Summary: Jesus "triumphal entry" according to the Zechariah 9:9 prophecy was for the purpose of personally demonstrating the apostasy of Israel, culminating in the pronouncing of judgment on Israel in the "woes" and lament of Matt. 23. In Matt. chapter 21, His bas


The entry according to prophecy: 1-10

The cleansing of the temple: Israel rejected God’s holiness in worship 11-17

The lesson of the barren fig tree: Israel rejected God’s purpose in fruitfulness 18-22

John’s authority and message: Israel rejected God’s Word-bearing messengers 23-31

The parable of the vineyard owner: Israel rejected, ultimately, God’s Son 33-41

Stone the Builders Rejected: Israel will have the kingdom taken from them. 42-46


The entry according to prophecy: 1-10

Jesus in fulfilling the prophecy of Zech 9:9 " 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. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ’from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.’ And the refrain is taken from Psalm 118: 22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. 23 This was the LORD’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be gad in it. 25 Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

Temple Cleansing 11-17 - Israel rejected God’s holiness in worship

In proceeding to the Temple, cleansing it of the wickedness, He demonstrates in a very specific action what the entire chapter and section of Scripture refers to. The temple is cleansed and is being left desolate.

The Barren Fig Tree 18-22 - Israel rejected God’s purpose in fruitfulness

Again the specific action of Jesus pictures the larger purpose of God’s judgment on Israel. Israel was the "natural branch" of God’s covenant tree, yet the did not bear fruit. Because of this Jesus cursed the fig tree and taught the disciples that the actions of binding, loosing, forgiveness and prayer according to God’s covenant purpose through faith.

John’s message 23-32: Israel rejected God’s Word-bearing messengers

John called the nation to repentance by the authority of God, in the "way of righteousness" - appealing to the religious. Yet the most profane sinners will go into the kingdom before the self-righteous of Israel.

The parable of vineyard owner 33-41: Israel rejected God’s Son

Jesus illustrated this truth in the story that the vineyard owner sent slaves, yet the vinedresser/manager killed them, finally he sent his son and they killed him. What great judgment will come upon them!

Stone the Builders Rejected 42-46: Israel will have the kingdom taken from them.

Since the builders rejected the chief cornerstone, the kingdom will be taken from them and given to a nation producing the fruit of it.


While this chapter portrays unrepeatable events limited to the unique context of Israel and their apostasy in the face of their incarnate Messiah and King, the principles of God’s judgment on men, nations, and even churches are applicable. Rejecting God’s holiness in worship, His purpose in fruitfulness, His Word-bearing messengers, and ultimately His Son brings judgment, resulting in the removal of the kingdom. How are you guilty of rejecting God’s holiness in worship, fruitfulness, His Word and messengers, or His son? May God Grant His church repentance.

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