Matthew Chapter 24

I. The Signs of the End of the Age; the Signs and Conditions of the Tribulation.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview.

A. Introductory Considerations.

1. The discourse of Christ on the Mount of Olives is one of the four major discourses of Christ and should be compared in its content to the Sermon on the Mount, dealing with the moral and ethical principles of the kingdom (Mt 5-7); the discourse on the present age; the kingdom in its mystery form while the King is absent (Mt 13); and the upper room discourse, dealing with the church as the body of Christ in the present age (Jn 13-17). By contrast, the discourse on the Mount of Olives contains Christ’s teaching on the end of the age, the period leading up to the second coming of Christ to set up His kingdom on earth.

2. The Olivet discourse was delivered after Christ’s scathing denunciation, in Matthew 23, of the hypocrisy and false religion which characterized the scribes and Pharisees, closing with His lament over Jerusalem, where the prophets of God through the centuries had been rejected and martyred.

B. Prediction of Destruction of the Temple, 24:1-2.

1. After delivering the denunciation of the scribes and the Pharisees, Christ left the temple, according to Matthew 24:1-2; and as He left, His disciples pointed out the magnificence of the temple buildings. The temple had been under construction since 20 B.C., and, though not actually completed until A.D. 64, its main buildings apparently were largely finished. To the disciples, the temple seemed an impressive evidence of the solidarity of Israel’s religious life and of God’s blessing upon Jerusalem.

2. When the disciples pointed out the temple, according to verse 2, Jesus said, “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” The disciples apparently received these solemn words in silence, but their thoughts were sobering. The temple was made of huge stones, some of them many tons in size, carved out in the stone quarries underneath the city of Jerusalem. Such large stones could be dislodged only through deliberate force. The sad fulfillment was to come in A.D. 70, only six years after the temple was completed, when the Roman soldiers deliberately destroyed the temple, prying off stones one by one and casting them into the valley below. Recent excavations have uncovered some of these stones.

C. Questions of the Disciples, 24:3.

1. As they walked from the temple area through the Kidron Valley and up the slope of the Mount of Olives, the disciples, no doubt, were pondering these solemn words of Christ. Matthew 24:3 records that when Christ sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples then came with their questions. According to Mark 13:3, questions were asked by Peter, James, John, and Andrew. Matthew 24:3 records, “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” The disciples had in mind, of course, that the destruction of Solomon’s temple, in 586 B.C, preceded the time of captivity. How did the temple’s future destruction relate to the promise of the coming kingdom and their hope that Christ would reign over the nation of Israel?

2. The discourse that follows depends for its interpretation on the question of whether these prophecies should be interpreted literally. Amillenarians, who do not interpret literally any prophecy concerning a future millennial reign of Christ, tend to take the prophecies in this discourse in a general rather than a particular way, and frequently try to find fulfillment in the first century in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem. Postmillenarians, following the idea that the gospel will gradually triumph over the entire world, have to spiritualize it even more, because this discourse indicates a trend toward increasing evil, which Christ will judge at His second coming.

3. Liberal interpreters consider this discourse as only a summary of apocalyptic ideas current in the first century, presented here as if taught by Christ but probably not actually uttered by Christ.

4. Those who take the Olivet discourse literally, of course, not only reject the liberal interpretation, but also the amillenarian view of this discourse. Premillenarians, accordingly, interpret the discourse as an accurate statement of end-time events, which will lead up to and climax in the second coming of Christ to set up His millennial kingdom on the earth.

5. Some variations, however, may also be observed in pre-millennial interpretation. Those who believe that the rapture, or translation of the church, occurs before the time of trouble at the end of the age usually do not believe that the rapture is in view at all in this discourse, as the rapture was first introduced in John 14:1-3, the night before Jesus was crucified, sometime after the Olivet discourse. Those accepting the posttribulational view, that the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ occur at the same time, tend to ignore the details of this discourse in the same fashion as the amillenarians do. For instance, G. Campbell Morgan skips over Matthew 24:15-22, which is the most important portion of Matthew 24. If the details of this discourse are observed and interpreted literally, it fits best with the view that the rapture is not revealed in this discourse at all, but is a later revelation, introduced by Christ in John 14 and revealed in more detail in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4. There, the “blessed hope” that Christ will come for His church before these end-time events overtake the world is revealed.

6. The period climaxing in the second coming of Christ to the earth, according to many premillenarians, begins with the rapture, or translation of the church, and is followed by the rapid rise of a dictator in the Middle East who makes a covenant with Israel. As a result of this covenant, Israel enjoys protection and peace for three-and-a-half-years. Then the covenant is broken, and the final three-and-a-half years leading up to the second coming of Christ is a period of great tribulation and time of Israel’s trouble.

7. The second coming of Christ begins His millennial reign of one thousand years, which in turn is followed by the new heaven and the new earth and the eternal state. The Olivet discourse, accordingly, is in some sense a summary of the same period described in Revelation 6-19.

8. In Matthew 24:3, the disciples had asked three questions: (1) “Tell us, when shall these things be?”; (2) “What shall be the sign of thy coming?”; and (3) What shall be the sign “of the end of the world?” Matthew’s gospel does not answer the first question, which relates to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. This is given more in detail in Luke, while Matthew and Mark answer the second and third questions, which actually refer to Christ’s coming and the end of the age as one and the same event. Matthew’s account of the Olivet discourse records that portion of Christ’s answer that relates to His future kingdom and how it will be brought in, which is one of the major purposes of the gospel.

D. Course of the Present Age, 24:4-14.

1. Expositors have taken various approaches to the introductory remarks of Christ. G. Campbell Morgan, for instance, regards the whole section of Matthew 24:4-22 as already fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem. Morgan states, “Everything predicted from verse six to verse twenty-two was fulfilled to the letter in connection with the Fall of Jerusalem within a generation.” Alfred Plummer goes a step further and includes verse 28 as fulfilled in A. D. 70.

2. Both Morgan and Plummer ignore the identification of the “great tribulation” in Matthew 24:15, 21 as a specific future period of time, and also ignore the details of the prophecy, not even attempting an exegesis of most of the verses.

3. The second coming of Christ is revealed in verses 27-31, which should be compared with the more detailed prophecy of Revelation 19:11-21.

4. In Matthew 24:13-14, there will be the worldwide preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, during the Tribulation.

5. In general, these signs have characterized the period between the first and second coming of Christ.

6. Throughout the Tribulation there is the announcement of the coming kingdom when Christ will reign on earth, which, of course, will be preached in intensified form as the end approaches of the Tribulation, climaxing with the second coming of Christ, having the promise that those that endure to the end (Mt 24:13), that is, survive the tribulation and are still alive, will be saved, or delivered, by Christ at His second coming. This is not a reference to salvation from sin, but rather the deliverance of survivors at the end of the age as stated, for instance, in Romans 11:26, where the Deliverer will save the nation Israel from its persecutors. Many, of course, will not endure to the end, in the sense that they will be martyred, even though they are saved by faith in Christ, and the multitude of martyrs is mentioned in Revelation 7:9-17.

E. Signs of the Tribulation, 24:4-25.

1. This portion of the Olivet discourse is crucial to understanding what Christ reveals about the end of the age. The tendency to explain away this section or ignore it constitutes the major difficulty in the interpretation of the Olivet discourse. In the background is the tendency of liberals to discount prophecy and the practice of some conservatives of not interpreting prophecy literally. If this prediction means what it says, it is referring to a specific time of great trouble which immediately precedes the second coming of Christ. As such, the prediction of the great tribulation is “the sign” of the second coming, and those who see the sign will be living in the generation which will see the second coming itself.

2. The fact that the book of Revelation, which practically all expositors date after the destruction of Jerusalem, coincides so exactly with this presentation makes it clear that Christ was not talking here about fulfillment in the first century, but prophecy to be related to His actual second coming to the earth in the future. William Kelly states it concisely, “The conclusion is clear and certain: in verse 15 of Matthew 24, our Lord alludes to that part of Daniel which is yet future, not to what was history when He spoke this on the mount of Olives.”

3. The sign of the future tribulation is identified with what Christ calls the sign of “the abomination of desolation” (v. 15). Jesus said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand): Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (vv. 15-16). The event is so specific that it will be a signal to the Jews living in Judea at the time to flee to the mountains. What did Christ mean by the expression “the abomination of desolation”?

4. This term is found three times in the book of Daniel (Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). Its definition is found in Daniel 11:31 in the prophecy written by Daniel concerning a Syrian ruler, Antiochus Epiphanes, who reigned over Syria 175-164 B.C., about four hundred years after Daniel.

5. In his prophecy, Daniel predicted, “They shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate” (11:31). As this was fulfilled in history, it is comparatively easy to understand what Daniel meant. Antiochus Epiphanes was a great persecutor of the people of Israel, as recorded in the apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees. In attempting to stamp out the Jewish religion, he murdered thousands of Jews, including women and children, and desecrated the temple of Israel, which precipitated the Maccabean revolt.

6. Antiochus, in attempting to stop the temple sacrifices, offered a sow, an unclean animal, on the altar, to render the Jewish temple abominable to the Jews (cf. 1 Mac 1:48). According to 1 Maccabees 1:57, the abomination of desolation was actually set up, and a statue of a Greek god was installed in the temple. For a time, the sacrifices of the Jews were stopped, and the temple was left desolate. The action of Antiochus in stopping the sacrifices, desecrating the temple, and setting up an idol in the temple is going to be repeated in the future as the signal of the beginning of the great tribulation.

7. This future abomination is described in Daniel 9:27: “He [the prince that shall come] shall confirm the covenant with many [Israel] for one week” (literally, “one seven,” meaning seven years, as practically all commentators, even those who are liberal, agree). The prophecy continues, “And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate.” The prediction is that a future prince will do just what Antiochus did in the second century B.C.

8. Further light is cast on this in Daniel 12:11, where it states, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days,” or approximately three-and-a-half-years preceding the second coming of Christ. H. A. Ironside summarizes it, “Our Lord tells us definitely here that His second advent is to follow at once upon the close of that time of trouble; so it is evident that this day of trial is yet in the future.”

9. The New Testament, in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, describes the same period, with the ruler setting himself up as God in the temple. Revelation 13:14-15 also records that an image of the ruler will be set up in the temple. These events did not take place in the first century in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, and are closely related to the future fulfillment on the second coming of Christ.

10. These predictions have raised questions concerning the meaning of Israel’s present occupation of the city of Jerusalem. If sacrifices are going to be stopped in a Jewish temple in the future, it requires, first, that a Jewish temple be built, and second, that the sacrifices be reinstituted. This has led to the conclusion that the present possession of Israel of the temple site since 1967 may be a divinely ordered preparation, that in God’s time, the temple will be rebuilt and the sacrifices begun again. Although this is difficult to understand in view of the fact that the shrine, the Dome of the Rock, is apparently on the site of the ancient temple and hinders any present erection of such a temple, many believe that, nevertheless, such a temple will be rebuilt and these prophecies literally fulfilled. If upon this revival of their sacrificial system such a future temple is suddenly desecrated, it would constitute a sign to the nation of Israel of the coming time of great trouble just preceding the second coming of Christ.

11. The sign is so specific that on the basis of it, Christ advised the children of Israel to flee to the mountain without hesitation when it occurs. His instructions were dramatic, as recorded in Matthew 24:16-20. They were to flee immediately to the mountains of Judea, not return to take clothes or other provisions, and pray that their flight will not be in the winter, when it would be most uncomfortable, or on the Sabbath, when their flight would be noticeable. Especially difficult would be the lot of those with small children. Christ summarizes these predictions in 24:21, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

12. The great tribulation, accordingly, is a specific period of time beginning with the abomination of desolation and closing with the second coming of Christ, in the light of Daniel’s prophecies and confirmed by reference to forty-two months. In Revelation 11:2 and 13:5, the great tribulation is a specific three-and-a-half-year period leading up to the second coming and should not be confused with a general time of trouble, such as was predicted earlier in Matthew 24:4-14.

13. Jesus also predicted that the period would be “shortened” (v. 22), literally, terminated or cut off (Gr. ekolobothesan). This does not mean that the period will be less than three-and-a-half years, but that it will be definitely terminated suddenly by the second coming of Christ.

14. That the period would be a time of unprecedented trouble is brought out clearly in Revelation 6-19. One of the various judgments, the fourth seal (6:7-8), predicts a fourth part of the earth perishing. In Revelation 9:13-21, the sixth trumpet refers to a third part of the world’s population being killed. These are only part of the great catastrophies which fall one after another upon the world and which will climax in a great world war (16:12-16). The final judgment just before the second coming, described as the seventh bowl of the wrath of God (vv. 17-21), consists in a great earthquake, which apparently destroys cities of the world, and a hailstorm, with hailstones weighing a talent, or as much as eighty pounds. Putting all these Scriptures together, it indicates that the great tribulation will mark the death of hundreds of millions of people in a comparatively short period of time.

15. Because the tribulation is unprecedented in history and consists largely in judgments of God on an unbelieving world, many interpreters have come to the conclusion that the church will not have to go through this period. If the church must endure the tribulation, the chances of survival are quite remote as it is obvious that many who do turn to Christ in that period perish as martyrs. They are described as “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Rev 7:9), referring to both Jews and Gentiles who will die in the great tribulation. The possibility of rapture for the few that survive is not “the blessed hope” which is held before Christians in the New Testament.

16. Our hope is not the horrors of the tribulation, but the blessed expectation of Christ’s coming for His own (cf. 1 Th 4:13-18).

F. Second Coming of Christ, 24:26-31.

1. One who believes the prophetic Scripture will have no difficulty identifying the second coming of Christ, because it will be a public event. Accordingly, Christ, in 24:26, stated, “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” Unlike the rapture of the church, which apparently the world will not see or hear, the second coming of Christ will be witnessed both by believers and unbelievers who are on the earth at that time. Christ described it in verse 27, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Apparently, the heavens will be ablaze with the glory of God. According to Revelation 1:7, “Every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.”

