Matthew 20-21

If you have not read yet-flip back to Chapter 19.  This is a continued conversation.  This parable follows the rich man story.  The crowd listening is the rich, poor, Pharisees, tax collectors, beggars…all were there.  This parable will speak to each “category” equally.  The Pharisees think they deserve more, the disciples who left everything now want to know what their reward is going to be,  they think they deserve more.  God will give grace to those He chooses through faith-whether it be in the first hour or the last.  You cannot earn it.

Chapter 20-The first group of workers in the vineyard resented receiving the same wage as the last group. Their attitude was similar to that of the Pharisees, who were furious at Jesus’ teaching that others could inherit a heavenly kingdom they thought was reserved for them alone. They despised Jesus for offering the kingdom to poor, oppressed, weak sinners who He made equal to them.

Here is an interesting thought.  The first set of workers were offered one denarius (a Roman soldier’s daily wage).  Generous.  So when he paid the 4th group the same wage would we think “this is unfair” or “Wow, this landowner is VERY generous”?   If someone becomes a believer early in life…God is generous to save them.  If a person believes much much later in life, is unfair to save them equally?  No.  How generous is the Lord to save all those who believe?

Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time

17 Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem (for the Passover). On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man (the Messiah) will be delivered over (implies betrayal) to the chief priests and the teachers of the law (The Jews). They will condemn him to death (means legal proceedings) 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified (only Romans had an authority to crucify). On the third day he will be raised to life!” (Resurrection)


Jesus was taking His disciples up to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration there. While there, the Son of Man would somehow be “delivered” over “to the chief priests and scribes,” His antagonistic opponents. This implied a betrayal (cf. 17:22). They would “condemn Him to death.” This implied legal proceedings. He would fall under the control of the “Gentiles,” who would ridicule (“mock”), torture (“scourge”), and “crucify” Him. The Romans were the only Gentiles with authority to crucify; the Jews did not have this power under Roman rule. Three days later Jesus would “be raised up” to life.

Chapter 21- SUNDAY

Jesus (finally) comes to Jerusalem as Messianic King – Follow Me (Part 44) | Think Theology

Think about all the times Jesus came to Jerusalem during His ministry.  He would slip in, unnoticed, through the Sheep’s gate (so symbolic).  This time, He makes His presence known!  He fulfills the detailed prophecy in Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Kings entered their city in 1 of two way:

  • Horse-time of war
  • Donkey-time of peace

An example would be Solomon being anointed king (Peace) following David’s reign (war).  Click here: 1 Kings 1:38.

As Jesus entered proclaiming he is the king the crowd, people from all over were there for the Passover Festival began quoting Psalm 118:

25 Lord, save us! (Hosanna)
    Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    From the house of the Lord we bless you.
27 The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
    up to the horns of the altar.

(I spent a lot of time researching which Gate Jesus may have entered.  I can’t be certain but we know that it would be from the East moving west (same as the way we entered the Tabernacle, through the tribe of Judah 😁 in the OT). So is it the Lion’s Gate or the Mercy (golden) Gate? IDK.

Jerusalem's GOLDEN GATE History & Prophecy - Magdalene Publishing

Jesus enters the courtyard speaking in scripture (the Pharisees would pick up on this)  He quotes Isaiah and Jeremiah as He purifies the temple.  They have made the Passover a time to make money by selling animals (telling the foreigners their sacrifices were not good enough) and selling other superstition items.  Read this in Isaiah 56: (it’s worth the time, I promise)

For this is what the Lord says:

“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
    who choose what pleases me
    and hold fast to my covenant—
to them I will give within my temple and its walls
    a memorial and a name
    better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
    that will endure forever.
And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord
    to minister to him,
to love the name of the Lord,
    and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
    and who hold fast to my covenant
these I will bring to my holy mountain
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
    a house of prayer for all nations.”

The Sovereign Lord declares—
    he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
“I will gather still others to them
    besides those already gathered.”

Now Jeremiah: 7:

“‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? 1Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord.


From a distance, the Temple would look like a house of worship and prayer.  From a distance, the Jews and Jerusalem produced fruit.  When fruit grows on a fig tree they are green.  From a distance, the tree would appear to have been full of fruit (just like the nation of Israel).

Second Coming Christ Coming with the parable of fig tree.

18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 

1Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves.

The questioning of authority:  They inquired about Jesus’ authority to drive out the moneychangers and merchants, heal the sick, and teach the people. They were the people with the authority to control what happened in the temple area.  They wanted to know “what authority” Jesus had, and “who” had given Him “this authority” to do what He did, since they had not.

Jesus answers a question with a question (this was customary in rabbinical debates).  He purposely references John the Baptist, his forerunner.  It is a lose-lose statement for the Pharisees.

  • if they agree with who John the Baptist was, THEN they should know who Jesus is (it’s scripture!)
  • if they do not agree (who the people accepted) the people would rise up against them

Their plan failed.

The two sons- (notice both were referred to as sons-equal!  ouch)

  • The first son rejected His father but later obeyed (the tax collectors and prostitutes are the examples Jesus gives for effect)
  • The second son, the Jewish leaders affirmed to do God’s will but never did.

This is the first time Jesus specifically points out that the parable is condemning the Jewish leaders.  (Their jaws must have dropped!)

The parable of the tenants

There are 6 main characters in this parable:

  • 1) the landowner—God,
  • 2) the vineyard—Israel,
  • 3) the tenants/farmers—the Jewish religious leadership,
  • 4) the landowner’s servants—the prophets who remained obedient and preached God’s word to the people of Israel,
  • 5) the son—Jesus,
  • 6) the other tenants—the Gentiles.

