Study of Matthew 21:23–32 My answers to BSF study questions on Lesson 22 Day 3
5. a. The religious leaders asked Jesus who was authorizing Him to do “these things.” Previously they accused Him of casting out a demon by the power of Beelzebub.
In addition to miracles, the most recent “things” likely included throwing the money changers out of the temple. Hitting them in their wallets and causing them to lose control of the temple must have hurt! They really wanted to prove He was not operating under God’s authority in order to discredit Him.
b. Luke 19:47–20:8 includes two interesting points:
- Jesus was teaching in the temple courts. Even today, wouldn’t someone in leadership ask the same question if someone from the crowd began to teach? Anyone was allowed to do so at that time. It was also common to question what was taught. Today, that behavior would be considered out of line.
- Jesus was “proclaiming the good news.”
- The chief priests, teachers, and leaders were trying to kill Jesus.
- They were stumped because the people “hung on His words.” (Oh, that we would do the same!)
6. a. Through the preaching of John the Baptist, God had already shown Jesus’ opponents the way to true righteousness. They rejected John’s call to repent and continued to stand on their own works.
It’s harder for religious people to believe in the grace of God than any other group of people. That’s because their good deeds are so dear to them. The open sinners know they don’t have any goodness to offer the Lord, so when they hear of God’s mercy and forgiveness as a gift, they are quick to receive it. But those who trust in themselves are offended that all their goodness doesn’t buy them access to God. But it’s only by faith that people have access into God’s grace (Romans 5:1-2). Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.
b. Matthew 13:11–15—Principles that apply to those who questioned Jesus’ authority:
- The knowledge of the secrets of heaven have been hidden from them because they did not believe in Jesus. (Colossians 2:3 HCSB) All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him.)
- Those who aren’t receptive, even what little openness they have will be taken from them. (1 Corinthians 2:14 HCSB) But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.)
- They hear, but they don’t “get” it.
- They see, but they look right through it.
- They refuse to see or listen.
- Their hearts are so hardened, they refuse to allow Jesus to heal them.
c. This seems like a harshly worded question. I can’t of anything I refuse to apply. However, I readily admit my journey toward sanctification continues. And will continue until the day I pass on.
I believe it is important to remember we are no longer living under the first covenant. Those of us who received the sacrifice and forgiveness provided by Jesus are under the second covenant. Not that we abuse our liberty, but we are no longer condemned.
I think what the question-writer hopes we recognize is summed-up in 2 Peter 1:3 HCSB).—His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
Even the Apostle Paul said what he wants to do, he doesn’t. So to suggest that perfect obedience or even willingness to obey every word spoken by Jesus is a prerequisite to receive the grace and knowledge of God, is just as impossible now as it was in the Old Covenant.
I remember a conversation I had with the Lord quite a few years ago. I had discovered two of my former husband’s family members were embezzling money from a business I owned at the time. It wasn’t a one-time thing. It was an ongoing, methodically implemented scheme.
I was angry. I confessed to the Lord, “I don’t want to forgive them, but I WANT to want to forgive them. Please help me.” And He did.
His patience with us is amazing.
7. a. The tax collectors and prostitutes—the sinners—are represented by the son who said he would not work but later did.
b. The religious who opposed Jesus are represented by the son who agreed to work but did not.
Walking the walk wins over talking the talk.
8. a. Those who talk the talk and lack humility and transparency.
The opposite is those who desire to walk the walk and do so with humility and transparency.
Not satisfied with my answers on this question. Hopefully, I will come back to it.
b. I identify more with the first son.
If you can spare a moment to share thoughts you have on these questions, I would appreciate it.