to love Him with all the heart, with
all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the
strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all
the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
(34) Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to
him, "You are not far from the kingdom of
But after that no one dared question Him.
Love the Lord your God
||WITH ALL YOUR HEART
||He loves God with all his heart who
loves nothing in comparison of
Him, and nothing but in reference to Him: who is ready to
give up, do, or suffer any thing in order to please and glorify Him:
|- who has in his heart neither love nor
hatred, hope nor fear, inclination, nor aversion, desire, nor
delight, but as they relate to God, and are regulated by Him.
||WITH ALL YOUR SOUL
||He loves God with all his soul who is
ready to give up LIFE for His sake - to endure
all sorts of torments, and to be deprived of all kinds of comforts,
rather than dishonor God:
|- who employs life with all its comforts, and
conveniences, to glorify God in, by, and through all:
- to whom life and death are nothing, but as they come from
and lead to God.
||WITH ALL YOUR MIND
||He loves God with all his mind who
applies himself only to know God, and His holy will:
|- who receives with submission, gratitude,
and pleasure, the sacred truths that God has revealed to man.
In a word, he who sees God in all things, thinks
of Him at all times, having his
mind continually fixed upon God, acknowledging Him in all his ways
begins, continues, and ends all his thoughts, words, and works,
glory of His Name.
||WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH
||He loves God with all his strength who
exerts all the powers of his body and soul in the service of God:
|- who, for the glory of his Maker, spares
neither labor nor cost
- who sacrifices his time, body, health, for the honor of
We must love Him with:
||All your Heart
||Our total EMOTIONS
||All your Soul
||Our total DESIRES
||All your Mind
||All your Strength
||Our total PHYSICAL
This "Great Commandment" is greatest:
||as directly and immediately proceeding from and
referring to God.
||being as old as the world, and engraved originally
on our very nature.
||being the commandment of the New Covenant, and the
very Spirit of the Divine adoption.
||because it alone renders to God His due, prefers
Him before all things, and secures to Him His proper rank in
relation to them.
||being in itself capable of making men holy in this life,
and happy in the other.
||because it is the root of all
commandments and the fulfilling of the law.
||because by this alone God reigns in the heart of
man, and man is united to God.
||leaving nothing to the creature, which it does not
refer to the Creator.
||being absolutely indispensable.
||being ever to be continued on earth, and never to
be discontinued in heaven.
(End of Lesson Twenty)