I WON'T BACK DOWN

Friday, March 16, 2018

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW ~ Chapter 21



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW ~ Chapter 21

When they were nearing Jerusalem, and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples ahead, giving them orders. “Go into the village that faces you,” He said, “and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt at her side. Untie them and bring them to me. Should anyone say anything to you, then reply, ‘Adonai needs them’. He will then send them at once.”

All this took place in fulfillment of what the prophet had said, “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘Look! Your King is coming to you, meek, mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden’.” (Zechariah 9:9)


The disciples then left and did as Yeshua directed them. They fetched the donkey and her colt and placed tier coats upon them, and Yeshua sat thereon. Many of the crowd strewed the road with their clothing, while others cut off branches from the palm trees and scattered them on the way. And the people who went ahead of Him – and also those following – shouted ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He, Who comes in the name of Adonai! Hosanna in the highest!’ As He entered Jerusalem, it was all astir. The whole city was asking, ‘Who is this?’ and the crowd kept answering, ‘This is Yeshua, the Prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’


Yeshua then went into Elohei’s Temple, and he drove out all the buyers and sellers there. He tipped over the tables of the cashiers and the chairs of those selling doves. 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.”


He healed the blind and crippled who came to Him there. But the chief priests and scribes became furious when they saw the miracles He did and when they heard the children in the Temple chanting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ They said to Him, ‘Do You hear what they are saying?’ “Surely,” said Yeshua, “and have you never heard the saying, ‘You have brought forth perfect praise from the mouths of babes and sucklings?” Then He left them and went out of the city of Bethany, and stayed overnight there.




Early the next morning He went back to the city; He was hungry. There was a fig tree by the wayside. On seeing this He went up to it, but found nothing on it but leaves. He then said to the tree, “Let no fruit ever grow on you hereafter!” The fig tree thereupon immediately withered. The disciples, seeing this, were amazed, and remarked, ‘How suddenly the fig tree withered away!’ Then Yeshua sad to them, “Yes, if you have faith – if you do not doubt – you may do not only the miracles of the fig tree, but you may even say to this mountain, ‘Move aside! Throw yourself into the sea! And it will be done. Listen! If you will only believe, you will get everything you ask for in prayer.” 


He came into the Temple again, and as He was busy teaching, the chief priests and elders of the people approached Him and demanded, ‘By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority?’ Yeshua answered, “Just let Me ask you one question, too, and if you will answer it, then I will also tell you by what authority I am doing My work.” My question is, how about the baptism of John? Was it from heaven or from men?” They argued the question among themselves like this: ‘If we say it was from heaven, then He will say, “Then why didn’t you believe him?” But if we say it was from men, then we have the people to fear, for they all believe that John was a prophet.’ So they answered Yeshua this way, ‘We do not know.’ “Alright,” said Yeshua, “then I shall not tell you by what authority I do what I do.”


“Now what do you think of this? Once there was a man who had two sons. One day he went to the first-born and said to him, “My boy, will you go and work today in my vineyard?” But he answered, ‘No, I shall not.’ Afterward, he felt sorry, and went to work. In the meantime, the man had gone to the second son and put the same question to him. He had answered, ‘Yes, sir, I shall go.’ But he did not go to work. Now, which of the two sons did the will of his father?” They said to Him, ‘The first.’ Yeshua then said to them, “Yes, and tax collectors and harlots will go into the kingdom of Elohei before you. For John came to you preaching righteousness, but you would not believe him. The tax-collectors and harlots believed him, while you, seeing this, did not afterwards repent and believe him.”

“Now listen to another parable. Once there was a farmer who planted a vineyard and fenced it in. Next, he dug a wine-press and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went away. When the fruit season drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his share. But the tenants took hold of his servants, one of whom they beat up, another they killed outright, and still another they stoned. Once more he sent out other servants – and more of them than the first time – but the tenants treated them in the same manner. Finally, he sent his own son to them, thinking, ‘They will surely have respect for my son.’ But it was not so, for when they saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and get possession of the estate.’ So they laid hands on him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him, too. When the owner of the vineyard returns, what will he do to these tenants?”


His disciples said, ‘Those wicked men he will surely bring to a wretched end and he shall lease the vineyard to other tenants, who will pay him his share of the fruits in their season.’ Yeshua said to them, “Have you never read the Scripture passage, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone; Adonai has done it, and it is wonderful in our eyes’? Because of this, I tell you that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a people who will yield proper fruit. As for the Stone, He will break to pieces him who fall on it, and he who falls under it will be ground to powder.” (Psalm 118:22-23 & Isaiah 8:14-15).



As the chief priests and the Pharisees were listening to His disciples, they understood that it was about them that He was speaking. They were anxious to have Him arrested, but they were afraid of the people, who regarded Him as a prophet.





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