2. This declaration is supported by a cryptic statement in Matthew 24:28, “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” The meaning is that the glorious coming of Christ is the natural sequence to blasphemy and unbelief, which characterizes the preceding period. Just as when an animal dies, the vultures gather, so when there is moral corruption, there must be divine judgment.

3. This is further described in verses 29-30, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” The frightening display of divine disruption of the heavens, which precedes the second coming described graphically in Revelation 6:12-14 and in many other of the judgments of God described in the book of Revelation, will be climaxed by the glorious appearing of Christ in heaven (cf. Rev 19:11-16). This will be a coming of the Lord to judge and subdue the earth and to bring in His earthly kingdom, and is in contrast to the rapture of the church, which is an entirely different event and with a different purpose.

4. His second coming to the earth is nevertheless a gathering of all “his elect” as stated in Matthew 24:31, a particular reference to the nation Israel as an elect nation.

5. Taken as a whole, the second coming of Christ is a majestic event, not instantaneous like the rapture, but extending over many hours. This perhaps explains why everyone can see it, because in the course of a day, the earth will rotate and the entire world will be able to see the approach of Christ accompanied by the hosts of heaven, which will descend to the earth in the area of the Mount of Olives (Zee 14:4).

6. The entire passage from Matthew 24:4-31 is the specific answer to the disciples of the sign of His coming and of the end of the age, with the climactic sign being the second coming and the glory that attends it, and will fulfill the prophecy of Acts 1:11 that Christ will return as He went up into heaven, that is, His return will be physical, gradual, visible, and with clouds. Matthew 24:31 brings to a close the first doctrinal section of the Olivet discourse, and what follows is a series of applications and illustrations.

G. Parable of the Fig Tree, 24:32-33.

1. In interpreting the illustrations which follow, the laws of exegesis dictate that the illustrations relate to the doctrine of the second coming of Christ. Accordingly, it will have a particular application to those who will await the second coming of Christ to the earth.

2. This is especially appropriate in consideration of the fig tree. In 24:32-33, Christ stated, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” A very popular interpretation of this passage considers the fig tree as a type, or illustration, of Israel. According to this view, the fact that Israel in the twentieth century is back in the land constitutes a budding of the fig tree, and may be taken as conclusive proof that the Lord’s return is near.

3. Commentaries which try to refer this entire passage to the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, of course, pass it over with no comment, as do G. Campbell Morgan and Willoughby C. Allen, or apply it to the destruction of Jerusalem, as does R. V. G. Tasker.

4. Actually, while the fig tree could be an apt illustration of Israel, it is not so used in the Bible. In Jeremiah 24:1-8, good and bad figs illustrate Israel in the captivity, and there is also mention of figs in 29:17. The reference to the fig tree in Judges 9:10-11 is obviously not Israel. Neither the reference in Matthew 21:18-20 nor that in Mark 11:12-14 with its interpretation in 11:20-26, gives any indication that it is referring to Israel, any more than the mountain referred to in the passage. Accordingly, while this interpretation is held by many, there is no clear scriptural warrant.

5. A better interpretation is that Christ was using a natural illustration. Because the fig tree brings forth new leaves late in the spring, the budding of the leaves is evidence that summer is near. In a similar way, when those living in the great tribulation see the signs predicted, they will know that the second coming of Christ is near. The signs in this passage, accordingly, are not the revival of Israel, but the great tribulation itself. Lenski, accordingly, is correct when he states that “all these things” mentioned in Matthew 24:33 refer to the preceding context. That Israel’s presence in the holy land is a dramatic evidence that the age is approaching its end may be supported by other passages, but this is not the point here.

6. Christ further commented in verses 34-36, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

7. What is the meaning of the expression this generation? Some have cited this as an illustration of an error on the part of Christ, for a generation is normally from thirty to one hundred years, and obviously, the prophecy of the second coming was not fulfilled in that period. Commentators offer a variety of opinions. Some refer “generation” to the nation Israel. The meaning, then, would be that Israel would continue as a nation until the second coming of Christ. Some take generation to refer to an indefinite period of time. Arndt and Gingrich, while offering the possibility that generation means nation or race, prefer age or period of time, and, accordingly, take it as instructing the disciples that the age leading up to the second coming will not end until the event of the second coming itself. A third explanation is that the word generation means what it normally means, that is, a period of thirty to one hundred years, and refers to the particular generation that will see the specific signs, that is, the signs of the great tribulation. In other words, the same generation that will experience the great tribulation will also witness the second coming of Christ.

8. In any case, Christ points out that while prophecy is absolutely certain of fulfillment, the day of the second coming is not revealed, although the approximate time will be known by those living in the great tribulation.

9. To illustrate this approximate time of the second coming, He used the historic flood in the time of Noah. While those observing Noah building the ark could anticipate that a flood was impending, it was obvious that the flood could not come until the ark was completed. So also with the second coming. Unlike the rapture, which has no preceding signs and therefore could occur any time, the second coming of Christ to the earth to set up His kingdom cannot occur until the preceding signs have been fulfilled. When the ark was completed and Noah and his family and the animals were in it, those observing could anticipate that the predicted flood could occur any day. But even then, they could not predict the day nor the hour.

10. Like the days of Noah, the time of the second coming will be a period of judgment on the earth. Just as the flood came “and took them all away,” referring to the judgment of unbelievers, so at the second coming, some will be taken away. According to Matthew 24:40-41, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” Because at the rapture believers will be taken out of the world, some have confused this with the rapture of the church.

11. Here, however, the situation is the reverse. The one who is left, is left to enter the kingdom; the one who is taken, is taken in judgment. This is in keeping with the illustration of the time of Noah when the ones taken away are the unbelievers. The word for “shall be taken” in verses 40-41 uses the same word found in John 19:16, where Christ was taken away to the judgment of the cross. Accordingly, no one can know the day nor the hour, but they can know that when the second coming occurs, it will be a time of separation of the saved from the unsaved.

12. Emphasizing the necessity of watchfulness for the Lord’s return, He used the illustration of the good man of the house who, anticipating the possibility that a thief would come, kept careful watch. Just as one cannot know when a thief may come, so the servants of God who live in the great tribulation should expect Christ to come (cf. 1 Th 5:2).

13. In addition to watchfulness, however, there should be careful service and preparation. This is illustrated in the parable of the servant, beginning in Matthew 24:45. Having been left in charge of his master’s household in the absence of the master, the servant was challenged to do his duty well and not to live carelessly, thinking that the lord would not be coming soon. The careless servant will be severely judged as an unbeliever, in contrast to the good servant who will be rewarded by his Lord. An unfaithful slave could be put to death and punished severely. So will Christ judge a wicked world that does not look for His return.

14. The illustrations, beginning in verse 32, have as their primary interpretation and exhortation the situation immediately preceding the second coming of Christ. The catching up of the church (John 14:3) precedes the second coming of Christ.

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. In verses 4-14, Jesus lists characteristics of the first half of the tribulation, whereas verses 15-28 deal with the second half.

B. 24:6-7. See the same judgments outlined in Rev 6:1-8.

C. 24:14. “This gospel of the kingdom.” This is the good news that will be preached during the tribulation concerning the coming of Messiah, and the setting up of His kingdom (See 3:2). Evidently many will respond (Rev 7:9-14).

D. 24:15. “ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.” This is the man of sin (2 Thes 2:4), the Antichrist, who at this midpoint in the Tribulation breaks the covenant he made with the Jewish people at the beginning of the Tribulation (Dan 9:27) and demands that they and the world worship him. Those who resist will be persecuted, and many will be martyred, that is the reason for the urgency of the instructions in verses 16-22.

E. 24:22. “no life” = no human being. The elect are Jews (Deu 14:2). The church will have been translated before that time begins (1 Cor 15:50-54). Unsaved Jews and Gentiles will have been left behind from the rapture, and are the subject of the first half of this verse, “no life.”

F. 24:29. “THE SUN … THE MOON …THE STARS.” These astral phenomena, which will accompany the return of the Son of Man, are foretold in Isa 13:9-10 and Joel 2:31; 3:15.

G. 24:30. The “Son of Man” Himself will come visibly (Rev 1:7).

H. 24:33. “all these things.” The signs described in 4-28.”

I. 24:34. “this generation.” No one living when Jesus spoke these words lived to see “all these things” come to pass. However, the Greek word can mean “race” or “family,” which makes good sense here; i.e., the Jewish race will be preserved, in spite of terrible persecution, until the Lord comes.

J. 24:37-39. “The days of Noah” were times of carousing and unpreparedness, as they will be at the Second Coming. The “flood” removed the wicked (cf. Luke 17:27). Christ will do the same at His return.

K. 24:40-41. The “ones taken” will be taken to judgment and death. The ones left will be left to enter the blessings of the millennial kingdom.

L. 24:48:49. The evil servant’s belief (that the master would not return soon) affected his conduct toward others (as is always true).


Matthew Chapter 23

I. Jesus Condemns the Scribes and Pharisees.

II. Scripture Text

III. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview.

A. Hypocrisy of the Pharisees, 23:1-12.

1. Jesus, at this time, was thronged with pilgrims from all over Israel who had come to celebrate the Passover feast. Addressing Himself to them and to His own disciples, Jesus solemnly warned them concerning the scribes and Pharisees (cf. Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47). This discourse, as a whole, is found only in Matthew. Jesus began by acknowledging that they were seated in Moses’ seat. While not saying it in so many words, He implied that they were usurpers who were not truly successors of Moses. But nevertheless, their position must be recognized. Accordingly, He told them, “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do” (23:3).

2. By commanding them to observe and do what the Pharisees instructed them, Jesus certainly did not mean that they should follow the false teachings of the Pharisees but rather those teachings that naturally and correctly arose from the Law of Moses. In general, the Pharisees were upholders of the law and should be recognized for this.

3. Jesus went on immediately, however, to point out their hypocrisy and commanded the people, “But do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (v. 3). He then cited the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. They lay heavy burdens upon the people but would not do anything to make the load lighter. Their own works were done to be observed by men rather than God. They made broad their phylacteries, the Scriptures which they customarily bound to their forehead and to their left wrist, containing the Scriptures of Exodus 13:3-16; Deuteronomy 6:5-9 and 11:13-21. This they did, not only when they prayed in the morning, but throughout the day, for the purpose of being seen of men. They also enlarged the borders of their garments, the tassels referred to in Deuteronomy 22:12, which were tokens that they were holy men.

4. Jesus charged the Pharisees with loving the best places at the feasts and the chief seats in the synagogue. They loved to be called rabbi, which recognized that they were teachers and scholars. Jesus reminded them that their Messiah, “Christ,” was their Master, and God was their Father. It is of interest that He referred to the Christ, or the Messiah, in Matthew 23:8, 10. What He was saying was that the Pharisees and scribes had forgotten the preeminence of God and of their Messiah.

5. This condemnation by Jesus of the pretentions of the scribes and Pharisees does not rule out reasonable recognition of authority in Israel, but obviously prohibits making this a goal in itself. He held before them instead the desirability of being a servant, or one who ministers, and He concluded, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (v. 12). His disciples were not to seek to be called rabbi and were forbidden to use the word father indiscriminately, even though Paul used father correctly in 1 Corinthians 4:15, and John addressed fathers in 1 John 2: 13-14. The general teaching is clear. They were not to seek man-exalting titles such as rabbi, father, or minister to gain the recognition of men. Disciples of Christ should not exalt themselves but should seek to serve others and leave the exalting to God Himself.

B. Jesus Pronounces Seven Woes Upon the Scribes and Pharisees, 23:13-36.

1. In this section, climaxing the controversy of Christ with the scribes and Pharisees, seven solemn woes are pronounced upon them. Only Matthew records this scathing denunciation of these religious leaders of the Jews. These woes, in contrast to the Beatitudes, denounce false religion as utterly abhorrent to God and worthy of severe condemnation. No passage in the Bible is more biting, more pointed, or more severe than this pronouncement of Christ upon the Pharisees. It is significant that He singled them out, as opposed to the Sadducees, who were more liberal, and the Herodians, who were the politicians. The Pharisees, while attempting to honor the Word of God and manifesting an extreme form of religious observance, were actually the farthest from God.

2. His first condemnation, in 23:13, related to the fact that they did all they could to shut out others. False religion and pretense are always the worst enemies of the truth and are far more dangerous than immorality or indifference. As the religious leaders of the Jews, they were held guilty before God of blocking the way for others seeking to enter into the kingdom of God.

3. In verse 14, another woe is indicated, in which the scribes and Pharisees were charged with devouring widows’ houses and making long prayers to impress others. The verse, however, is omitted in most manuscripts and probably should not be considered as rightly a portion of this Scripture. It may have been inserted from Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47. If it is included, it would bring the total woes to eight instead of seven.

4. In Matthew 23:15, the second woe is mentioned. In this one, the Pharisees were described as extremely energetic on both land and sea to make proselytes of the Jewish religion. But when they were successful, Jesus charged, “Ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” In referring to hell, Christ used the word Geenna or Gehenna, a reference to eternal damnation, rather than to Hades, the temporary abode of the wicked in the intermediate state. The Pharisees and their proselytes both would end up in eternal damnation.

5. A third woe is mentioned in verse 16, based on the trickery of the Pharisees, who held that swearing by the gold of the temple bound the oath. Jesus denounced them as both fools and blind, as obviously the gold was meaningless unless it was sanctified by the temple, and the gift on the altar was meaningless unless it was given significance by the altar. Repeating His accusation, He declared in verse 19, “Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?” Accordingly, Christ concluded that an oath based on the temple was binding, just as an oath based on heaven carried with it the significance of the throne of God and God who sits on the throne.

6. The fourth woe, mentioned in verse 23, has to do with hypocrisy in tithing. While they were so concerned in paying the tithe down to the smallest spice or seed, they omitted the really important matters: obeying the law and manifesting mercy and faith. He repeated His charge that they were blind, straining out a gnat or a small insect, but swallowing a camel. He was, of course, speaking figuratively of their dealing with minutiae but omitting the really important things.

