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Matthew 21:1-27: The King Occupies His Capital

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Matthew.

It is fashionable to believe in Jesus. Surveys reveal that millions profess to be Christians. Celebrities claim miraculous, overnight conversions. Politicians boast they are "born again." Religion has become big business.

In Matthew 21 Jesus' popularity reaches its zenith. In the midst of public acclamation he occupies Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish nation. His clash with the religious leaders reveals the difference between genuine faith and empty profession.

Warming Up to God

Today we will see Jesus enter Jerusalem to the praise and acclamation of the crowd. Imagine you have an opportunity to see Jesus. How do you feel? Express your feelings to the Lord.

Read Matthew 21:1-27

Discovering the Word

  • Excitement is building and emotions are intense. What words or phrases communicate something of the electrifying atmosphere?
  • What different perceptions does the crowd have of Jesus (vv. 9-11)?
  • Jesus clears the temple in verses 12-17. How does the condition of the temple contrast with what God intended?
  • A fig tree with leaves usually had fruit. How does Jesus' cursing of the fig tree relate to his clearing the temple (vv. 18-22)?
  • How does Jesus' encounter with the Pharisees (vv. 23-27) illustrate the danger of not responding to the light God gives us?

Applying the Word

  • In what ways do you see the modern church "buying and selling" like those in the temple?
  • Identify one area in which your actions need to be more consistent with your beliefs.

Responding in Prayer

Praise God for who Jesus is and what you have seen about him in this passage.

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