Matthew 21:46
Parallel Verses
New International Version
They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

King James Bible
But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

Darby Bible Translation
And seeking to lay hold of him, they were afraid of the crowds, because they held him for a prophet.

World English Bible
When they sought to seize him, they feared the multitudes, because they considered him to be a prophet.

Young's Literal Translation
and seeking to lay hold on him, they feared the multitudes, seeing they were holding him as a prophet.

Matthew 21:46 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

They sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude - Restraining and preventing grace is an excellent blessing, particularly where it leads to repentance and salvation; but he who abstains from certain evils, only through fear of scandal or punishment, has already committed them in his heart, and is guilty before God. The intrepidity of our Lord is worthy of admiration and imitation; in the very face of his most inveterate enemies, he bears a noble testimony to the truth, reproves their iniquities, denounces the Divine judgments, and, in the very teeth of destruction, braves danger and death! A true minister of Christ fears nothing but God, when his glory is concerned: a hireling fears every thing, except Him whom he ought to fear.

This last journey of our Lord to Jerusalem is a subject of great importance; it is mentioned by all the four evangelists, and has been a subject of criticism and cavil to some unsanctified minds. He has been accused of "attempting, by this method, to feel how far the populace were disposed to favor his pretensions in establishing himself as a king in the land; or, at least, by his conduct in this business, he gave much cause for popular seditions." Every circumstance in the case refutes this calumny.

1. His whole conduct had proved that his kingdom was not of this world, and that he sought not the honor that cometh from man.

2. He had in a very explicit manner foretold his own premature death, and particularly at this time.

3. It is evident, from what he had said to his disciples, that he went up to Jerusalem at this time for the express purpose of being sacrificed, and not of erecting a secular kingdom.

4. What he did at this time was to fulfill a declaration of God delivered by two prophets, upwards of 700 years before, relative to his lowliness, poverty, and total deadness to all secular rule and pomp. See Isaiah 62:11; Zechariah 9:9.

5. All the time he spent now in Jerusalem, which was about five days, he spent in teaching, precisely in the same way he had done for three years past; nor do we find that he uttered one maxim dissimilar to what he formerly taught, or said a word calculated to produce any sensation on the hearts of the populace, but that of piety towards God; and in the parable of the man and his two sons, the husbandmen and the vineyard, he spoke in such a way to the rulers of the people as to show that he knew they were plotting his destruction; and that, far from fleeing from the face of danger, or strengthening his party against his enemies, he was come to wait at the foot of the altar till his blood should be poured out for the sin of the world!

6. Had he affected any thing of a secular kind, he had now the fairest opportunity to accomplish his designs. The people had already received him as Jesus the prophet; now they acknowledge him as the Christ or Messiah, and sing the hosannah to him, as immediately appointed by Heaven to be their deliverer.

7. Though, with the character of the Messiah, the Jews had connected that of secular royalty, and they now, by spreading their clothes in the way, strewing branches, etc., treat him as a royal person, and one appointed to govern the kingdom; yet of this he appears to take no notice, farther than to show that an important prophecy was thus fulfilled: he went as usual into the temple, taught the people pure and spiritual truths, withdrew at night from the city, lodged in private at Mount Olivet; and thus most studiously and unequivocally showed that his sole aim was to call the people back to purity and holiness, and prepare them for that kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, which he was about, by his passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and the mission of the Holy Spirit, to set up in the earth.

8. Could a person who worked such miracles as he was in the daily habit of working-miracles which proved he possessed unlimited power and unerring wisdom, need subterfuges, or a colouring for any design he wished to accomplish? He had only to put forth that power essentially resident in himself, and all resistance to his will must be annihilated. In short, every circumstance of the case shows at once the calumny and absurdity of the charge. But, instead of lessening, or tendering suspicious this or any other part of our Lord's conduct, it shows the whole in a more luminous and glorious point of view; and thus the wrath of man praises him.

9. That he was a king, that he was born of a woman and came into the world for this very purpose, he took every occasion to declare; but all these declarations showed that his kingdom was spiritual: he would not even interfere with the duty of the civil magistrate to induce an avaricious brother to do justice to the rest of the family, Luke 12:13, when probably a few words from such an authority would have been sufficient to have settled the business; yet to prevent all suspicion, and to remove every cause for offense, he absolutely refused to interfere, and took occasion from the very circumstance to declaim against secular views, covetousness, and worldly ambition! O how groundless does every part of his conduct prove this charge of secular ambition to be! Such was the spirit of the Master: such must be the spirit of the disciple. He that will reign with Christ, must be humbled and suffer with him. This is the royal road. The love of the world, in its power and honors, is as inconsistent with the spirit of the Gospel as the love of the grossest vice. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Reader, take occasion from this refuted calumny, to imitate thy Lord in the spirituality of his life, to pass through things temporal so as not to lose those that are eternal, that thou mayest reign with him in the glory of his kingdom. Amen.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

they sought.

2 Samuel 12:7-13 And Nathan said to David, You are the man. Thus said the LORD God of Israel, I anointed you king over Israel...

Proverbs 9:7-9 He that reproves a scorner gets to himself shame: and he that rebukes a wicked man gets himself a blot...

Proverbs 15:12 A scorner loves not one that reproves him: neither will he go to the wise.

Isaiah 29:1 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelled! add you year to year; let them kill sacrifices.

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.


Matthew 21:11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Luke 7:16,39 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and...

John 7:40,41 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet...

Acts 2:22 You men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs...

The Stone of Stumbling
Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.'--MATT. xxi. 44. As Christ's ministry drew to its close, its severity and its gentleness both increased; its severity to the class to whom it was always severe, and its gentleness to the class from whom it never turned away. Side by side, through all His manifestation of Himself, there were the two aspects: 'He showed Himself froward' (if I may quote the word) to the self-righteous
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A New Kind of King
'All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass.'--MATT. xxi. 4, 5. Our Lord's entrance into Jerusalem is one of the comparatively few events which are recorded in all the four Gospels. Its singular unlikeness to the rest of His life, and its powerful influence in bringing about the Crucifixion, may account for its prominence in the narratives. It took place probably
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Sermon for Palm Sunday
How a man ought in all His works to regard God alone, and purely to make Him his end without anything of his own, and shall freely and simply perform all these works for the glory of God only, and not seek his own, nor desire nor expect any reward. Wherewith he may do such works without any self-appropriation or reference to time and number, before or after, and without modes. How the Divine Word speaks and reveals itself in the soul, all in a lofty and subtile sense. Matt. xxi. 10-17.--"And when
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler

"Because the Carnal Mind is Enmity against God, for it is not Subject to the Law of God, Neither Indeed Can Be. "
Rom. viii. 7.--"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Unbelief is that which condemns the world. It involves in more condemnation than many other sins, not only because more universal, but especially because it shuts up men in their misery, and secludes them from the remedy that is brought to light in the gospel. By unbelief I mean, not only that careless neglect of Jesus Christ offered for salvation, but that which is the
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Matthew 21:11
The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

Matthew 21:26
But if we say, 'Of human origin'--we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet."

Matthew 21:45
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them.

Matthew 22:1
Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:

Mark 11:18
The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

John 7:30
At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.

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