7. The fifth woe is pronounced in verse 25, where He repeated the charge that they were hypocrites, merely actors acting a part. He charged them with cleaning the outside of the cup and the platter but being unconcerned about what was inside, where cleanliness really matters. He meant by this that they were concerned with ceremonial cleanliness, that which men observed, but not really concerned with holiness. While observing ceremonial rites of cleansing, they were not above extortion and excess.

8. In verse 27, Jesus mentioned the sixth woe. In this one, He described them as whited sepulchres, graves that had been made beautiful and white on the outside but within were full of dead men’s bones. This illustrated that the Pharisees were outwardly righteous but inwardly full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

9. Jesus concluded with the seventh woe, in verse 29, in which He charged them with building tombs of the prophets and garnishing them with decorations and claiming that they would not be partakers with their fathers in martyring prophets. Jesus called their very witness to account, that they were the children of those who killed the prophets, and He told them, in verse 32, “Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.” In other words, do what your fathers did and even do worse. Jesus was, of course, referring to their intent to kill Him and to their later persecution of the church.

10. In the severest terms, in verse 33, Jesus addressed them, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” He described the scribes and Pharisees as poisonous snakes, destined for terrible judgment which would be theirs in hell, specifically Gehenna, the place of eternal punishment.

11. Jesus declared, in verse 34, that He would send to them prophets, wise men, and scribes who were also believers. Some of them they would persecute, some they would scourge and drive out of the synagogue, and others they would kill and crucify. Their works would justify bringing upon them the just condemnation coming from all the righteous blood shed upon the earth from the time of righteous Abel, killed by Cain (Gen 4:8), to the martyrdom of Zacharias, the son of Barachias (2 Ch 24:20-22). Zacharias, mentioned as the son of Jehoiada in 2 Chronicles 24:20, probably was the grandson of the priest and Barachias was his actual father. Richard Glover, in his outline of Matthew 23, summarizes the characteristics of hypocrisy in these words, “Hypocrisy is a hard taskmaster…lives only for the praise of men…concerns itself with the small things of religion…deals with externals chiefly…reveres only what is dead…finds a fearful judgment.”

12. The present sad chapter in the days of Israel’s apostasy was the climax of the religious rulers’ long rejection of the things of God. Jesus solemnly pronounced that all these acts of rejection of God and His prophets would cause judgment to come upon this generation, which they would bring to culmination by their rejection of God’s only Son. This prophecy was tragically fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the children of Israel over the face of the earth. Jerusalem, the city of God, and the magnificent temple, the center of their worship, were to lay in ashes as an eloquent reminder that divine judgment on hypocrisy and sin is inevitable.

C. Lament over Jerusalem, 23:37-39.

1. Probably no words of Jesus in His public ministry are more eloquent than the words recorded in Matthew of Christ’s lament over Jerusalem (cf. His earlier lament over Jerusalem, Lk 19:41-44). Here is revealed the breaking heart of God over a people whom God loved, and yet a people who spurned that love and killed those whom God sent to them. The chapter that holds the most severe indictment of any of the discourses of Christ “ends in sobs and tears.” Jesus declared, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Mt 23:37). The repetition of the address to Jerusalem signifies the deep emotion in which Jesus spoke, and can be compared to repetitions of similar character in Samuel 18:33, where Absalom is so addressed; Jesus’ repeated address to Martha in Luke 10:41; and the call to Saul in Acts 9:4.

2. Jerusalem, which means “city of peace,” was the scene where the blood of the prophets was spilled, and stones were cast at those who brought a message of love. Both the verbs for “killest” and “stonest” are present tense, speaking of habitual or characteristic action. Again and again, prophets had been killed and stoned, and the end was not yet. The figure of a hen, or any mother bird, connotes a brood of young gathering under protective wings, a familiar image in the Bible (Deu 32:11; Ps 17:8; 61:4).

3. How tragic the words, “Ye would not!” It was God’s desire to save them, but it was their will to turn away. There was nothing left but to pronounce judgment, and Jesus did this in Matthew 23:38, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” By “house,” undoubtedly He was referring to the city. It could, however, also relate to the nation itself, which was to suffer severely in dispersion over the world. The expression left desolate is contained in a simple verb meaning to be left alone. How alone is a city, a nation, or an individual from whom God has departed.

4. Even in the midst of this gloom and condemnation, however, a ray of light is given in verse 39, when Jesus said, “For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The generation to whom He was speaking was indeed to be left desolate, tragically alone, but there was hope for a future generation, a generation which would turn once again to the Lord. With these words, Jesus closed His last public discourse and left the temple for the last time (cf. Mt 24:1).

5. Moses had written long ago in Deuteronomy 30:1-3, “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” Moses went on to predict their regathering and their possession of the land (Deu 30:4-5). In Deuteronomy 30:6, he stated “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”

6. Other references to the same revival in the Old Testament are frequently found. The closing chapters of the prophecies of Isaiah mention again and again the coming revival of Israel, as, for instance, in Isaiah 65:18-25. Jeremiah, in like manner, prophesies Israel’s future restoration in Jeremiah 30:1-11; 31:1-14, 27-37. Zechariah speaks of it in chapter 8, and 12:10; 13:1; 14:9-21. The New Testament picks up similar truth in Romans 11:25-36 and pictures Israel triumphant on Mount Zion in Revelation 14:1-5. While it is tragic that Israel did not know the day of her visitation at the time of the first coming of Christ, the godly remnant of Israel, that awaits His second coming to sit on the throne of David, will experience the blessing of the Lord and receive a new heart and a new spirit, of which Ezekiel spoke in Ezekiel 36:23-28.

7. The tragic note which ends Matthew 23 introduces the great prophecy of the end of the age, recorded in Matthew 24-25 and delivered privately to His disciples. This discourse details the prophecy of the coming kingdom and the time of reward and blessing for those who trust in the Lord.

Part Eight

The Olivet Discourse On The End Of The Age

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

23:39. “from now on you will not see me.” I.e., I will no longer teach publicly “until you say.” At the second coming of Christ, Israel will recognize and welcome their rejected Messiah (Zech 12:10).

V. Dr. Michael VanLaningham, M. Div, Ph. D. (MBI). Scripture Text Examination.

23:37-39. Jesus reiterated the fate awaiting the Jewish people because of the disobedience of the leaders. Judgment, however, is not the last word, for Jesus will come again to a repentant people. At some time in the future, as a virtual prerequisite for the second coming, the Jewish people will recognize that Jesus of Nazareth is their Messiah, and will express a Ps 118:26 like confession. Only then will He come (cf. also Acts 3:19-20) and be seen by them in fulfillment of Zech 12:10. Cf. the comments on Mt 21:4-9 for the significance of Ps 118:26.

VI. Summing It Up. It is very clear throughout this chapter that the context of the conversation between Jesus and the people is that of Jesus speaking with “God’s Chosen People,” Israel (Deu 14:2), including the unbelieving Jews. Gentiles, neither, would have had any knowledge of the verses of Scripture that Jesus used in reference in His discourses, nor would Gentiles have had any understanding of the context in which Jesus was speaking. Of Key interest is vs 23:37-39, which will take place at the end of the Tribulation. Those that are mentioned in 23:37-39 will be a future generation of Jews, who will be left behind from the rapture, and will be alive at the end of the Tribulation.

VII. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. 

A. Wikipedia info.

B. Faculty.

C. About DTS.

VIII. DTS Galatians Classroom Teaching.

A. Instructor: Dr. Mark Yarbrough, President of DTS, M.Th., Ph. D. 

B. Outline: Galatians Chapters 5-6.

C. In this lesson, Paul explains how we should live as free in Christ.

D. Outline.

1. The model of law is to obey to be rewarded. The model of grace is to obey because we have been rewarded.

2. Galatians 5–6, Freedom in Christ Defended.

a. Galatians 5:1–12, Paul wanted the Galatians to stand firm in freedom in Christ. (1) Galatians 5:1–6, Paul wasn’t forbidding circumcision. Instead, he was forbidding circumcision as a means of justification. (2) Galatians 5:7–12, Paul used graphic language to show how important it is to continue with the true gospel of grace.

b. Galatians 5:13–15, Love works as a safeguard for freedom.

c. Galatians 5:16–26, Those who are saved by grace live by the Spirit. (1) It’s tempting to interpret this portion of Galatians with a performance-based mindset as a list of don’ts followed by a list of dos. (2) Our sinful nature leads us to do things to gratify our desires. (3) People will see the fruit of that activity when the Spirit is active in our lives. (4) Most New Testament lists are not exhaustive. (5) We want to have an overall character that aligns with the fruit of the Spirit and not the acts of the sinful nature.

d. Galatians 6:1–10, We are to live in love toward others. (1) Galatians 6:1–5, We restore each other gently and carry each other’s burdens because the Christian life is not meant to be lived alone. (2). Galatians 6:7–10, We do good because of the Spirit’s work in our lives and not because we’re striving to earn God’s favor.

e. Galatians 6:11–18, Paul ended his letter with a final plea that the Galatians recognize the meaninglessness of circumcision.

f. Instead of striving to earn God’s favor, let us walk in step with the Holy Spirit.

Matthew Chapter 22

I. Jesus’s Controversy With The Jewish Rulers.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview.

A. Parable of the Marriage Feast, 22:1-14.

1. As Jesus drew nearer to the cross, His message became more and more directed to the representatives of the Jewish nation. In this chapter, He dealt with the three main groups: the Herodians, Sadducees, and Pharisees. The Herodians were political activists who supported the rule of Herod. The Pharisees were usually against them, ardently supporting Israel as against Rome. The Sadducees were the liberal theologians, questioning the miraculous, opposed to the Pharisees. The three parties hated each other, but they hated Jesus more. Jesus included them all in the parable of the wedding feast, the third in the series of parables (cf. Lk 14:16-24).

2. Jesus declared that the kingdom of heaven may be compared to the incident in which a king made a marriage feast for his son. His slaves were sent out to invite the guests, but the guests were not willing to come. The king sent them out a second time, reminding them that the feast was ready, but the guests were unconcerned and went about their business as if they had not received the invitation. Some of them actually treated the servants roughly and even killed some of them. When tidings of this reached the king, he sent forth his soldiers, destroyed the murderers, and burned their city.

3. The wedding, however, was still without guests, so he commanded his servants to invite anyone they could, and being invited, many came. As the wedding feast was progressing, however, the king saw one of the guests without a wedding garment. These garments were supplied by the host, and the guest not wearing the wedding garment was violating the normal custom. When confronted with his lack of a wedding garment, the guest was speechless. The king then gave orders to bind him hand and foot and cast him out. Jesus added the comment, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt 22:13-14).

4. G. Campbell Morgan observes that there were three distinct invitations. The first was the preaching ministry of Jesus, which constituted an invitation for the hearers to come. The second referred to a further invitation, which the nation would reject and which would result in the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. The third movement referred to the gospel age when all are bidden to come regardless of race or background.

5. The lessons of the parable are clear. First, the king had issued a gracious invitation. The response was rejection of the invitation by those who would normally be considered his friends; second, their rejection would result in the king’s taking severe action; third, their rejection would result in the invitation being extended to all who would come. The application to the scribes and Pharisees, who, as the representatives of Israel, would normally be invited, is clear. The rejection of Christ and His crucifixion is implied, and the extension of the gospel to Jew and Gentile alike is anticipated. While the invitation is broad, those actually chosen for blessing are few. The parable inspired the Jews to make another attempt to trap Christ into giving them a ground for His condemnation.

B. Controversy with the Herodians, 22:15-22.

1. The Pharisees, after taking counsel, decided they would send some of their number, accompanied by the Herodians, to attempt another encounter with Jesus (Mk 12:13-17; Lk 20:20-26). The Herodians, a political party who supported the dynasty of Herod, probably cut across the religious lines of both the Pharisees and the Sadducees. They came to Him with the subtle strategy, “Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men” (Mt 22:16). All of this, of course, was double-talk, as they did not really believe in Jesus.

2. The Herodians, having paved the way in a manner that they regarded as disarming Christ, then said, “Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” (v. 17). As political experts, the Herodians thought that they had Jesus on the horns of a dilemma. If He said it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar, He could be accused of siding with the Romans as opposed to the Jews. If He denied that it was right to give tribute to Caesar, then He could be accused of rebellion against Roman law.

3. In this encounter, as in all others, Jesus easily handled the problem. The tax they were referring to was the poll tax, a small tax levied on women aged twelve to sixty-five and men aged fourteen to sixty-five. It was a relatively small tax, as the Romans also exacted a ten-percent tax on grain and a twenty-percent tax on wine and fruit, as well as other taxes for road and bridge improvements. The Pharisees had chosen the least of the taxes, but to pay it was to recognize Roman oppression, which was most unpopular with the Jews.

4. Jesus easily saw through their hypocrisy and said to them, “Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?” Jesus asked them to bring Him a piece of money suitable for tribute, and they brought Him a penny, or a Roman denarius, worth about sixteen cents. He then asked, “Whose is this image and superscription?” The answer was obvious, and they said, “Caesar’s.” Jesus then gave them an answer, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” As they heard His answer, they marveled at the adroit way in which He had solved their problem, and they had nothing more to say. If they used Roman coins, then they were subject to Roman tax. The Herodians went away defeated in their intent to compromise Jesus on this issue. In His answer, Jesus also cut the knotty problem of the relation of church and state. “Our Lord said that there are obligations we have and duties we ought to perform in the sphere of both secular and sacred life, and our duties in one do not exclude our duties in the other… A free church in a free state, and a free state with a free church, is to find the ideal of political and religious history as announced by the Lord Himself.”

C. Controversy with the Sadducees, 22:23-33.

1. Following His controversy with the Herodians, the Sadducees came with a similar intent to trap Jesus (cf. Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-38). They were the liberals in the Jewish religion and opposed the Pharisees who were the conservatives. The Pharisees, however, were more liberal in their additions to tradition than the Sadducees; the Sadducees were more opposed to supernaturalism than the Pharisees. Accordingly they tried to trap Him theologically on the matter of resurrection.

