Tuesday of the Final Week

The Authority of Jesus Questioned

As Jesus was teaching in the temple the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him and asked Him by whose authority He performed miracles. Jesus responded that He would answer them if they would answer His question. He asked them if the authority of the baptism of John was from heaven or of men. They carefully considered His questions. If they would answer from heaven, they surmised that He would ask why then did they not believe Him. If they would answer that it was from men, then the people who held John the Baptist as a prophet would rise up against them. Since they refused to answer Him, Jesus refused to answer their question (Matthew 21:23-27).

Parables of Rejection

When the chief priests, scribes and the elders would not answer Jesus, He gave three parables, of what we call parables of rejection.

The first parable was that of two sons. The two sons pictured the Gentiles and the Israelis. One son, at first, refused to do what his father asked him to do. He then felt guilty about it, and finally did go and do what his father had asked him to do. The second son immediately agreed to go and do what his father asked, but then did not follow through to do it. The first son would be the Gentiles, who did not know God at first, but learned of their guilt before God, and repented , and went and did what the Father, God, asked. The second son would be the Jewish nation, who knew God, and followed Him in name only (Matthew 21:28-32).

The second parable is that of the vineyard. The landlord here is God and the vineyard is the nation of Israel (Isaiah 5:1-7; Matthew 21:33-34; Mark 12:1). The servants the nation of Israel mistreated are the prophets. Then finally the landlord, God, sent His Son but they killed Him. This prophecy would be fulfilled this week, the final week of the life of Jesus (Matthew 21:35-37; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19).

The third, and last parable of rejection, is that of the marriage feast and the wedding garment. This is another parable of Israel's rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 22:1 we see that God, represented here by the King, will make a marriage supper for His Son, Jesus Christ. The King's friends, the Jews, were invited, but refused to come (Matthew 22:1-7). He will invite Israel but many will reject the King, such as the scribes, Pharisees, the religious rulers, etc.. The wedding is ready, but Israel is not worthy. The King then sent His servants out to invite as many as they could find. This tells us that God bypassed Israel and called the Gentiles, these replacement guests represent the Gentiles. God invites all mankind so that they might be saved, including the Jew. There was one at the feast that did not have a proper garment. Since they had all been summoned from the highways and hedges,no one was expected to have had the proper garments, so the King had provided them all wedding garments. The fact that this person did not have a garment was an insult to the King, because his provision had been rejected. All that accept Jesus Christ will be provided with a proper garment. Those that try to attend the feast without accepting Jesus Christ will be cast out into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:7-14).

This generation of Jews that rejected the Lord Jesus Christ will be judged. It should also be noted that the Bible doesn't teach that the kingdom will be given to the church or to the Gentiles, but to another generation of Jews, the generation of Jews that accept Jesus Christ at His second coming.

Attempt to Discredit Jesus

The chief priest and Pharisees finally understood, that these parables were talking about them. When they understood they became angry and would have taken Him into custody except they were afraid of the people. So they formed an alliance with the Herodians to trap Jesus.

They tried to discredit Jesus with a question about tribute to Caesar. The Pharisees and the Herodians asked Jesus, "Is it lawful for us to give tribute (or pay taxes) unto Caesar, or not?" (Matthew 22:17). They knew if Jesus said no He would be in trouble with Rome. If He said yes then He would be in trouble with the people, as they did not like being ruled by Rome. Jesus was aware of their hypocrisy and asked them for a penny. The he asked them whose inscription was on it. They replied that it was Caesar's. Jesus then told them to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and unto God that which is God's (Matthew 22:18-21).

The same day the Sadducees came to Jesus to question Him. The Sadducees don't believe in the supernatural, angels for example, nor in a resurrection. They questioned Jesus on a problem of one woman who had married seven brothers one at a time, then married the next brother, after each had died, and wanted to know whose wife she would be in the resurrection (Matthew 22:23-28). The Sadducees were trying to discredit Jesus by inferring that He was inconsistent and/or unreasonable. However, Jesus told them that they didn't understand and that they were in error, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. In His answer, Jesus addressed both the Sadducees disbelief in angels and in the resurrection. Jesus told them that in the resurrection there would be no marrying or giving in marriage since they will be as angels. They would be as angels in the sense that angels do not procreate, they were each created separately and do not marry nor have offspring. In the resurrection people will not have the normal marriage relationship that they had here on earth and they will have no children.

Then came a scribe and asked Jesus: "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" (Matthew 22:36). The rabbis often disagreed when they tried to answer this question. The scribe was trying to trap Jesus in the disagreements of the traditional oral law. Jesus chose two commandments from the Old Testament and told them, "Love God with your whole heart", Deuteronomy 6:5 and "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:37-39). Clearly, if one keeps these two commandments they will be keeping the whole law. The scribe agreed with Jesus. At this point Jesus had discredited all His critics and no one dared ask Him any more questions (Mark 12:34).

Jesus asked the Pharisees "What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he?". They answered, "The son of David." (Matthew 22:42). Jesus then asked them, How then does David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool? If David then called him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word, and neither did any from that day forth ask Him any more questions" (Matthew 22:43-46).

At this point, Jesus denounces the scribes and the Pharisees and warns the people (Mark 12:38-40). Jesus told the people to beware of the scribes, that they placed heavy burdens on the people, they did works just to be seen by men, they wore clothes just to appear pious, they loved the prominent places at the feasts, they cheated widows out of their homes, they made a pretense of long prayers, and they went everywhere trying to convert others to their teaching. It was through the teaching of the scribes that people were prevented from knowing how to be saved. Jesus called them blind guides and hypocrites.

