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NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

The next day, Tuesday, was a day of teaching. Our Lord spent the day in the Temple, meeting the attacks of his enemies. And he had an answer to every inquiry; the trick questions of his enemies always redounded to their own rebuke.

Matthew 21:23-32, and Parallels

First our Lord was questioned as to the authority by which he had cleansed the Temple the day before. Matt. 21:23–32, and parallels. He answered that question by another question: "The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or from men?" The chief priests and elders could not say. They were not really sincere seekers for divine authority. But Jesus was not content with having silenced them. He also pointed out, positively, their sin in not receiving the word of God which had come through John.

Matthew 21:33-46, and Parallels

Still more scathing was the rebuke which Jesus uttered through the parable of the Wicked Husbandmen. Matt. 21:33–46, and parallels. The wicked husbandmen had been put in charge of a vineyard. But when the time came to render the fruit of the vineyard to the owner, they killed the servants who were sent to them and finally the owner's son. The chief priests and Pharisees needed no elaborate explanation; they would probably in any case have applied the parable to themselves. But as a matter of fact Jesus made the application abundantly plain. "The kingdom of God," he said, "shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

Matthew 22:1-14

Just as plainly directed against the wicked leaders of the people, and against the rebellious nation itself, was the parable of the Marriage of the King's Son. Matt. 22:1–14. Those who were bidden to the feast refused to come in; but from the highways and hedges the king's house was filled. So the covenant people, the Jews, had rejected the divine invitation; but the despised Gentiles would be received.

Matthew 22:15-40, and Parallels

The rulers would have liked to put Jesus to death at once; but they still feared the people. So they adopted the underhand method of trying to catch him in his speech. First came the Pharisees and the