2. Attempting to hide their true intent, the Sadducees began by quoting the law of Moses requiring a brother to marry the wife of a deceased brother and raise up children to him. They were referring to such passages as Deuteronomy 25: 5-10, a regulation which entered into the marriage of Ruth and Boaz, recorded in Ruth 4:1-12. The Sadducees brought up the extreme case of a wife who successively married seven brethren all of whom preceded her in death. The question they raised was, “Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her” (Mt 22:28). The situation, to the Sadducees, illustrated the absurdity of the doctrine of resurrection.

3. Jesus gave them a direct answer. He stated that their problem was not in the doctrine of resurrection but in their ignorance of the Scriptures and of the power of God. He explained, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (v. 30). In other words, their question was foolish because marriage is not a relationship realized in heaven.

4. Then proceeding to the real issue, the question of whether the dead are raised, Jesus said, “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (vv. 31-32). In His reply, Jesus not only affirmed resurrection but also the continuance of personal identity, in that Abraham would be Abraham, Isaac would be Isaac, and Jacob would be Jacob, an identity related to the resurrection of their bodies. The Sadducees could not attack this statement of Christ without being in the position of attacking Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. They were neatly trapped in their own hypocrisy.

5. By this interchange with the Sadducees, Christ placed the Sadducees in direct conflict with the Scriptures, and again His questioners had nothing to say. The multitude listening was astonished at the ease with which His teaching disposed of these difficult questions. The defeat of both the Herodians and the Sadducees left the field only to the Pharisees to renew questions.

D. Controversy with the Pharisees, 22:34-46.

1. When the word reached the Pharisees that Jesus had silenced those who had tried to question Him, they sent a lawyer who attempted to trap Christ in a question of theological law (cf. Mk 12:28-34). To Jesus he addressed the question, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” (Mt 22:36). As Morgan points out, there was controversy concerning which of the Ten Commandments was the greatest, some favoring the third.

2. To this direct question, Jesus gave an immediate answer, quoting two commandments not in the ten. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (vv. 37-40). Matthew does not report the rest of the interchange with the lawyer. In the parallel passage in Mark 12:28-34, record is made of the conversation, which Matthew omits, in which the lawyer, described as a scribe, recognized that Jesus had correctly answered the question. Mark 12:34 records Jesus’ reply, “And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.” Luke 10:25-28 mentions a similar incident, which had occurred earlier, where the same question and answer were given, which led to the parable of the good Samaritan to illustrate who is one’s neighbor. It is not unnatural for the same question to have been raised more than once in the course of the three years of Christ’s ministry.

3. Having silenced His questioners, Jesus then asked the Pharisees a question. In effect, Jesus asked “the all-important question ‘What is your view of the Messiah?’” When the Pharisees gathered before Him, Jesus posed the question, “What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?” They gave immediately the answer, “The son of David” (Mt 22:42). Then Jesus countered with a second question, “How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then called him Lord, how is he his son?” (vv. 43-45). The theological problem of how the son of David could be greater than David was too much for their theological insights. They retired in confusion and gave up trying to trap Jesus with their questions. Their hypocrisy and unbelief led Jesus, in the next chapter, to denounce the scribes and Pharisees in unsparing language.

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. 22:7. “set their city on fire.” A prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

B. 22:9. “highways.” Better, broad places, or plazas, where streets merge.

C. 22:12.”without wedding clothes.” This assumes that the guests would have been supplied with robes by the king’s servants, since all the guests came in a hurry, and most were unsuitably attired.

D. 22:13. “outer darkness’ away from the lights of the wedding activities. “weeping and gnashing of teeth” indicates extreme torment, as will be true in hell (13:42; 25:30, 46).

E. 22:14. There is a general call of God to sinners inviting them to receive His salvation, and there is also a specific election that brings some to Him. At the same time, man is held responsible for rejecting Christ, whether it be because of indifference (v 5), rebellion (v 6), or self-righteousness (v 12).

F. 22:16. “Herodians.” A Jewish party who favored the Herodian dynasty, the party of “peace at any price” and appeasement of Rome.

G. 22:17. “Is lawful? I.e., Is it in accordance with the Torah, the sacred law?

H. 22:30. “like angels in heaven.” Christ’s argument is this: In the resurrection men will not marry and women will not be given in marriage. There is no married state in that life. Thus, the whole case cited is irrelevant and immaterial. Resurrected saints will be as angels who do not produce offspring.

I. 22:32. The point is this: If God introduced Himself to Moses as still the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (by using the present tense, “I am”), when these patriarchs had died hundreds of years earlier, there must be life after death, somethin the Sadducees denied.

J.22:35. “lawyer” = scribe. They belonged mainly to the party of the Pharisees, functioned as members of a highly honored profession. They were professional students and defenders of the law (scriptural and traditional), gathering around them pupils who they instructed in the law. They were also referred to as lawyers because they were entrusted with the administration of the law as judges in the Sanhedrin.

K. 22:37. Christ quotes Deu 6:5, part of the Shema, used by all Jews in their daily prayers (in ref to 22:36).

L. 22:39-40. Christ was the first to combine these two texts (Deu 6:5 and Lev 19:18) into a summary of the law.

M. 22:43. “in the Spirit.” I.e., inspired by the Holy Spirit.

N. 22:44. “The Lord SAID TO MY LORD.” Christ was trying to make the Pharisees see that the Son of David was also the Lord of David (Ps 110:1); i.e., the Messiah was both David’s human descendant and divine Lord.

V. Summing It Up. It is very clear throughout this chapter that the context of the conversation between Jesus and the people is that of Jesus speaking with “God’s Chosen People,” Israel (Deu 14:2), including the unbelieving Jews. Gentiles, neither, would have had no knowledge of the verses of Scripture that Jesus used in reference in His discourses, nor would Gentiles have had any understanding of the context in which Jesus was speaking.

VI. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary.


VII. DTS Galatians Classroom Teaching.

A. Instructor: Dr. Mark Yarbrough, President of DTS, M.Th., Ph. D. 

B. Outline: Galatians Chapters 3-4.

C. This session we look at the role of the law in redemption history and in the life of the believer.

1. Galatians 3–4, Justification by Faith Defended.

a. The Galatians’ salvation started with faith and had to continue with faith. (Galatians 3:1–5). b. Paul referenced the Galatians receiving the Holy Spirit because the Spirit is the sign of the New Covenant. c. Even believers can slip into great doctrinal heresy.

2. Galatians 3:6–25, Abraham was justified by faith.

a. Galatians 3:6–9, The concept of justification by faith goes back to Abraham, making it even older than Moses and the law.

(1) The circumcision group saw themselves as followers of Moses, the prophet through whom the law was given. (2) God always intended to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. (3) Those who receive the blessings of Abraham have always been people of faith.

b. Galatians 3:10-14, We know that Gentiles are accepted into God’s family by faith and not by following the law because they have received the Spirit.

c. Galatians 3:15–18, The promise of Christ, the seed of Abraham, came hundreds of years before the law.

d. Galatians 3:19–20, Paul explained that God gave Israel the law because of sin.

(1) One purpose of the law was to prevent sin so that Israel could be an example to the other nations. (2) Another purpose of the law was to reveal sin by showing the people their inability to live up to God’s standard. (3) Some argue that the law provokes sin because having rules creates in us a desire to break them.

e. Galatians 3:21–25, The law isn’t bad, it’s simply incomplete. The law was never meant to bring about life.

3. Galatians 3:26–4:7, Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ.

(a) Galatians 3:26–29, The blessings of Christ as promised in the Abrahamic covenant are available to Jews and Gentiles without distinction. (b) Galatians 4:1–5, Now that Christ has come both Jews and Gentiles are heirs of the inheritance. (c) Galatians 4:6–7, All believers can call God Abba, Father because the barrier to intimacy has been removed.

4. Galatians 4:8–20, Turning back to the law is enslavement.

(a) Galatians 4:8–11, Following the practices of the law is only wrong if our motive is earning right standing with God. (b) Galatians 4:12–20, Paul took the Galatians’ wanderings as a personal betrayal.

5. Galatians 4:21–31, The stories of Hagar and Sarah can be used as an analogy of law and promise.

(a) Galatians 4:21–27, Hagar was a slave who conceived a child in the regular human way. Sarah was a freewoman who miraculously conceived a child as the result of a promise. (b) Galatians 4:28–31, We are children of a promise like Isaac. (c) Just as a person can’t be born of two different mothers, so we cannot live by performance and by grace.


Matthew Chapter 21

I. Jesus’ Arrival in Jerusalem.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview..

A. Triumphal Entry, 21:1-11.

1. The final hours of Jesus’ life on earth drew near, and, in Matthew 21, the cross was less than a week away. In sharp contrast to the shame of the cross is the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, described by all four gospels (cf. Mk 11:1-10; Lk 19:29-38; Jn 12:12-19). “Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time in a manner which showed that He was none other than the Messiah, the Son of David, who was coming to Sion to claim the city as His own.

2. The night before the triumphal entry, Jesus had an intimate supper in the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, as recorded in John 12:1-11.

3. Matthew mentions Bethphage, a village no longer in existence, which apparently was close to Bethany on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives, just a few miles from Jerusalem. Anticipating His entry into Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of the disciples, not named in any of the gospel accounts, into the village of Bethphage, to secure an ass and her colt to serve as His transportation as He entered Jerusalem. He told them they would find both animals tied; they were to untie them and bring them to Him. If anyone asked why they were doing this, they were to reply, “The Lord hath need of them” (21: 3). Mark 11:5 and Luke 19:31 indicate that the question was asked, but the disciples were not stopped from borrowing the beasts. Matthew does not record the question, but only Matthew records that there were two animals and that Jesus sat on the colt.

4. Matthew calls attention to the precise fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy which he quotes. Without following the exact words of the Old Testament, Matthew quotes Zechariah 9:9, prefaced by the phrase from Isaiah 62:11, “Tell ye the daughter of Zion.” He omits from Zechariah 9:9 the phrase, “O daughter of Jerusalem.” The reference to Zion is a specific reference to a hill in Jerusalem, the exact location of which is disputed today, but Zion is often used as a title for Jerusalem itself. There is no need to spiritualize Zion and make it represent the church, as it is a geographic designation especially related to the King and the kingdom.

5. The main point is contained in the quotation from Zechariah 9:9, which prophesies that the Messiah King of Israel, unlike earthly kings, would come in a lowly or meek manner sitting upon an ass and a colt, the foal of an ass. No king had ever come to Israel in this manner, as kings usually came on horses (cf. Rev 6:2; 19:11).

6. Matthew, intent on establishing the triumphal entry as a fulfillment of prophecy of the coming of Jesus as King to Jerusalem, ignores some of the details and simply records that the disciples brought the ass and the colt and put their garments on both of them. Jesus probably sat only on the colt, as mentioned in the other gospels, which had never been ridden before (Mk 11:2; Lk 19:30). To form a saddle, they threw their outer garments on both beasts, even though Jesus used only the colt.

7. As they proceeded to Jerusalem, they were accompanied by a crowd familiar with Christ’s miracle of raising Lazarus (Jn 12:17-18), and were met by another multitude coming out of the city of Jerusalem, which went before Him (Mt 21:9). Both groups outdid themselves in honoring Jesus, laying their garments on the ground for the beasts to travel over and cutting down branches from trees and spreading them in a festive way along the road. John alone mentions that the branches were from palm trees. Although they were treating Jesus as their King, in keeping with the meaning of the triumphal entry, it seems clear that they did so with only partial understanding. John comments, “These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him” (Jn 12:16).

8. In greeting Him, however, the multitudes fulfilled the prophecies of just such an entry into Jerusalem (Zec 9:9) and addressed Jesus with the words, “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Mt 21:9). Hosanna is a transliteration of a Hebrew expression meaning, “grant salvation,” but is used here more as a greeting or ascription of praise. Most significant is the reference to Christ as the Son of David. They recognized that He was in the kingly line, although they do not seem to have entered fully into the concept that He was coming into Jerusalem as its King.

9. As they came into Jerusalem, both the multitude which accompanied Him and the multitude which met Him were confronted by still others who asked, “Who is this?” The entire city, according to Matthew, was excited by the arrival of Christ. The multitude answered the question by saying, “This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” It is possible that some of the multitude were pilgrims from Galilee, in Jerusalem at this time for the feast of Passover, and that therefore, they were claiming Jesus proudly. The form of the verb said in 21:11 indicates that they repeated the information again and again.

10. Matthew does not record the details which followed that day. It was probably Sunday afternoon when Christ came into Jerusalem. Mark 11:11 records that He looked into the temple and then went out to Bethany with the twelve for the night. The events which follow, in Matthew 21:12-17, probably occurred on Monday.

B. Jesus’ Second Cleansing of the Temple, 21:12-17.

1. Early on Monday morning, Jesus returned to Jerusalem, and, entering into the temple, which Matthew significantly refers to as “the temple of God,” He began to cast out those who sold and bought in the temple and overthrew the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold the doves for the sacrifice (cf. Mk 11:15-18; Lk 19:45-47). There is no excuse for trying to harmonize this with a much earlier incident, recorded in John 2:13-16, which was at a previous Passover. There is obvious resemblance between the two cleansings, but the point, of course, is that the first cleansing was ineffective in bringing about any permanent cure.

2. Jesus rebuked them with the words, “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Mt 21:13). The custom was to require the people to exchange Roman money for temple money at an arbitrary rate and also to force them to buy the animals or doves for sacrifice at a high price exacted in the temple. They had “a grand lucrative monopoly. If one bought his animals here, had his money exchanged here, these would be accepted; otherwise he might have trouble on that score.” In doing this, the temple authorities were robbing the people and making a farce out of the whole sacrificial system. The area where the animals were kept and sold was in the great court of the temple, which never was intended to serve as a stockyard.

