What does Matthew 21:15 mean?
ESV: But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant,
NIV: But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, 'Hosanna to the Son of David,' they were indignant.
NASB: But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple area, 'Hosanna to the Son of David,' they became indignant,
CSB: When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonders that he did and the children shouting in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David! " they were indignant
NLT: The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, 'Praise God for the Son of David.' But the leaders were indignant.
KJV: And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,
NKJV: But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant
Verse Commentary:
Some children in the temple noticed Jesus chasing moneychangers and corrupt businessmen from the temple marketplace (Matthew 21:12–13). They saw Him heal blind and lame people who came to Him for help (Matthew 21:14). Now they begin echoing the shouts from the previous day (Matthew 21:9), when Jesus entered the city: "Hosanna to the Son of David!"

Why were the chief priests and scribes so indignant about this? They understood that "Son of David" was a reference to the long-promised Messiah of Israel. Calling Jesus the Promised One would have angered those religious leaders. Also, the passage from which the word "Hosanna" was taken was meant to be directed to God alone. Since these critics did not believe in Christ, that would be especially offensive to them. They wanted Jesus to stop the children from praising Him in this way.

The children, though, had made a connection that the priests and scribes refused to acknowledge. Whether by accident or insight, they praised Jesus as the Messiah because they saw His displays of power and authority. Jesus would not correct them.
Verse Context:
Matthew 21:12–17 describes Jesus' entrance into the massive Jewish temple in Jerusalem during what we now call Holy Week. He immediately drives a marketplace out of the temple and overturns the money-changers' tables. He also heals some blind and lame people and refuses to silence some children who are praising Him as the Son of David. He quotes part of a psalm to chief priests and scribes who find this inappropriate.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus fulfills a prophecy from Zechariah about the coming of the king to Jerusalem by riding in on a donkey. The people celebrate and praise Him as the Messiah. Jesus drives the marketers and moneychangers out of the temple and heals some people. He curses a fig tree and tells the disciples nothing will be impossible for them with faith. Jesus forces cowardly and hypocritical religious leaders to back down with a question about John the Baptist. He then exposes their fraudulent spirituality with two parables about vineyards. Jesus applies to Himself a psalm about a rejected stone being made the cornerstone by the Lord.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 21 finds Jesus arriving near Jerusalem after leaving Jericho in the previous chapter. His triumphal entry is accomplished riding a donkey, and to raucous praise, fulfilling a prophecy about the Messiah. Jesus cleanses the marketplace from the temple, heals, and presents lessons about faith and Israel's failed leadership. This leads into further conversations which Matthew compiles from Jesus' interactions with the Pharisees.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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