Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Words of Institution
Matthew 21:1-17 Commentary
by Greg Carey
Most of the time, Matthew’s story overshadows Mark’s. But when it comes to the Triumphal Entry and the Cleansing of the Temple, our imaginations typically follow Mark’s story line.
Matthew’s is quite different. Matthew’s Jesus is Israel’s king, the Son of David come to rule the Holy City. Preachers will grapple with what that means for contemporary believers.
In Matthew, Jesus sends his advance scouting party, stages both his procession and his temple demonstration, performs healings, and engages his first conflict with the temple authorities all in one day. He then returns to Bethany to spend the night. Picking up on this chronological unity, the Narrative Lectionary treats this sequence as a sustained body of action.
The unfortunate fig tree must wait for day number two.
Messianic for sure
Matthew is not prone to subtlety, peppering the Gospel narrative with a dozen “fulfillment citations:” “such and such happened to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying … ” Professors especially appreciate Matthew’s citation of Zechariah here. Perhaps because Matthew is ignorant of Hebrew poetic conventions, ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 358: Triumphal Entry
April 14, 2019
Podcast on Matthew 21:1-17, the Narrative Lectionary readings for April 14, 2019 (Triumphal Entry) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.