3. It is significant that on this occasion, as in the first cleansing of the temple, there was no resistance offered. There was something about the bearing of Jesus that silenced these money-loving merchants, and undoubtedly the people approved. Jesus had no illusions that His act would result in any permanent good, but it was part of His solemn judgment pronounced upon Jerusalem and His generation. Luke records that prior to going into the temple, He wept over the city (Lk 19:41-44). Matthew records a similar lamenting over Jerusalem prior to the Olivet discourse (Mt 23:37-39).

4. After the cleansing of the temple, Matthew alone of the four gospels records, “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them” (21:14). The result of His cleansing of the temple and the miraculous healings which took place inspired the crowd once again to repeat their acclamation of the preceding day, “Hosanna to the son of David.”

5. The chief priests and the scribes, who apparently were silent at the indictment of Jesus on the corruption of the temple, now spoke up and expressed their displeasure that Jesus was greeted as the Son of David, recognizing as they did that this was connecting Jesus with the promise of the kingly line of David. They said to Jesus, “Hearest thou what these say?” (v. 16). However, they were helpless and were at a loss to know what to do with the enthusiasm of the crowd. The Jewish leaders were especially concerned because the young people, referred to as “the children” (v. 15), had joined in the ascription of praise to Christ. These were boys, who like Jesus, had come to the temple for the first time at the age twelve.

6. In answer to their question, however, Jesus replied by quoting from Psalm 8:2, “Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise?” In effect, He was saying, “The youths are right, and you are wrong.” If babes who barely can speak can praise the Lord, how much more these youths now twelve years of age and older? In claiming Psalm 8:2, Jesus, in effect, was also claiming to be God and, thus, worthy of praise. He left the scribes and the Pharisees stunned with no more to say.

7. That night, once again, Jesus probably went out to Bethany and lodged. By thus leaving Jerusalem, He placed Himself outside the area where the scribes and Pharisees could order His arrest after the crowd had left the temple.

C. Cursing of the Fig Tree, 21:18-22.

1. The incident recorded here in Matthew in regard to the fig tree is presented as another significant incident in Jesus’ last days. Mark 11:12-14, the only other account, makes it clear that it actually occurred on Monday morning, prior to the incident of the cleansing of the temple. It is now brought in by Matthew because of the significant comment of Jesus on the next day, which was Tuesday morning.

2. Matthew records that Jesus, coming into the city on Monday morning of His last week, was hungry. No explanation is given, but the assumption is that Jesus had not eaten before He left Bethany. Jesus spent the night “in some long lone vigil on the hillside, in a quiet and secluded place.” Seeing a fig tree with leaves on it, He came to pick its fruit. Normally, fruit grows on a fig tree before the leaves come out in spring, but it is not clear whether the figs would be left over from the previous year or whether the tree, because of being more sheltered from winter than others, had started its spring growth early. According to the parallel passage in Mark 11:13, “The time of figs was not yet.” Finding the tree with only leaves and no fruit, He said, “Let no fruit grow on thee [henceforth] forever” (Mt 21:19). This, however, was not observed immediately, and refers to the experience of the disciples on Tuesday morning, approximately twenty-four hours later. Perceiving that the fig tree had withered, the disciples were amazed that this had occurred so quickly.

3. Many questions have been raised about this incident, including the problem that Jesus as God should have known that there was no fruit on the tree. Here, Matthew is apparently speaking from the viewpoint of human intelligence only, but the whole incident was planned as a means of conveying truth to the disciples.

4. In answer to their wondering, Jesus gave them a sermon on faith. Jesus informed His disciples that if they had real faith in God, they would not only be able to curse the fig tree effectively as He had done, but, He told them, “If ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done” (v. 21). He added the great promise, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (v. 22). In other words, they should not marvel, but believe and pray.

5. Many expositors see in the fig tree a type of Israel, fruitless and yet showing leaves, typical of outer religion. This is frequently tied to Matthew 24:32, referring to “a parable of the fig tree.” There is no scriptural support for this interpretation contextually. There is no ground today to support Lenski in his statement made in 1943, “Judaism stands blasted from the roots to this day.” Israel, instead, is marvelously revived today. Jesus made no application to Israel as a nation here; nor does the context of the fig tree in Matthew 24 refer to Israel. While Jeremiah 24:1-8 uses good and bad figs to represent the captives in Israel as contrasted to those remaining in the land, actually, there is no case in the Bible where a fig tree is used as a type of Israel. In view of the silence of Scripture on this point, it is preferable to leave the illustration as it is, a lesson on faith and the miraculous rather than a lesson on fruitlessness.

D. Authority of Jesus Challenged, 21:23-27.

1. Upon the return of Jesus to the temple, probably on Tuesday morning of the last week, as He was teaching, the chief priests and the elders brought up the question which they were unprepared to raise the preceding day, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?” (Mt 21:23).

2. Once again, the Jewish leaders were trying to trap Jesus in utterances which they could label blasphemy (cf. Mk 11:27-33; Lk 20:1-8). They made no attempt, however, to arrest Him or to expel Him from the temple, as they feared the people. They were no match for Jesus, however, in an interchange of questions, and Jesus replied that He would answer their question if they would answer His first: “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?” (Mt 21:25).

3. The Pharisees were caught in a dilemma. As Allen expresses it, “If the authorities had given credence to John, they would have had no need to ask by what authority Jesus acted.” If the Pharisees said the baptism of John was only of men, they would be opposed by the people who believed John was a prophet. If they said it was from heaven, then they would be obliged to believe his message affirming the deity of Jesus. Accordingly, they answered Jesus, “We cannot tell” (v. 27). Jesus replied that if they could not identify the authority of John, then He did not need to tell them by what authority He cleansed the temple. The point, of course, is that they were not seeking a real answer, as they knew that Jesus claimed the authority of God.

E. Parable of the Two Sons, 21:28-32.

1. To expose the unbelief of the chief priests and the scribes, Jesus introduced three parables, the parable of the two sons (21:28-32), the parable of the householder (21:33-46), and the parable of the marriage feast (22:1-14). To start with, Jesus used a simple story of a father who asked his two sons to work in his vineyard, a parable found only in Matthew.

2. The first son, when instructed to work in the vineyard, replied, “I will not,” but later on, thought better of it and began to work. The second son replied quickly, “I go, sir,” literally, “I, sir,” but he went not. Jesus then raised the question as to which one did the will of the father. They answered, “The first.”

3. Then Jesus made the application. He said, “Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him” (21: 31-32). What had been subtly indicated before was now brought out in the open. They had rejected the ministry of John, whom even harlots and publicans had recognized as a prophet of God. They were like the son who said, “I go, sir,” but who went not. By their confession, they stood condemned.

F. Parable of the Householder and his Rejected Son, 21:33-46.

1. To drive the point home still further, Jesus used another parable (cf. Mk 12:1-9; Lk 20:9-19). This time, He described a man who planted a vineyard, built a wine tower, and leased it to tenants. When the time of harvest came, he sent his servants to take the fruit of it, but the tenants treated the servants harshly, beating one, killing another, and stoning another. When he sent other servants, they were treated in like manner. Finally, he sent his son, thinking that they would have respect for him. But the tenants, recognizing him, said, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance (Mt 21:38). And so they caught the son and killed him.

2. Jesus then raised the question as to what the Lord of the vineyard would do under these circumstances. They replied, “He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons” (v. 41).

3. Jesus then made the application. It is probably true that no person would send his son into a situation where servants had previously killed his other representatives but would immediately call the authorities. The contrast is between what men would do and what God had done. God did send His son, even though Israel had rejected His prophets earlier and killed them and had rejected John the Baptist.

4. Jesus made the application with tremendous force: “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?” (v. 42). Jesus was quoting from Psalm 118:22-23.

5. The figure of a stone is found often in Scripture, Jesus being referred to both as the foundation stone and the head of the corner (1 Co 3:11; Eph 2:20-22; 1 Pe 2:4-5). To Israel, Jesus was a stumbling stone and rock of offense (Is 8:14-15; Ro 9:32-33; 1 Co 1:23; 1 Pe 2:8). At the time of His second coming, He will be a smiting stone of destruction (Dan 2:34).

6. Jesus also made the further application, “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof (Mt 21:43). Here, as Matthew does rarely, the expression “kingdom of God” is used, referring to the sphere of reality rather than a mere profession of faith. Jesus declared that the kingdom of God would be given to a nation which does bring forth proper fruit. This should not be construed as a turning away from Israel to the Gentiles but rather a turning to any people who would bring forth the fruits of real faith. The word nation is without the article in the Greek and probably does not refer to the Gentiles specifically.

7. Carrying further the significance of Jesus as a stone, He stated, “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (v. 44). Here Jesus was referring to Himself as the Judge of all men. The rejected stone is also the smiting stone. “These parables in the latter part of Matthew are somber, terrible, fearful… They are parables of fire and fury and terrible rejection like a king taking account of unfaithful servants and visiting judgment with a drawn sword.”

8. The point of this parable was all too clear, and the chief priests and Pharisees realized that Jesus was talking about them. However, because of the presence of the people, they were helpless to do anything at this time. Their hatred of Jesus was only intensified by this exposure, and it gave impetus to the plot already formed to kill Jesus when they could. The shadow of the cross was lengthening over these closing events of the life of Jesus.

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. 21:4-5. Re Zech 9:9 concerning the quote: “Say to the daughter of Zion….”

B. 21:9. “Hosanna” = save now. The acclamation is a quoted based on Ps 118:25-27, sung at the Feast of Tabernacles. The crowd wanted salvation from the oppression of Rome, not the spiritual salvation that Christ offered.

C. 21:12. John records Jesus cleansing the Temple at the beginning of his ministry (Jn 2:12-16). Mark makes clear that a second cleansing occurred much later on Monday of Holy Week (Mark 11:12-19).

D. 21:16. Jesus is apparently quoting Ps 8:2.

E. 21:18. “in the morning.” I.e., on Monday of Holy Week.

F. 21:19. “except leaves only.” Normally the fruit of leaves appear at the same time. The curse on the tree is illustrative of the rejection of Israel, a nation unfruitful despite every advantage.

G. 21:23. This begins Tuesday of Holy Week.

H. 21:42. “Cornerstone.” “Did you never read the Scriptures?” See Ps 118:22-23.

I. 21:43. “taken away from you and given to a people.” See Walvoord note above, F.6.

V. Summing It Up. It is very clear throughout this chapter that the context of the conversation between Jesus and the people is that of Jesus speaking with “God’s Chosen People,” Israel (Deu 14:2). Gentiles, neither, would have had n0 knowledge of the verses of Scripture that Jesus used in reference in His discourses, nor would Gentiles have had any understanding of the context in which Jesus was speaking.

VI. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the seminary.

VII. DTS Galatians Classroom Teaching.

A. Instructor: Dr. Mark Yarbrough, President of DTS, M.Th., Ph. D. 

B. Outline: Galatians Chapters 1-2.

  • Galatians 1:1–5, Compared to other Pauline epistles, the introduction to Galatians is brief and confrontational.
  • Galatians 1:6–10, Paul laid out early on that Galatians is about the real gospel versus a false gospel.
  • Galatians 1:11–24, Paul received the gospel by direct, divine revelation.
    1. Galatians 1:11–12, The true gospel is from God, and Paul received it by revelation from Christ Himself.
    2. Galatians 1:13–17, Paul didn’t need the other apostles to verify what he received from Christ.
    3. Galatians 1:18–24, Paul used his testimony to build his case.
      1. Galatians gives us an account of Paul’s timeline that adds to the information we have in Acts.
      2. Paul wants the Galatians to see how he’s been transformed by the gospel of grace.
  • Galatians 2:1–14, Paul preached a gospel to the Gentiles that the apostles in Jerusalem fully embraced.
    1. In Galatians 2:1–3, Paul wanted to ensure that all who preached Christ agreed upon the nature of the gospel.
    2. Galatians 2:4–10, As Gentiles came to faith in Christ, the question arose of whether or not Gentiles had to become Jews to become Christians.
  • Galatians 2:15–16, Paul repeated his message that we are justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law.
  • Galatians 2:17–21, Paul anticipated the objection that grace leads to the promotion of sin.
    1. Galatians 2:17–18, If following Christ means rejecting the law, does that mean Christ condones sin.
    2. Galatians 2:19–21, Going back to the law for justification would make Christ’s death meaningless.
      1. The law is good because it shows us our sinfulness compared to God’s holiness.
      2. Paul saw a unity between Christians and Christ. As Jesus was crucified, we were crucified with Him.
  • Paul contrasted what God has done for us with what we think we can do for ourselves.
    1. Even today, Christians struggle with performance.
    2. We should all evaluate our motives and resist the temptation of thinking we can earn God’s favor.

Matthew 20

I. The Rejected King Teaches On Service.

II. Scripture Text.

III. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). The Journey To Jerusalem.

A. Parable of the Householder and the Laborers, 20:1-16.

1. In amplification of His answers to Peter’s question in 19:27, “What shall we have, therefore?” Christ used an illustration, found only in Matthew, of a wealthy man who owned a vineyard. There does not seem to be any significance to selection of the vineyard, except that it was a common feature of life in Israel. In seeking laborers to work in his vineyard, the owner promised them the usual daily wage of a “penny,” the Greek denarius, worth about sixteen cents and the normal daily pay for a laborer or a Roman soldier. Later in the day, seeing others idle in the marketplace, he invited them to join his laborers. Apparently, no specific agreement was made as to how much they would receive, except that he would do “whatever is right.” Later he found others in the sixth and ninth hour, referring at noon and 3:00 p.m. Finally, at the eleventh hour, or 5:00 p.m., he found still others whom he invited to enter the vineyard to work.

2. At nightfall, the laborers came for their hire, and to each he gave the same wage. This caused complaint on the part of those who had labored all day, and they said “These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.” But the owner of the vineyard replied, “Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way; I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” (vv. 13-15).

3. Complicated explanations of the spiritual meaning of this illustration are not wanting. The denarius represent temporal blessings and what is called “good” (v. 15) refer to life eternal, or eternal blessings. A simple explanation is better. By this illustration, Christ makes clear that God is sovereign. He may not reward according to length of toil or even according to the work performed, but according to “whatever is right” (vv. 4, 7). He chooses those for reward according to His own judgment. Some of the rewards are temporal, but the implication is that the full reward awaits the end of the day, reward in heaven.

B. Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Again Predicted, 20:17-19.

1. All of Jesus’ ministry in Perea was relentlessly taking Him closer to the cross. Soon now they would be crossing the Jordan, passing through Jericho, below sea level, and then up the steep winding road to Jerusalem, about 2,550 feet above sea level. As they were walking the hot desert road to Jericho, Christ took occasion to separate His twelve disciples from the multitude and remind them that at the end of the road, there was a cross (cf. Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34). How cheap was the goal of reward symbolized by the denarius in comparison to what Jesus Himself was going to experience.

2. This was not the first time that Jesus had mentioned His death and resurrection to the disciples (cf. Mt 12:38-42; 16:21-28; 17:22-23). It, of course, had been announced as early as Genesis 3:15 that Satan would “bruise his heel.” The shadow of the cross hung over Christ from the time He was born. He had clearly announced this to the disciples in Matthew 16:21-23, when Peter had attempted to rebuke Him. He had mentioned it again in Matthew 17:22-23, following the transfiguration. Now as they were moving closer and closer to Jerusalem, He said to His disciples, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.” As Morgan points out, Jesus gave accurately the details of His coming death and resurrection, and there is no question about His certainty of it. Morgan states, “There is utmost accuracy in the details, and a calm, quiet knowledge of the actual things before Him.”

3. Interestingly—although in Matthew 16 Peter rebuked Jesus, and in 17:23 it states, “They were exceeding sorry”— here, as far as Matthew’s record is concerned, they were silent. Mark 10:32-34 indicates that before He gave them this prediction, the disciples were “amazed” and “afraid.” According to Luke 18:34, the disciples “understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” Putting these passages together, it seems that the disciples had a foreboding that the trip to Jerusalem was dangerous, but they could not bring themselves to believe literally what Jesus was saying.

C. Request of the Mother of James and John, 20:20-24.

1. The unwillingness of the disciples to face the reality of Christ’s suffering and death is illustrated in the next incident, in which the mother of James and John, the wife of Zebedee, came to Jesus seeking favors for her sons (cf. Mk 10:35-41). When she bowed before Him, Christ asked her, “What wilt thou?” Her request was abrupt and to the point, “Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom” (Mt 20:21). Her ambition was the same as that of the disciples, recorded in Matthew 18:1-14, and the question of Peter in 19:27. Here, their desire for power and position emerges again in the petition of this ambitious mother. Perhaps she can be excused partially in desiring her sons to have a prominent place in serving the Lord, but it was a request relating to ambitions of earth rather than to the glory of God.

2. Jesus dealt with her gently. He replied, “Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” Here, as also recorded in the parallel account in Mark 10:35-41, James and John broke in and answered, “We are able.” How little they knew what they were saying. Jesus replied sorrowfully to them, “Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with” (Mt 20:23). Early in the ministry of the church, James was to lay down his life as a martyr. Although the evidence is not complete, John may also have died a martyr’s death as did some of the other disciples. Although they were to die in one sense as Jesus died, even this did not justify granting their mother’s petition. Jesus completed the answer, “But to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”

3. The other disciples were furious at this attempt to secure preference for these two. They apparently concluded that James and John had influenced their mother to make this request. The fact that the other disciples were angered at James and John shows that they were in heart and spirit no better than the two brothers… “They all wanted the first place,” Both James and John as well as the other ten disciples were far from giving up their attempts to gain the place of power in the kingdom, and their scheming continued, even to the time of the Last Supper in the upper room. How frail and faulty are the human instruments that God must use to accomplish His purposes!

D. Jesus Comments on Their Ambitions, 20:25-28.

Using this incident as an occasion for further discussion of the disciples’ ambition to be great, Jesus pointed out some obvious lessons. He acknowledged that in worldly kingdoms, places of power with great authority are sought. But He declared that in the kingdom of heaven, it shall be different, “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister: And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Mt 20:26-27). The goal in the kingdom is not to rule but to serve. Jesus used His own ministry as an illustration, “Even as the Son of man came not to be to ministered unto, but to minister, to give his life a ransom for many” (v. 28). The road to privileged authority is often paved with lowly service.

E. Healing of Two Blind Men, 20:30-34.

1. In the journey to Jerusalem, a great multitude had followed them from Jericho. As the company moved along, they encountered two blind men sitting beside the road. When they heard that it was Jesus who passed by, mindful of the stories that they had heard of His healing power, they cried out, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David” (20:31). Rebuked by the multitude, they only cried the more, repeating their request.

2. Hearing their petition, Jesus stood still, and calling them to Him, He asked, “What will ye that I shall do unto you?” It was a most dramatic situation, as the crowd thronged about, wondering what would happen. The blind man answered simply, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” Jesus, having compassion on them, touched their eyes; they immediately received their sight and followed Christ. The incident, as recorded in Matthew with parallel accounts in Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43, is significant as emphasizing the title “Son of David,” which was to be prominent in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

3. The account of Mark 10 differs from Matthew’s account, in that it mentions only one blind man who is named, “blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus,” and adds considerable detail to the conversation between them. That Mark omits reference to the second blind man is no serious problem. Luke’s gospel represents it as being “nigh” or “near” Jericho, as if they were about to enter Jericho. The variations in these accounts have given rise to the allegation that the Scriptures are in error in some of the details.

4. Most of the problems dissolve when it is realized that there were two Jerichos: the Old Testament Jericho and the new city, which Herod the Great had built. It may be that Jesus was between the two cities when the miracle took place.

5. The order of events includes Jesus’ having passed through the city (Lk 19:1) without finding lodging. After meeting Zacchaeus, Jesus and His disciples then went back into Jericho and spent the night in his house. On this return to Jericho, the blind men were healed. This permits all the accounts to harmonize.

6. The problem is not in the details that are given but the details which are omitted. If the full story were told, all of the gospel accounts would undoubtedly be found accurate. As it is, each account adds something to the others. Most significant is the fact that those who sought Jesus earnestly received the demonstration of His miraculous power.

IV. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. 20:1-16. The subject is the reward of willingness to serve, whether one comes early or late. Christ is not teaching economics.

B. 20:2. “a denarius for the day.” A good and normal wage for a rural worker. Additional workers were hired at about 9 AM, noon, 3 PM and 5 PM.

C. 20:10-22. We should be grateful, not envious (v 15), if we are permitted to work long and hard for our Lord. We leave rewards to His judgment.

D. 20:14. “I wish to give.” This is the point of the parable: God’s grace and generosity know no bounds and man’s ideas of merit and earned rewards are irrelevant.

E. 20:16. Not that they trade places but that there will be an equality of rewards for equal faithfulness to differing opportunities given to each of us.

F. 20:22. “the cup that I am about to drink.” I.e., the cup of suffering. “We are able.” James was the first of the apostles to be martyred (Acts 12:2).

G. 20:26. Greatness is not ruling over others but serving them.

H. 20:28. “ransom for many.” The word “for” undebatably means “in the place of.” Christ, here, clearly interprets the meaning of His sacrifices as substitution for sinners.

I. 20:29-34. The differences in this account (which speaks of two blind men and of the miracle being done Jesus left Jericho) and the accounts in Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43(which mention only one blind man and the miracle performed as they entered Jericho) are explained thus: (1) there were actually two men involved, but Bartimaeus, being more aggressive, takes place in the prominence; and (2) the men pled with Jesus as He entered Jericho but were not healed until He was leaving after. It is also possible that the healing took place after Jesus left old Jericho, and was nearing new Jericho.

J. 20:30. “Son of David.” The specific messianic title (Ps 72; Isa 9:7). See 9:27.”Son of David.” A title that linked Jesus to the messianic line (cf 1:11).

V. Summing It Up. In 20:17-19, Christ took occasion to separate His twelve disciples from the multitude and remind them that at the end of the road, there was a cross (cf. Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34). Christ did not reveal “everything to everybody.” The disciples of Christ were told things that the other Jews would not know, until such things were revealed to them through observation. It is important to notice that in 20:21, that the mother of James and John made this request of Jesus: “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” The point of this request is that when the kingdom comes, “but which has not yet come.” That, for which our Lord asked the Jews to pray in Matt 6:10, “thy kingdom come,” had not yet come to earth, and would not come while our Lord was still on this earth (Acts 1:6) and would not come until His return to earth (Acts 7, 9-11), after the tribulation (Matt 24:29-30) (Zech 14:5, 9) (Rev 19:11-16; 20:4).

VI. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the seminary.

VII. Galatians Outline Classroom Teaching.

A. Dr. Mark Yarbrough, President of DTS, M.Th., Ph. D. 

B. Introduction to Galatians. In a way, Paul’s epistle to the Galatians is an emancipation proclamation because it announces our freedom as believers. 

  1. The epistle contains lots of internal evidence for authorship by the apostle Paul.
    1. The author was once a persecutor of the church but was later transformed into a preacher of Christ (Galatians 1:23).
    2. He had a special commission as an apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:16).
    3. He was independent of but endorsed by the apostles (Galatians 2:9).
    4. He was a staunch opponent of Judaizers (Galatians 2:1–5, 11–14).
    5. He is the founder of the churches in Galatia and their spiritual father (Galatians 4:19­–20).
    6. An illness prompted his ministry there (Galatians 4:13).
    7. The Holy Spirit and miracles were evident in Galatia (Galatians 3: 2, 5).
    8. The author and the people were bonded together in love (Galatians 4:15–16).
    9. His credentials were well-known.
  2. The debate over whether the epistle was written to southern or northern Galatia is irrelevant to the book’s message.
  3. The epistle gives us lots of insight into the believers in Galatia.
    1. There were multiple churches with a common problem (Galatians 1:2).
    2. The churches were founded by Paul (4:13­­­–14).
    3. The believers there revered Paul as an “angel of God” (Galatians 4:14).
    4. They loved Paul enough to sacrifice their eyes for him (Galatians 4:15).
    5. The Galatians were mostly Gentiles. As such, they had not been circumcised (Galatians 5:2).
    6. They were familiar with the Old Testament (Galatians 3:6–9).
    7. They had been saved long enough to be mature in their faith (Galatians 5:7–12).
    8. They had fallen prey to a new, deviant gospel (Galatians 1:6–10).
  4. Paul wrote to address a controversy in Galatia.
    1. The controversy struck at the very heart of the gospel.
      1. The Galatians had begun to stray from something they once solidly believed.
      2. Paul expressed great emotion that people he knew so well were beginning to fall away.
      3. Many doctrines should be held loosely; however, there is no room for debate on the issue of seeking God’s favor through performance.
    2. There are several problems with the false gospel tempting the Galatians.
      1. It misrepresents grace.
        • The true gospel is not about our works but God’s work on our behalf.
        • We should revel in the grace Christ offers to us.
      2. It eliminates the cross.
      3. It seeks to bring bondage to the believer.
  5. As typical with an epistle, the book begins with an emphasis on right belief and then moves into a section on right living based on those beliefs.
    1. The book’s three main sections are personal, doctrinal, and practical.
      1. We must not distinguish too heavily between right belief and right practice.
      2. Galatians contains a theological argument and an explanation of how proper theology should affect our lives.
    2. The book’s three sections look at the source, content, and effect of the gospel Paul preaches.
    3. Two key passages encapsulate the book’s message: Galatians 2:15–16 and Galatians 5:1.
    4. The central idea of Galatians is that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone.
    5. The book of Galatians follows a straightforward argument.
      1. In Galatians 1–2, Paul shows that the source of his gospel is God’s revelation alone.
      2. In Galatians 3–4, Paul shows that the essence of his gospel is justification by faith alone.
      3. In Galatians 5–6, Paul shows that the application of his gospel is to have freedom through the Spirit alone

Matthew Chapter 19

I. Jesus Ministers In Perea.

A. Bias. Everyone has a bias on certain subjects. A bias may be healthy or unhealthy.

B. Consideration. Context must be maintained while reading the text.

II. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Overview.

A. Teachings Concerning Greatness and Forgiveness.

1. Leaving Capernaum for the last time, Jesus began His journey which was to end in Jerusalem and the cross. The expression “into the coasts of Judaea beyond the Jordan” means the region beyond Judea to the east of the Jordan. By taking this route, Christ avoided Samaria, where He had ministered before, and passed through territory that was new to His public ministry. As He went, crowds following Him from Galilee were joined by others.

2. The crowds had four classes: those who came with need, bringing their sick; those who came to trap Him; those who came in admiration; and at least one with a sincere question. A parallel account to Matthew 19 is found in Mark 10:1-31. Only Matthew records, however, that His ministry included healing the sick.

B. Discourse on Divorce. 19:1-12.

Both Mark and Matthew, however, record the question of the Pharisees regarding divorce. Matthew observes that the Pharisees did this in order to tempt Jesus.

C. Jesus Blesses the Children, 19:13-15.

As Jesus was teaching, ambitious parents brought their small children to have Jesus put His hands on them and pray for them (cf. Mk 10:13-16; Lk 18:15-17). The scene was probably the same as “in the house,” mentioned in Mark 10:10. The disciples felt that this was an unwarranted intrusion into the privacy of Jesus, and attempted to restrict the children, but Jesus rebuked the disciples instead saying, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:14). While there is no mention that He actually prayed for them, Mark’s gospel adds that He took the children up in His arms and blessed them (Mk 10:13-16). It is of interest that children instinctively recognized in Jesus one who loved them and cared for them, and they came to Him freely. The one who was the Friend of publicans and sinners was also the Friend of children.

D. Rich Young Ruler, 19:16-22.

1. Later, departing from the house, Jesus was approached by a young man who raised the question, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”

2. In reply, Jesus first called attention to the fact that he had called Him “good,” which properly refers only to God. As Glover notes, “Good Master is compliment, not adoration.

3. The question is naturally raised by this incident whether it is necessary for a rich man to give up all his possessions in order to receive eternal life. Is not salvation by faith and by grace and not by works?