The Olivet Discourse

In this discourse Jesus gives some details about Israel and the world conditions, from the rejection of the King to His second coming. Jesus tells of many things about the period of the great tribulation, which will precede the setting up of His kingdom.

The Destruction of Jerusalem:

As Jesus and the disciples were going by the temple, Jesus told them it would be destroyed. Now on the Mount of Olives the disciples had three questions.

(1) When would this destruction of Jerusalem occur?
(2) What will be the sign of His coming?
(3) What will be the sign of the end of the world?

The end of the age is the abomination of desolation that Daniel spoke about (Matthew 24:15; Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11).

Jesus told the disciples that many would try to lead them astray that would try to deceive them (Matthew 24:4-5). He said that there will be wars and rumors of war, famines, earthquakes, and persecution (Matthew 24:6-14). These are some of the things Jesus pointed to and we are seeing these things in today's world. The final dictator who will lead nations astray is the Antichrist, the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6:1-2. He begins as a peacemaker, signing a treaty with Israel, to protect her from her enemies (Daniel 9:27). Then, in the middle of the tribulation, he will sit in the temple declaring himself to be God. Then the next three and one half years there will be horrors like no one has seen since the beginning of time.

Don't be mislead by Matthew 24:13 which says, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." The word "saved", in this verse, isn't referring to salvation from our sins and is also used to indicate saving from physical death, as we can also see in Acts 27:31. Salvation is always by faith, through grace, and not through works. This verse, taken in the context of Matthew 24:4-13, is telling us that many will die because of these perilous times, and those that endure to the end will be saved from physical death. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. but the bible teaches that there will be another destruction of Jerusalem at the end of the age. The abomination of desolation was when Antiochus's soldiers sacrificed a pig on the altar of the temple, and made the altar into a shrine for Zeus--168BC. Matthew 24:15 references this abomination. Revelation 13:14-15 gives a similar description. When this happens everyone should flee for their lives (Matthew 24:16-20). When the Antichrist desecrates the temple, times will become so horrible that if they were to continue, everyone would die, Matthew 24:21-26.

Jesus then gave us the signs of His coming, a darkened sun and moon, falling stars, and shaking planets. He will return at the end of the tribulation, which is a period of seven years. He will then begin His millennial Kingdom (Matthew 24:27-31; Revelation 20:1-6; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28).

Parable of the Fig Tree:

In this parable Jesus teaches that the generation that sees these signs will be able know that they are living in the season when these things shall come to pass, even though they will not know the exact time. Jesus will come suddenly and the world will not expect Him. He explained that when the buds on a fig tree appear you know that the summer season is near. Likewise, the generation that sees the above described events will know that the prophecies of Christ are about to be fulfilled. They won't know the exact time but they will know the season (Matthew 24:32-36; Mark 13:28-32; Luke 21:29-33).

Parables of Readiness:

Jesus then gave His disciples some parables of readiness, explaining they are to be ready for His second coming. If the good man of the house had known when the thief would come, he would have watched and not have allowed his house to be broken into (Matthew 24:43-44).

Jesus also gave a parable about the ten virgins. When they went to meet the bridegroom five were prepared and were invited to the wedding, while five were not prepared and were excluded from the wedding (Matthew 25:14-30). Likewise we are admonished to be ready for the coming of Jesus, our bridegroom for we do not know when He will return. We are to watch, wait, and work. No one knows the time of His coming, neither the angels nor the Son, but only the God the Father (Matthew 24:42-51; Mark 13:33-37; Luke 21:34-36).

Parables of Judgment:

Jesus gave another parable of the talents. A talent is simply a large sum of money, and talents were usually silver weighting between 58 and 80 pounds per talent. Talents, were divided to to each of His servants according to their abilities. These talents represent opportunities to use our abilities. The faithful servants were rewarded for being faithful in using what God had given them, while the slothful servant, who was not a good steward of what God had given him, suffered loss (Matthew 25:14-30). We should be faithful to use what God has given us. We will be judged according to our faithfulness.

Jesus told of the parable of the sheep and the goats, which teaches that the world will be judged at the return of Christ as He sets up His kingdom (Matthew 25:31-46). This occurs at the end of the Great Tribulation when Jesus will gather all nations before Him for judgment (Matthew 25:32). The word "nations" means all nations except Israel, the Gentile nations. They will be judged on how they treated His brethren, meaning the Jews, during the tribulation. The sheep are those that had accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and had cared for the Jewish people. The goats are those who had not trusted Jesus, and therefore had not been willing to help the Jewish people. Clearly, Jesus is not through with the nation of Israel. Jesus has made it clear in this discourse that God has not cast His people aside (Romans 11:1ff).

Plot Against Jesus

When Jesus had finished with the parables, He told His disciples that in two days, it would be time for the Feast of the Passover and the Son of man, Jesus, would be betrayed and crucified (Matthew 26:1-2). The disciples already knew that the chief priests, scribes and elders hated Jesus, and were plotting against Him. The story goes on to tell us that was exactly what was happening. The chief priests, scribes and elders gathered at the high priest's, Caiaphas', palace to formulate their plan. However, they decided to put it off until after the Passover was over. They were afraid the people, many who were in Jerusalem just for Passover, would turn against them (Matthew 26:3-5).

Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and asked what they would give him if he delivered Jesus to them. They agreed to give him thirty pieces of silver. From that day forward Judas began to look for opportunities to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).


Romans 10:9-10
Romans 10:13

Romans 10:9-10
Romans 10:13

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