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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Matthew 21:23-27

Our Lord Jesus (like St. Paul after him) preached his gospel with much contention; his first appearance was in a dispute with the doctors in the temple, when he was twelve years old; and here, just before he died, we have him engaged in controversy. In this sense, he was like Jeremiah, a man of contention; not striving, but striven with. The great contenders with him, were, the chief priests and the elders, the judges of two distinct courts: the chief priests presided in the ecclesiastical... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - Matthew 21:23-27

21:23-27 When Jesus had come into the Temple precincts, the chief priests and elders of the people came to him as he was teaching and said, "By what authority do you do these things? And who gave you this authority?" Jesus answered them, "I will ask you one question, and if you give me an answer to it, I too will tell you by what authority I do these things. Whence was the baptism of John? Was it from heaven? Or, was it from men?" They debated within themselves. "If," they said, "we say... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Matthew 21:23

And when he was come into the temple ,.... The day following the cursing the fig tree: for the withering of it, and the notice the disciples took of it, and our Lord's discourse with them about it, were not in one and the same day, as is clear from the account the Evangelist Mark gives; but on the morning that Christ had conversed with his apostles by the way from Bethany to Jerusalem, concerning the strength of faith in prayer, and the success of it; when they were come into the city, and... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Matthew 21:23

By what authority doest thou these things? - The things which the chief priests allude to, were his receiving the acclamations of the people as the promised Messiah, his casting the traders out of the temple, and his teaching the people publicly in it. Who gave thee this authority? - Not them: for, like many of their successors, they were neither teachers nor cleansers; though they had the name and the profits of the place. read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Matthew 21:23

Verse 23 Matthew 21:23.By what authority doest thou these things. As the other schemes and open attempts to attack Christ had not succeeded, the priests and scribes now attempt, by indirect methods, if they may possibly cause him to desist from the practice of teaching. They do not debate with him as to the doctrine itself, whether it was true or not—for already had they often enough attacked him in vain on that question—but they raise a dispute as to his calling and commission. And, indeed,... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 21:1-46

The vast multitudes who came to his baptism thereby professed faith in his teaching. Hence the general expression, "All hold John as a prophet." The defeat of Herod's army in the war with Aretas, King of Arabia, was esteemed by the Jews a judgment for the death of John (Josephus, 'Ant.,' John 18:7 ). 2 . John ' s testimony therefore should be conclusive. III. AS IT IS EVIDENT IN THE DISCOMFITURE OF HIS ENEMIES . 1 . They set up their authority against... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 21:23

When he was come into the temple . The conversation recorded here belongs to the Tuesday of the Holy Week, and took place in the courts of the temple, at this time filled with pilgrims from all parts of the world, who hung upon Christ's words, and beheld his doings with wonder and awe. This sight roused to fury the envy and anger of the authorities, and they sent forth sections of their cleverest men to undermine his authority in the eyes of the people, or to force from him statements on... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 21:23-27

First attack, referring to his late actions : and Christ ' s answer . read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 21:23-27

Question met by question. Perhaps we shall best gather up the lessons of this incident if we look first at the form it assumed, then at the underlying substance. I. THE FORM . 1 . The question of the rulers. 2 . The counter question of Christ. He postpones his reply to a question he desires to have answered by the rulers. II. THE SUBSTANCE . That was indeed an important question which the rulers put to Christ. If it were asked humbly and sincerely, it might be... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 21:23-32

The authority of Jesus. The "things" in reference to the doing of which this question of the authority of Jesus was raised by the chief priests and elders, were his purging the temple from the traffickers, his publicly teaching and working miracles of healing there. Mark, by more clearly placing the miracle of the withering of the fig tree in order before these things, brings them into closer connection with the passage before us. We may profitably consider the authority of Jesus— I. AS... read more

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