The reader who has witnessed in the text of Matthew miracles such as the cursing of the fig tree understands that Jesus' authority is from God (vv. 21-22); the reader who has seen the fate of John the Baptist, an earlier representative of God, also recognizes what Jesus will face (compare 21:32, 38-39). The political leaders here are not, however, privy to the information Matthew's audience shares. Like many contemporary politicians-and the rest of us-Jesus' adversaries were more interested in making their opponent, in this case Jesus, look bad than in uncovering further truth about his claims. Undoubtedly they view Jesus as a "populist" (see Rhoads and Michie 1982:82), the sort of demagogue aristocrats normally despised (as in Isoc. Nic. 48 and Or. 2).
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.