4. The answer seems to be that in this instance, the questioning of Jesus brought out the shallowness of the young man’s faith. When it came right down to it, he trusted his riches and his position more than he trusted in Jesus Christ. His real problem was lack of faith in Christ, whom he considered a good Teacher but who apparently was not to be regarded as one who had the right to demand that he give up all in order to follow Him. Faith is ultimately a choice, and the young man chose riches rather than Jesus.

E. Relation of Discipleship to Riches, 19:23-30.

1. After the young ruler had left, Jesus observed to His disciples, “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven” (19:23). In contrast to the prevailing opinion of the Jews, who, through their riches, thought they were gaining favor with God, Jesus pointed out that often riches are a stumbling block rather than a stepping-stone for those entering the kingdom. He further commented, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (v. 24). The disciples replied in their amazement, “Who then can be saved?”

2. Various explanations have been given for Christ’s illustration of a camel going through a needle’s eye. Thus construed, He was saying, in effect, that it is impossible.

3. Some have taken the needle’s eye to be a reference to a small, low gate into a walled city requiring one entering to take off his load and crawl through the hole on his knees, but there is no evidence that this is the intended meaning. Like the reference to the blind guides, as in Matthew 23:24, who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, He was illustrating that which is impossible to do naturally. Jesus was not saying simply that it is difficult for rich men to be saved. What He was saying was that it takes a miracle, a supernatural work of God. This is clear in the comment of Jesus in answering the disciples’ question, “Who then can be saved?” He stated, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (19:26). The new birth, as an act of creation, is not something that comes naturally or easily.

4. Note should be taken that in verse 24, Jesus used the expression “the kingdom of God” in contrast to the usual expression “kingdom of heaven.” If there is a distinction, the kingdom of God refers to the sphere of salvation, not merely the sphere of profession. A rich man could profess to follow Christ, but apart from supernatural grace, he could not enter into salvation.

5. The discourse of Christ on the place of riches on earth in contrast to “treasure in heaven” (v. 21) led to Peter’s next question, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” (v. 27).

6. To this practical question, Christ gave a specific answer. He stated that in the “regeneration,” or restoration of the kingdom, “When the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory,” the disciples also “shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (v. 28). This is clearly a picture of the millennial earth, not heaven. Late in Christ’s ministry, He supports the concept that the kingdom, while postponed as far as human expectation is concerned, is nevertheless certain of fulfillment following His second coming.

7. In addition to the promise that they shall sit on thrones acting as judges, Jesus gave the promise to all His disciples who, for Christ’s sake, have forsaken houses, brethren, sister, father, mother, wife, children, or lands, that they shall receive an hundredfold reward in addition to having eternal life. There is no uncertainty about the riches of heaven, which will endure long after the treasures of the rich young ruler have been dissipated.

8. One final word of caution was given by Jesus, “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first” (v. 30). By this, Jesus meant that God’s estimation of worthiness for reward may be entirely different than man’s estimation. Those prominent in this life may not necessarily be first in reward in the life to come. The widow who gave her two mites but had nothing else to give may be ahead of those who have given much. Those who labor merely for reward may miss it. His discussion of this point is illustrated in the next chapter.

III. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS). Scripture Text Examination.

A. 19:1. “beyond the Jordan”=Perea, not part of Judea, but within the tetrarchy of Herod Antipas. Perea was a region East of the Jordan, extending from the sea of Galilee almost to the Dead Sea.

B. 19:16. Jews of the time believed that performing some single good act would guarantee salvation.

C. 19:21. “complete.” I.e., generally pleasing to God. “go and sell.” The man was being asked to prove his claim to have kept the commandments, especially the one that says, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (v. 19). His unwillingness to do so belied his claim (v. 20) and showed him as a sinner in need of salvation.

D. 19:24. “needle” means a “sewing needle.” In this proverbial expression, Christ does not say that a rich man could not be saved (v. 26), but only that, for him, it is more difficult, since such a person seldom senses his personal need as readily as a poorer man does,

E. 19:27. Peter must have been thinking, “Well, we disciples certainly don’t have any such hindrances of wealth!”

F. 19:28. “in the regeneration” = the new age, the Millennium, when the earth will be made new, during which time the disciples will judge Israel. The only other use of the word “regeneration” in the NT speaks of people being made new in the present age (Titus 3:5). “on His glorious throne.” See 25:31.

IV. Summing It Up. It is import to remember that Jews had no knowledge of people going to heaven, above them, in the sky. They knew about the earthly kingdom that is described in the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:8-17). Whenever “kingdom” is discussed in the four gospels, its meaning is the earthly, Davidic kingdom, upon which Messiah Christ will rule, reign and teach during the 1,000 year Millennium (Rev 20:4), which will take place after the tribulation and the second coming of Christ to earth (Isa 2:2-4), (Matt 24:29-30), (Rev 19:11-16), (Zech 14:4-5; 9).

V. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following link shows information about Dallas Theological Seminary, from which many of my sources have a connection, of student, graduate, instructor. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the seminary.

Matthew Chapter 18

I. Video. The Greatest in the Kingdom – The Parable of the Lost Sheep – A Brother Who Sins Against You – The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.

A. Title. Matthew Chapter 18.

B. Data. LuisetReneeandBill.

C. Bias. Everyone has a bias on certain subjects. A bias may be healthy or unhealthy.

D. Consideration. Context must be maintained while viewing this video, and in reading the text.

II. Overview. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Chapter 18. Teachings Concerning Greatness and Forgiveness.

A. Sermon on the Little Child, 18:1-14.

1. The disciples had gathered in the home which Jesus had established in Capernaum (Mt 17:24; Mk 9:33). The incident that followed is recorded also in Mark 9:33-50 and Luke 9:46-50. As the disciples gathered, the question was raised, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Mt 18:1). According to Mark 9:33, Jesus had raised the question, “What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?” Apparently, they did not answer immediately, for Mark 9:34 states, “But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.” Breaking the awkward silence, apparently one of the disciples asked the question recorded in Matthew 18:1. As Ironside says, “It is a question that no truly noble soul would ever ask.”

2. In answer to their question, Jesus called a little child to Him, possibly a neighborhood child whom He knew well. When the disciples observed the little child standing in their midst, Jesus then took the child in His arms (Mk 9:36) and said to the disciples, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3-4).

3. Undoubtedly, the disciples had been unduly concerned about their status in the coming kingdom. It is clear that they were still anticipating an earthly kingdom, in which Jesus would be the King and they would be His privileged servants. In asking the question concerning who would be the greatest, they did not mean that one of their number should have charge over the others, but rather that probably several of them should take precedence. Jesus had previously singled out Peter, James, and John, as in Matthew 17:1, for special honor. What would the role of each of the disciples be?

4. Jesus, in effect, was saying that they were asking the wrong question. They should have been asking, How can I best serve the King? rather than, How can I best serve myself? The child in the arms of Jesus was a graphic illustration of loving trust, immediate obedience in coming to the arms of Christ, and in seeking only the position of being loved. True greatness involved taking an attitude of unpretentious humility instead of seeking a position of power. These were great lessons for the disciples to learn.

5. These teachings of Jesus were in sharp contrast to that which was popular in the heathen world, where children were often used as human sacrifices and often suffered cruelty and neglect. The disciples, accordingly, were warned not to offend a child. It would be better to be drowned in the deep sea with a millstone around one’s neck than to offend a little one. It would be better to have a hand or foot cut off or an eye plucked out than to offend one of these, especially in spiritual things.

B. Sermon Concerning Forgiveness, 18:15-35.

1. Having related the disciples to children in the preceding context, Jesus then related the disciples to children of God who may be adults physically, even though they are immature spiritually. He introduced first the case of a brother or child of God who has injured one of the disciples in some way (cf. Lk 17:3-4).

2. Jesus instructed him first to go alone to the brother, tell him his fault, and seek an adjustment. The implication is that this may bring the matter to proper solution. If, however, the brother would not heed such an admonition, the disciple was instructed to take two or three witnesses with him and attempt to get the matter resolved by this means. This was in keeping with the law as stated in Deuteronomy 19:15.

3. If this form of entreaty failed, then he should tell it to the “assembly.” Obviously, church organization, as seen in the New Testament, had not yet been established, and it is more probable that He was referring here to a Jewish assembly, with which the disciples were familiar. If the offender refused to correct the matter in front of the whole assembly, he was then to be considered an outsider and was no longer worthy to be considered a brother. It is significant that there was no recognition of church authority, such as a bishop or elder, or even the authority of the disciples themselves.

4. However, Jesus went on immediately to discuss the authority of the disciples. In Matthew 18:18, He declared, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” It should be noted, first of all, that ye is plural. This authority was not given to Peter individually as a pope, but rather it belonged to all of the disciples, and they shared it, according to the preceding verse, with the assembly. The idea was that collectively they had a right to apply the spiritual principles of divine judgment to those who ignore such truth. In applying them correctly, they were recognizing a situation which God had established, whether this referred to binding or loosing, and they were serving as God’s representatives. It should be obvious that their binding or loosing was true only as God confirmed it.

5. Proceeding from the matter of judging a brother, the importance of two or three agreeing was then applied to prayer. Here, instead of the necessity of an entire assembly agreeing, even two or three who agree may be assured that God would answer. There is no instance in Scripture in which two or three of the disciples of Jesus agreed in prayer and the answer was not forthcoming. Only when they prayed singly, as in the case of Paul seeking removal of this thorn in the flesh, was there divine disapproval.

6. Peter returned to the question of forgiveness and asked the Lord in Matthew 18:21, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Lenski observes, “The old Jewish teaching was that three times was enough,” based on Amos 1:3 and 2:6. Peter was attempting to be generous in doubling the usual limit of forgiveness.

7. Jesus replied, however, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Mt 18:22). There is some discussion in commentaries on this figure because of a mistranslation of Genesis 4:24, which Lamach is to be avenged seventy and sevenfold, that is, seventy-seven times. The Septuagint translates it “seventy times seven,” omitting the Hebrew and. There is no clear evidence that Christ was referring to the Septuagint rendering of Genesis 4:24, but it is evident in Matthew that Jesus meant seventy times seven, or four hundred and ninety. This meant that Peter should go on forgiving without counting the number of times, following the example of God himself, who does not impute sin to those who have trusted in Him.

8. It is clear that this is a story which has only partial fulfillment in God’s dealings with His disciples. There is no justification here for the doctrine of purgatory or the concept that a believer can lose justification once bestowed. The penalties refer to this life rather than the life to come in both instances, and chastisement can be experienced even by those who are the objects of God’s grace, if they do not judge their own life in the light of God’s forgiveness (cf. 1 Co 11:27-32; Heb 12:5-10). The illustration, however, enforces the exhortation of Jesus to Peter not to stop forgiving a brother, a truth which is supported by many scripture references (Ps 18:25; Mt 5:7; Lk 6:37; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13; Ja 5:9).

III. Scripture Text Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS), Chapter 18.

A. 18:3. “are converted” = turn, an active and voluntary turning from sin.

B. 18:4. “humbles himself.” The tense is “whoever humbles himself until he becomes as this little child — exhibiting trust, openness, and eagerness to learn.” These are the childlike qualities that constitute greatness.

C. 18:6-7. “causes…. to stumble.” I. e., leads into sin, “stumbling blocks (v 7) are occasions for stumbling or temptations to sin. “millstones” (v 6).

D. 18:8. “cut it off.” (See note on 5:29-30). This is strong language, used to emphasize; i.e., sin is so dangerous, because it leads to eternal condemnation, that it would be better to lose hands or eyes temporarily than to lose life eternally.

E. 18:16. “Two or three witnesses.” An ancient law (Deu 19:15) for the purpose of reconciliation.

F. 18:17. “church.” Here and in 16:18 are the only mention of the church in the Gospels. [Re: the church (Mt 16:18, Eph 1:22-23), is the spiritual body of born again believers: Jesus promised His church (built on His redemptive work) will be victorious over death, 1 Cor 15:51-57 (Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D., DTS). (Mine; there was no church until the Day of Pentecost.)]

G. 18:`18. On binding and loosing see notes on 16:19 and John 20:23.

1. [ “Matt 16:19: “the keys.” The authority to open the doors of Christendom was given to Peter, who used that authority for Jews on the Day of Pentecost, and for the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10). “shall have been loosed.” Heaven, not the Apostles, initiates all binding and loosing; whereas the Apostles announce these things. In John 20:22-23 sins are in view ; here, things, (i.e., practices). An example of the apostles’ binding practices on people is found in Acts 15:20].

2. [John 20:22-23: (22: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This was a filling with the Spirit for power until the regularized relationship of the Spirit began at Pentecost.) (23:”have been forgiven…have been retained. “since only God can forgive sins (Mk 2:7), the disciples and the church are here given the authority to declare what God does when a man either accepts or rejects His son.)].

H. 18:21. “Up to seven times?” The rabbis said to forgive three times, so Peter thought he was being exceptionally worthy by suggesting seven times.

I. 18:22. “seventy times seven.” Forgive an uncountable number of times.

1. Mt 6:14-15. Notice that the only point the Lord emphasizes in the prayer is the necessity for forgiving one another. Forgiveness with the Father depends on forgiveness among the members of the family of God. This is the forgiveness that affects fellowship within the family of God; not forgiveness that leads to salvation.

2. Dr. Merrill F. Unger, Th. D., Ph. D., DTS). The Lord was indicating a forgiving spirit in the citizens of the kingdom. He was offering if they, in turn, as regenerate believers, wished to enjoy forgiveness and and unbroken fellowship with their heavenly Father.

3. Personal Salvation. John 3:16.

4. Security in personal salvation. John 10:28-30.

IV. Summing it up.

A. It is clear from the Scripture context, and the commentary of Drs. Ryrie, Walvoord and Unger, that the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, as well as all prior chapters, relate to the offer of Jesus of the Davidic Kingdom, that was made to the Jews of Israel, and only to Jews. Gentiles would have had no understanding of the teaching of the rabbis, in relation to forgiveness.