In my BIble, I literally crossed out the original in pencil and wrote the other

33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner God who planted a vineyard Israel. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he God rented the vineyard Israel to some farmers Jews and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he God sent his servants Prophets to the tenants Jews to collect his fruit.

35 “The tenants Jews seized his servants Prophets; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he God sent other servants Prophets to them, more than the first time, and the tenants Jews treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son JESUS to them. ‘They will respect my son, JESUS’ he said.

38 “But when the tenants Jews saw the son JESUS, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him  JESUS and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard Israel and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner God of the vineyard Israel comes, what will he do to those tenants Jews?”

41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard Israel to other tenants, the Gentiles who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:  (Jesus says this when the scriptures specifically point to Him)

“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

9 thoughts on “Matthew 20-21

  1. Wow Trish, I appreciate so much the time you put into researching the Word. I would possibly never know the details about riding a donkey versus a horse. I especially love what you wrote regarding the parable of the tenants, and how you substitute in the scripture reference. There is so much in these chapters! TY❤️


    1. So if I was your student in school you could accuse me of trying to curry favor with the teacher, but I could honestly repost every day how much I appreciate this blog and you. ( I’ll ask for money next time😂 😉Just kidding)


      1. Patti, I love you. I hope one day we can meet in person. The other day I got an email that said I needed to “renew/pay” the website or it would go away. I just say there contemplating. It is amazing how the enemy will whispers in your ear on that stuff. I am not kidding when I say, I said to myself….”But what about Patti06, it’s her accountability??” One day my husband was being a brat, I was sitting on the couch with all my research around me and the enemy used him in an ugly way (I can say that because there is not a mean bone in his body). He said “why bother, no one is even reading it”. (I thought in my head…I wonder if his life insurance is paid up???)

        I used to look at the stats on the website to see how many readers. I was getting upset because there are so many readers and NO comments (pride creeps in). Oh, how I argued with God about this several times. “Lord, do you know how much work this is. Do you know how clean my house would be if I didn’t study for hours…Lord do you know….” I know He laughs at me and says “Thanks for enlightening me Trish, but your house was messy before this!” I prayed and heard from the Lord A LOT of rebukes. “This is about ME, not you”. “I called you to this for MY Glory, not yours”. “If only ONE is reading with you, ONE is enough” (and that one could be me). So there are a few people that will click the “like” button after they read and I smile because I say “If just one…that is the THE one ❤️” The other day I got a random text of encouragement from Becky P. I was like: “How did she know I was hanging on by a thread!!”. Am I really that unaware of God using people around me to speak to me?? It was the word I needed.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Trish the feeling is mutual, I love you a lot! Thank you for thinking of me, I would love to meet someday soon! You should turn this into a book/devotional/guide! I was thinking of using it in my church in January, but I might go through it myself again one more year, IDK, I was going to ask your permission. Anyone else thinking of doing the same? I hope you all out there get a chance to comment, I know you are out there❤️❤️❤️


    2. As always your timing is amazing. Yesterday I was literally sitting in a chair watching my husband fold laundry and I said “Do you like reading the OT or NT in this read-through?” Without hesitation, he said NT! I was shocked. I said, “I am struggling, I don’t know what to write in the post”. The OT was history. I could research timelines and genealogies all day…but the NT is hard!! Parables and lining up the other Gospels. I always giggle when people say “Oh, the OT is so hard to read.”. I am learning a lot through this year about the NT. I am especially taking note to how much I have quoted or read a scripture from the NT and it was out of context in the past.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Dear Patricia, I have not commented before but I just want you to know that I truly do not think I could have made it thru such a difficult and stressful 2020 without this read-through. For me, this has been a source of happiness, uplifting, and abiding faith for me and I have become a stronger Christian because of it. I love you for all that you have done for me and so many others during this difficult year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patsy, that is amazing. I think about the timing all the time. Why 2020? I haven’t done this since 2012. I was a stay at home mom in 2012. In 2020, I have a freshman in college who thinks she knows more than mom (firstborn syndrome), a 16-year-old wild child, and a 14-year-old son who I can’t figure out. I think if we all journaled the year 2020 and the obstacles in our lives with health, family, money, election, Covid, changes, depression, physical pain, having babies (yes, one of the readers named their child Uriah from reading this year, children issues, marriage…we would say easily…oh that’s why He wanted us to do this in 2020. He knew! I am so glad when we look back at 2020 this will be what we remember first.

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  3. The Clements are all still reading! The Mama is a little behind bc of her new grandson but she should be caught up by the end of the week! I also have two friends that I know for a fact are deeply invested in your read through… They don’t like to comment but are following daily. We love you Trish and are so grateful for you this year. It’s been hard with churches being cancelled. Church keeps me grounded. I feel like I’ve gained more out of this bible study than you could ever imagine. It came along at the perfect time in our lives! The way it has played out for each daily read has been crazy! I’ve learned so much. I know you will take a year off but I do have a request for the next time you do this…Can we make it a 2year read through?!? I want to spend more time and gain a better understanding of each days lesson. I do feel so lost and confused sometimes. The old people need to go slower! 😁😅 It’s that concentration problem that I have. 🤦🏻‍♀️😁 oh squirrel 🐿…😅😂

    You are a blessing Trish! Don’t get discouraged bc of us. Your passion has kept us in the word during a time in our lives that we have needed it the most!! 🙌🏼 Sending you much love my friend! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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