The chapter begins with Jesus fulfilling the prophecy to the people of Jerusalem, letting them know their king is coming to them, humble, riding on a donkey. Jesus sent two of His disciples to go ahead into town before Him to grab a donkey that would be there. As Jesus rode the donkey into town everyone cheered and praised God for the Son of David.
Jesus then entered the temple where he saw people selling and buying animals to sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the tables of the ones selling the doves. He shouted to them that the temple was to be a house of prayer, and they have turned it into a den of thieves. Churches are not supposed to be all about money and making a profit, they are to be a house where people can come to be guided in knowing God on a personal level. That doesn’t mean your church can’t sell books written by your pastor or items like that. It just means the churches sole purpose, what it is known for, should be to aid people in knowing God better, in having a relationship with Jesus and offering prayer when needed. It is to be a place of worship of God, not money. Churches should be a place where likeminded people can go to have fellowship and together worship God, not items.
The blind and the lame came into the temple and Jesus healed them. The leading priests and teachers of religious law saw these miracles and praised Jesus as the Son of David. The leaders on the other hand were indignant. They didn’t agree and asked Jesus if He was aware of what they were all saying about Him, even the children. Jesus answered with scripture, reminding them that the scriptures say that they have taught children and infants to give you praise. He then returned to Bethany for the night. Jesus didn’t argue with people when they disagreed with Him, He gave them the word to stand on and that was it. We often feel like we need to persuade others into agreeing with us when we should follow suit. We need to give the word as our example and our belief and that is it, we should feel the need to debate with people on issues.
Jesus then curses a fig tree, He was hungry and saw that the tree wasn’t producing any figs so He cursed it. Immediately the tree withered and His disciples were amazed, they wanted to know how He did that. He told them that if they have faith they can do that too and so much more. If they have faith they could move a mountain, literally. If you have faith, you will receive it. We need to strive for faith like this, and this is attained by having a relationship with Jesus. You can read your bible a million times, which would be great, but you still need to know Jesus. The more we know Jesus the more faith we will have.
When Jesus returned to the temple He began teaching and the leading priests and elders came up to Him demanding to know on what authority He was doing these things. Jesus said He would answer if first they could answer a question. He wanted them to answer if John the Baptist’s authority come from Heaven or merely man himself? They knew it was a way to get them to admit to their faults. Had they said Heaven Jesus would want to know why they didn’t believe John then. If they said merely man then they would be mobbed because everyone knew and believed John was a prophet. So they replied that they didn’t know, to which Jesus then said He won’t tell them by what authority He does things. Their pride prevented them from admitting that the things John did was by the authority in Heaven. Imagine how the conversation could have gone had they admitted they knew Johns authority was from heaven, repented for not believing John and actually softening their hearts to God. Pride doesn’t deserve a place in our hearts.
Jesus shares the parable of the two sons. A man tells his older son to go work in the vineyard, the boy says no but then later changes his mind and goes to work. The second boy is told to go and he says yes sir but lies and doesn’t go to work. Which of the two boys obeyed their father? Corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God first. For John the Baptist showed the right way but they didn’t believe him like the tax collectors and prostitutes did. When they say this they still refused to repent when they knew they were in the wrong.
Jesus then shares the parable of the evil farmers. A landowner plants a vineyard then leases the land to to tenant farmers and he moves away to another country. At harvest time he sends his servants to go get his portion of the grape juice and the tenant farmers stoned and killed them. So the landowner sends more servants and the same thing happens. Then the landowner sense his son thinking they would surely respect his son. Instead, the tenant farmers killed the son in hopes to overtake the property altogether. Jesus then asks the leading priest and Pharisees what they thought would happen when the landowner returns, they didn’t realized Jesus was talking about them as the tenant farmers. They said that the landowner would kill all the tenant farmers and basically try again with more trusting tenant farmers. Jesus then declared the scriptures that the stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone, which is the Lords doing. The kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given to a nation that would produce the proper fruit. They then realized Jesus was referring to them as the tenant farmers and they wanted to arrest Him for this. However, they know the crowds were in His favor and they wouldn’t be able to outnumber Him with the crowds.