The text from Matthew 21 culminates with Jesus coming to Jerusalem. Jesus and his disciples begin going up to Jerusalem in Matthew 20. This is after the large crowds had followed him into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan River from Galilee. The crowds had been healed and had witnessed miracles. Jesus taught them and his disciples through parables. The Pharisees disputed with him and, most significantly, Jesus had told his disciples exactly why they were going to Jerusalem:
But the climax of the exultation was reached at the summit of the Mount of Olives. Here the ranks of the early singers were swelled by great crowds of newcomers, and while the latter turned and marched ahead, the others followed behind the Lord. And in antiphonal shouting the joyous acclaim of the people rose up to heaven as they chanted sections from the great Hallel, with the doxology used on great festivals, Ps. 118, 25. 26. They openly proclaim Him as the Son of David, as the true Messiah, they wish Him blessing and salvation from above. Far and wide, the people joined in this demonstration in honor of the lowly Nazarene (Kretzmann, 1921).