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Matthew 21

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
1As they approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two disciples, 2telling them, “Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you’ll find a donkey tied up, with her colt next to her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell them, ‘The Lord needs them.’ The owner will send them right away.”
4This happened to make the words of the prophet come true:
5“Say to the city of Zion,
‘See, your king is coming to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
riding on a donkey’s colt.’ ”
6The disciples went and did what Jesus had told them to do. 7They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their coats on them for Jesus to sit on. 8A very large crowd spread their coats on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread those on the road. 9Some of the people went ahead of him, and some followed behind, and they all shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. The people asked, “Who is this?”
11The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus Clears Out the Temple
12Jesus entered the temple courtyard and began to drive out all those who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of the people who exchanged money and the benches of those who sold doves. 13“It is written,” he told them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ ”
14People who were blind and disabled came to Jesus at the temple, and he healed them. 15The chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he was doing, and they heard the children in the temple courtyard shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” This made them angry.
16“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus. “Haven’t you ever read about it in Scripture? It says,
“ ‘Even from children and infants,
Lord, you will receive praise.’ ”
17Then Jesus left them and went out of the city to spend the night in Bethany.
Jesus Makes a Fig Tree Dry Up
18Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back into Jerusalem, he was hungry. 19He saw a fig tree by the road and went up to it, but he didn’t find anything on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Right away the tree dried up.
20When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?” they asked.
21Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do what was done to the fig tree. You can even say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22If you believe, you will receive what you ask for when you pray.”
The Authority of Jesus Is Questioned
23Jesus went into the temple courtyard and started teaching there. The chief priests and elders of the people came up to him and asked, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority?”
24Jesus answered, “I’ll ask you a question too. If you answer me, I’ll tell you by what authority I’m doing these things. 25Where did John’s baptism come from? Was it from heaven, or was he acting on human authority?”
They talked this over among themselves and realized, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he’ll ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘On human authority,’ who knows what the people might do to us? They all believe that John was a prophet.”
27So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Jesus replied, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I’m doing these things either.”
The Story of the Two Sons
28“What do you think about this? A certain man had two sons. He went to the first one and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’
29“ ‘I won’t,’ the son answered. But later he changed his mind and went.
30“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. That son answered, ‘I will, sir.’ But he didn’t go.
31“Which of the two sons did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32John came to show you the right way, and you didn’t believe him. But the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. Even when you saw that, you didn’t turn away from your sins and believe him.
The Story of the Renters
33“Listen to another story. A certain man owned some land and planted a vineyard on it. He put up a wall around it, dug a pit for a winepress, and built a lookout tower. Then he rented the vineyard out to some farmers and moved to another place. 34When harvest time came, he sent his slaves to the renters to collect his share of the fruit.
35“But the renters mistreated his slaves. They beat one of them, killed another, and threw stones at a third. 36Then the man sent a larger group of slaves to the renters, but they treated them the same way. 37So finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
38“But when the renters saw the son coming, they said to one another, ‘He’s supposed to inherit all the owner’s property someday. Come on, let’s kill him, and then everything will be ours.’ 39So they grabbed him and dragged him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40“What will the owner of the vineyard come and do to those renters?”
41“He’ll make those cruel men suffer a cruel death,” they replied. “Then he’ll rent the vineyard out to other renters who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”
42Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?
“ ‘The stone the builders wouldn’t accept
has become the most important stone of all.
The Lord has done this,
and it’s wonderful in our eyes.’
43“So I tell you that the kingdom of God is going to be taken away from you and given to people who will produce its fruit. 44Anyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and the stone will crush anyone it falls on.”
45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ stories, they knew he was talking about them. 46They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd, because the people believed that Jesus was a prophet.
The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
(Mark 11.1-11; Luke 19.28-40; John 12.12-19)
1And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 2saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 3And if any man say aught unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. 4All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 # Zech 9.9. Tell ye the daughter of Zion,
Behold, thy King cometh unto thee,
meek, and sitting upon an ass,
and a colt the foal of an ass.
6And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 7and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 8And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way. 9#Ps 118.25 (Hebrew); Ps 118.26. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying,
Hosanna to the Son of David:
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest.
10And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
The Cleansing of the Temple
(Mark 11.15-19; Luke 19.45-48; John 2.13-22)
12And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13#Isa 56.7; Jer 7.11. and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
14And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 15And 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, 16#Ps 8.2. and said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read,
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings
thou hast perfected praise?
17And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.
The Cursing of the Fig Tree
(Mark 11.12-14,20-26)
18Now in the morning, as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! 21#Matt 17.20; 1 Cor 13.2. Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Jesus' Authority Questioned
(Mark 11.27-33; Luke 20.1-8)
23And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? 24And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? 26But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. 27And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
The Parable of the Two Sons
28But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. 29He answered and said, I will not; but afterward he repented, and went. 30And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir; and went not. 31Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32#Luke 3.12; 7.29,30. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
The Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen
(Mark 12.1-12; Luke 20.9-19)
33 # Isa 5.1,2. Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34and when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
42 # Ps 118.22,23. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures,
The stone which the builders rejected,
the same is become the head of the corner:
this is the Lord's doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes?
43Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
45And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.