Matthew 21-23 contains the most remarkable extended confrontation of Christ with the religion of outward pretense in all the gospels. And yet Matthew 23 ends on a hint of hope even for those He has confronted (23:39).
We have been gradually prepared for this confrontation from previous ones, from as early as chapter 2 (2:3ff). And we should expect that Matthew, who wrote presenting the Messiah from the first verse onward (Matthew 1:1, "Jesus, the Messiah,"), will present Him not only in His relationship to those in support, but in His relationship to those who oppose Him; in relationship not only to that which supports, but to that which opposes Him.
For the Lord knows to deal, in real-time, on the spot, with the sin of those who sin against Him. Where discussion suffices, He explains with discussion (21:16). When there is hypocrisy behind the discussion of a subject, He dismisses the subject, but not those discussing (21:28,33,40; 22:1), and continues until they themselves go off (22:15), at least temporarily (22:16). He confounds their intellectual traps (22:15), and conundrums (22:28-30), and along the way shows such an obvious mastery of the Old Testament (22:32,37-39,44-45) that not only are those kinds of questions stopped, but the crowds are astonished at His teaching (22:33). Along the way, the reader hears a summary of the whole Law and Prophets (22:40).
People might say not to memorize chapter 23, because it is so specific to those people and that time. Is it? Regarding people (23:12)? And is it, regarding the time (23:39)?
- ► 2017 (36)
- New Year: Luke 2-3 for Oct 28
- New Year: Luke 1 for Oct 27
- New Year: Mark 15-16 for Oct 26
- New Year: Mark 13-14 for Oct 25
- New Year: Mark 11-12 for Oct 24
- New Year: Mark 8-10 for Oct 23
- New Year: Mark 6-7 for Oct 22
- New Year: Mark 3-5 for Oct 21
- New Year: Mark 1-2 for Oct 20
- New Year: Matt 27-28 for Oct 19
- New Year: Matt 24-26 for Oct 18
- New Year: Matt 21-23 for Oct 17
- New Year: Matt 18-20 for Oct 16
- New Year: Matt 15-17 for Oct 15
- New Year: Matt 12-14 for Oct 14
- New Year: Matt 9-11 for Oct 13
- New Year: Matt 6-8 for Oct 12
- New Year: Matt 3-5 for Oct 11
- New Year: Matt 1-2 for Oct 10
- New Year: Mal 1-4 for Oct 9
- ▼ October (20)
- ► 2006 (24)