B. The teachings of Jesus to the Jews is shown throughout the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), with many of them based on the 613 Torah Laws of the Old Testament, and were intended to emphasize discipline of Jews. Torah means teaching, instruction, etc. In Matthew Chapter 18, Jesus discussed such Torah related subjects as: cutting off limbs (vs 8), and plucking out eyes (vs 9). The Law was in effect during the ministry of Jesus, but was fulfilled in Jesus (Matthew 5:17-19).

C. The Law and Animal Sacrifices.

1. The Law Of Burnt Offerings. Leviticus 1:1-17. (1:2″Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When any man of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock.”)

2. God required animal sacrifices to provide a temporary covering of sins and to foreshadow the perfect and complete sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Leviticus 4:355:10). Animal sacrifice is an important theme found throughout Scripture because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). When Adam and Eve sinned, animals were killed by God to provide clothing for them (Genesis 3:21). After the flood receded, Noah sacrificed animals to God (Genesis 8:20-21) (got

3. For the Jews who rejected Jesus as their Messiah, animal sacrifices done in obedience to the Old Testament covenant were stopped in A.D. 70 at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the armies of Rome. Jesus warned of this in the Gospels. For the Christian community, animal sacrifices stopped with the death and resurrection of Christ (

4. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “it is finished!.” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit (John 19:30). (The price for our redemption was paid in full by our Lord’s death).

V. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.”

Matthew Chapter 17

I. Video.

A. Title. Matthew Chapter 17. The Transfiguration – The Healing of a Boy With a Demon – The Temple Tax

B. Data. LuisetReneeandBill.

II. Overview. Dr. John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (DTS). Chapter 17. The Coming Kingdom After His Suffering And Death.

A. Transfiguration, 17:1-9.

1. Six days after Peter’s notable confession, recorded in chapter 16, Jesus took Peter, James, and John, the inner circle, to a high mountain, apart from the other disciples (cf. Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36). Many believe this to be Mt. Hermon, north of Caesarea Philippi, but Matthew does not give the name of the mountain, nor does Mark or Luke.

2. Matthew gives the most complete detailed account of the transfiguration, showing that he is not as dependent upon Mark’s gospel as some have taught. Luke relates that the event occurred “about eight days” after Peter’s confession (Lk 9:28), meaning a week. There is no contradiction between the accounts. Luke also mentions that Jesus was praying and the disciples were sleeping when the transfiguration took place, and suddenly, the face of Christ shone as the sun, and His raiment also took on a supernatural light. Mark states that His raiment was “exceeding white as snow” (Mk 9:3), and Luke mentions especially that “the fashion of his countenance was altered” (Lk 9:29). In determining the nature of the transfiguration, it is sufficient to conclude that it was a real and supernatural revelation of the glory of God, not just an appearance or a theophany.

3. As Jesus was transfigured before His disciples, they were abruptly awakened and, wide-awake, saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. Luke says that they were discussing the coming death of Jesus, which would be accomplished at Jerusalem (Lk 9:31). Attempting to do something about this, Peter, responding to the situation although he had not been addressed, said to Jesus, “Lord it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles [tents]; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias” (Mt 17:4). Both Mark and Luke comment that Peter did not know what he was saying, as it was not a sensible proposition.

4. The answer to his suggestion, however, was a bright cloud which overshadowed all of them, and out of the cloud came a voice of God the Father, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (17:5). Matthew alone records that, in response to this heavenly vision and command, they fell on their faces and were very much afraid. Jesus commanded them, however, to arise and stop being afraid, and with this assurance, when they lifted up their eyes, Moses and Elijah as well as the cloud had disappeared, and Jesus was restored to normal appearance.

5. As they were coming down the mountain to rejoin the other disciples, Jesus instructed them to tell no one of the vision until after His resurrection. Obviously, to tell of this vision would have only aggravated the problem of the people who wanted to make Jesus King by force.6.

6. What is the meaning of the transfiguration? The Scriptures do not provide an immediate commentary on the purpose of the transfiguration. W. A. Criswell suggests that the purpose was to encourage Jesus in view of His coming death, as well as the disciples in the trials which they would face.

7. Probably the disciples needed far more than Jesus’ spoken assurances to offset the frequent references to His death, which they could not fit into their concept of the Lord’s future program. That it left an indelible effect upon the disciples is clear from 2 Peter 1:16-18, where Peter refers to it, and in John 1:14, where John mentions it. It was a dramatic and reassuring experience that no matter what happened, the glory of the kingdom was still ahead.

8. Numerous questions can be raised about the incident. Why were Moses and Elias, or Elijah, selected? Probably the best answer, as Lenski suggests, is that Moses was the greatest lawgiver of the Old Testament and Elijah was the first of the great prophets. It is also true that Moses represents those who, through death and resurrection, will be in glory, and Elijah represents those who will be in glory without dying. The fact that they both have bodies gives some support to the idea of an intermediate body in heaven, prior to the day of resurrection or translation, although Lenski brushes this aside as not being taught in the passage.

9. The selection of Peter, James, and John, rather than all the disciples, was appropriate, following the example of Moses, who, when he went up into the holy mountain, took with him Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu (Ex 24:1). The transfiguration of Christ, however, far exceeded the glory which Moses experienced. While the companions of Moses, including the seventy elders, apparently saw the glory of God, none of them were permitted to accompany Moses when he went up into the mountain to receive the law. The disciples, in the transfiguration of Jesus, were witnesses of the entire transaction.

10. Taken as a whole, the transfiguration was the fulfillment of Matthew 16:28, where they had been promised that they would see the Son of man coming in His kingdom. The transfiguration was the prophetic view of the glorious Christ.

B. Question About Elijah, 17:10-13.

1. The appearance of Elijah on the mount reminded the disciples of a problem they had with the prediction of the coming of Elijah before the day of the Lord (Mai 4:5-6). They now raised this question, “Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?” (Mt 17:10). As Lenski observes, “It was the popular expectation that Elijah would first teach the Jews, settle all their disputed questions, again give them the pot of manna and Aaron’s rod that blossomed, etc.”

2. In His answer, Jesus acknowledged that the scribes had correctly understood that Elijah was related to the restoration of Israel. Jesus solved the problem by affirming that Elijah had already come and that the scribes had not recognized him. The disciples understood this to be a reference to John the Baptist (cf. Mai 3:1; Mt 11:14; Lk 1:17). Scholars differ as to whether John the Baptist completely fulfilled the prophecy of Elijah, or whether a future appearance of Elijah is necessary. The theory of a yet future appearance of Elijah is connected with the view that he is one of the two witnesses in Revelation 11. The evidence that John the Baptist at least in part fulfilled the prophecy of Elijah is clear, but a future appearance of Elijah is debatable.

C. Healing of the Demon-Possessed Child, 17:14-21.

1. As also recorded in Mark 9:14-29 and Luke 9:37-43, upon the return to the valley, Jesus encountered the other nine disciples in trouble. A child had been brought, severely afflicted with epilepsy caused by demon possession. The expression that he was a “lunatick” is often understood as indicating that he was epileptic on the basis of the symptoms, although he may have also had mental unbalance, as Morgan believes. The case was presented to Jesus by his father, who, kneeling before Jesus, pleaded mercy for his son, whom the disciples could not cure. The incident, no doubt, had been embarrassing to the nine disciples and may have provoked ridicule of the crowd.

2. The failure of the disciples moved Jesus to say, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me” (Mt 17:17). Although addressed generally to the generation, it obviously was a rebuke to the nine disciples.

3. When the child was brought to Jesus, the devil was cast out and the child was cured immediately. Mark 9:20-26 indicates that there was an exchange of conversation between Jesus and the father, in which it was brought out that the child had had this difficulty ever since he was small, and sometimes it caused him to fall into fire or into the water. Jesus, addressing the father, said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mk 9:23). The father, in response, cried out, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (v. 24). Even as Jesus was talking, the child “fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming” (v. 20). The situation was attracting a crowd, and Jesus immediately cast out the spirit, according to verse 25. It left the child as one dead, and Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up (vv. 26-27).

4. Later, as Mark 9:28 indicates, when they had returned to the house, the disciples asked why they could not cast out the demon. Jesus, in reply, made clear to them that their problem was not the demon or the child but their own unbelief. To the disciples, He said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Mt 17:20). Jesus added, however, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (v. 21). What Jesus could accomplish in a word, the disciples needed to accomplish through prayer and fasting.

5. The lessons of this incident are obvious. It is not the greatness of the problem that is the difficulty; it is the lack of faith on the part of believers. How quickly Jesus responded to the simple and sincere cry of the father of the child, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mk 9:24).

D. Announcement of Christ’s Death and Resurrection Repeated, 17:22-23.

With the approaching feast, which would be the time that Jesus would be crucified, He again reaffirmed not only that He would die and be raised, but that He would be betrayed by His friends into the hands of His enemies (cf. Mk 9:30-32; Lk 9:43-45). This time, the disciples did not raise objections, but the Scriptures record, “And they were exceeding sorry” (Mt 17:23). Their sorrow arose not from sympathy but from their lack of understanding of both His death and resurrection. The sorrow is because of the assertion that Jesus would be “betrayed.” The lengthening shadow of the cross is beginning to stretch over the incidents that were to lead Jesus to Jerusalem.

E. Problem of Tribute, 17:24-27.

1. following these incidents, they came to Capernaum for what would be the last visit there before He went to Jerusalem to die. The tax collectors, who were collecting the temple tax, approached Peter because neither he nor Jesus had paid the tax. Matthew alone records this incident. The custom was based on the law which required every Israelite, above twenty years of age, to pay a half shekel in the support of the temple (cf. Ex 30:13-14; 2 Ki 12:4; 2 Ch 24:6; Neh 10:32). It was normal to have this tax collected just before the Passover. Peter had assured the tax collector that his Master would pay the tribute.

2. Before Peter could talk to Jesus about it, Jesus anticipated the question and asked him, “What thinketh thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?” (Mt 17:25). Peter replied that taxes were collected of strangers not of children.

3. Jesus, having made His point that Jesus and His disciples should not have to pay tax, nevertheless, instructed Peter to cast a hook into the sea, pick up the first fish that came, and open its mouth. He would find a piece of money which he could take to pay the tribute tax (v. 27). Although many have tried to explain away this incident because Matthew does not go on to complete the story, it seems clear that Peter caught the fish with the money in its mouth and paid the tax. According to Mark 12:13-17, the Pharisees were especially desirous to catch Jesus in breaking the law of the tribute. Jesus, at this point as He was facing Jerusalem, did not want to make a small issue important.

III. Scripture Text Examination. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Th. D., Ph. D. (DTS), Chapter 17.

A. 17:1. “Six days later.” Luke’s “about eight days” includes the beginning and the ending days, as well as the interval between. “Peter and James and John.” The inner circle of the disciples.

B. 17:2. “Transfigured.” Lit., transformed. The transfiguration gave the three disciples a preview of Jesus’ future exaltation and the coming kingdom. The Lord was seen in His body of glory; Moses and Elijah illustrated those whom Christ will bring with Him (either through death or translation; 1 Thes 4:13-18); the disciples represented those who will behold His coming (Rev 1:7).

C. 17:4. “tabernacles.” Booths or shelters, for temporary residence.

D. 17:10. “scribes.” I.e., the accredited expounders of the Hebrew scriptures.

E. 17:11-12. The sequence of thought is a follows: (1) Elijah is coming as the restorer (Mal 4:5); (2) he came unrecognized, in the person of John the Baptist, and was killed; (3) the Son of Man faces a like fate. The disciples seem to grasp only the first two points.

F. 17:20. On “mustard seed.” Ryrie note Matt 13:32: lesser of all seeds. It is among the smallest seeds and was the smallest used in Israel. The kingdom will grow quickly.

G. 17:24-27. This assessment of a half-shekel (two drachmas), was collected annually for the support of the Temple. Jesus anticipated (v 25) Peter’s confusion by trying to show him that members of the royal family are exempt from the tax. Thus, Jesus, the Son of God, was not personally obligated to pay for the support of God’s house because, because being God, it was His Temple (Mal 3:1). Nevertheless, to avoid offense, He would pay. The miraculously caught fish yielded a shekel, which was equal to two half-shekels, sufficient for Jesus and Peter.

IV. Summing it up. It is clear from the Scripture context, and the commentary of Drs. Ryrie and Walvoord, that the seventeenth chapter of Matthew, as well as all prior chapters, relate to the offer of Jesus of the Davidic Kingdom, that was made to the Jews of Israel, and only to Jews. The term “Son of Man” was known to Jews, as a reference to Messiah (Dan 7:13-14), and not to Gentiles. Additionally, the synoptic gospels of Mathew, Mark, and Luke do not relate to personal salvation but to the Jews of the nation of Israel through its restoration (Luke 13:1-5 {context}; Acts 1:6). Only the Gospel of John (John 3:16) tells of the offer of individual salvation. Compare Luke 13:5 to John 3:16, and you will see a great difference through the context of salvation; Lk 13:5, to the nation of Israel, and John3:16 to individual Jews and Gentiles. Through the ministry of Jesus, during His first advent, He is giving the Jews a glimpse of the coming millennial kingdom (Isa 35:5-6, “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Isa 61:2, “to comfort all who mourn.”), which will take place on earth after His second Advent. Gentiles would have had no in-depth knowledge, if any, of Old Testament prophets. Per a past verse, and Ryrie comment on Matthew 10:5-8: This “Great Commission” was limited to going to Jewish people only. Not even Samaritans (a mixed race of Jews and Gentiles who intermarried after the Assyrian conquest of Israel in 722 B.C.) were included, because the Jews had to prepare spiritually for the coming messianic, earthly kingdom first. The disciples’ ministry would be accomplished by miraculous signs (10:8). The reference to the northern tribes of Israel being carried away by the Samaritans is shown in 2 Kings 17:1-6; 18; 22-24. (Isaiah comments, Walvoord; Matthew and Daniel, Ryrie; others are mine).

V. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.”

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