Summary: exposition on Matt ch 21 v 23-46


Matthew 21 v. 23 - 46 In this portion we find :-

1. The Problem with the Self-righteous v. 23 the chief priests and elders "by what authority?" They were vexed "came unto him", vocal "said", and vindictive about His works "by what authority doest thou these things?"

2. The Proposition for the Self-righteous v. 24 "I will also ask you one thing",

It was stinging "one thing", they had plenty to say.

It was searching " the Baptism of John."

It was silencing v. 27 - "we cannot tell" - not that they couldn’t but that they wouldn’t tell

3. The Parable to the Self-righteous v28- v30 Note:-

(a) The relationship here v. 28 - Son - were they as the prodigal’s brother?

(b) The responsibility here "go work today" - here was :-

direction - go, duty - work, desire - today, why? - the night cometh, death cometh, the Lord cometh, judgement cometh

(c) The revelation here "in my vineyard" note:- God’s place - world, God’s plan - salvation, God’s pattern - using men to reach men.

(d) The reactions here v. 29 "I won’t" and v. 30 "I will",

I won’t was callous, careless and cold, but then changed v. 29 "but afterward".

here is :-

The reason for God’s patience"Son"

The resolve of God’s patience "afterward" and

The reward of God’s patience " he repented and went", in contrast to :-

"I will" -it was a prompt response, a positive response, but a perverse response "he went not"

(e) The results here v. 31 "the publicans and harlots go into the kingdom before you", why? v. 32 because of personal unbelief "ye", perverse unbelief- "ye believed Him not", and persistent unbelief " repented not afterward."

4.The Privileges for the Self-righteous v. 33 - 46

The Parable of the wicked husbandmen

- it reveals the character of God.


(a) God’s love for man v. 33 - he is planted, protected and provided for

(b) God’s trust in man v. 33 he went into a far country

(c) God’s patience with man v. 35 - 37 His Servants sent and then his Son

(d) God’s judgement on man v. 41 " He will miserably destroy those wicked men"

It reveals :-

The character of man i.e.

(1) Human privilege - he is cared for

(2) Human freedom, v. 33 he is free to decide

(3) Human accountability v. 34 "receive the fruits thereof"

(4) and the rebellion of the human heart v. 38 "let us kill him" it is covetous, callous (accepting God’s gifts), careless - no giving account.

It reveals :-

The character of Christ v. 37 "But last of all he sent unto them his son"

in:- His coming, His claims, -as Heir v. 39 ,and His crucifixion

5. The Punishment of the Self-righteous v. 42 - 44

(a) It will be scriptural v. 42 Did ye never read?

(b) It will be reasonable v. 43 Reject me, so I reject you

(c) It will be total v. 44 - he will be broken and ground to powder - "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God"

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