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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.
1 AND WHEN they came near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples on ahead,
2 Saying to them, Go into the village that is opposite you, and at once you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie [them] and bring [them] to Me.
3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall reply, The Lord needs them, and he will let them go without delay.
4 This happened that what was spoken by the prophet might be fulfilled, saying,
5 Say to the Daughter of Zion [inhabitants of Jerusalem], Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey [a beast of burden]. [Isa. 62:11; Zech. 9:9.]
6 Then the disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.
7 They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their coats upon them, and He seated Himself on them [the clothing].
8 And most of the crowd kept spreading their garments on the road, and others kept cutting branches from the trees and scattering them on the road.
9 And the crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed Him kept shouting, Hosanna (O be propitious, graciously inclined) to the Son of David, [the Messiah]! Blessed (praised, glorified) is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna (O be favorably disposed) in the highest [heaven]! [Ps. 118:26.]
10 And when He entered Jerusalem, all the city became agitated and [trembling with excitement] said, Who is This?
11 And the crowds replied, This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.
12 And Jesus went into the temple (whole temple enclosure) and drove out all who bought and sold in the sacred place, and He turned over the four-footed tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who sold doves.
13 He said to them, The Scripture says, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers. [Isa. 56:7; Jer. 7:11.]
14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the porches and courts of the temple, and He cured them.
15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He did and the boys and the girls and the youths and the maidens crying out in the porches and courts of the temple, Hosanna (O be propitious, graciously inclined) to the Son of David! they were indignant.
16 And they said to Him, Do You hear what these are saying? And Jesus replied to them, Yes; have you never read, Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants You have made (provided) perfect praise? [Ps. 8:2.]
17 And leaving them, He departed from the city and went out to Bethany and lodged there.
18 In the early dawn the next morning, as He was coming back to the city, He was hungry.
19 And as He saw one single leafy fig tree above the roadside, He went to it but He found nothing but leaves on it [seeing that in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. And He said to it, Never again shall fruit grow on you! And the fig tree withered up at once.
20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled greatly and asked, How is it that the fig tree has withered away all at once?
21 And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done.
22 And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.
23 And when He entered the sacred enclosure of the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people came up to Him as He was teaching and said, By what power of authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this power of authority?
24 Jesus answered them, I also will ask you a question, and if you give Me the answer, then I also will tell you by what power of authority I do these things.
25 The baptism of John–from where was it? From heaven or from men? And they reasoned and argued with one another, If we say, From heaven, He will ask us, Why then did you not believe him?
26 But if we say, From men–we are afraid of and must reckon with the multitude, for they all regard John as a prophet.
27 So they answered Jesus, We do not know. And He said to them, Neither will I tell you by what power of authority I do these things.
28 What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He came to the first and said, Son, go and work today in the vineyard.
29 And he answered, I will not; but afterward he changed his mind and went.
30 Then the man came to the second and said the same [thing]. And he replied, I will [go], sir; but he did not go.
31 Which of the two did the will of the father? They replied, The first one. Jesus said to them, Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the harlots will get into the kingdom of heaven before you.
32 For John came to you walking in the way of an upright man in right standing with God, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots did believe him; and you, even when you saw that, did not afterward change your minds and believe him [adhere to, trust in, and rely on what he told you].
33 Listen to another parable: There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a hedge around it and dug a wine vat in it and built a watchtower. Then he let it out [for rent] to tenants and went into another country.
34 When the fruit season drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his [share of the] fruit.
35 But the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first time, and they treated them the same way.
37 Finally he sent his own son to them, saying, They will respect and give heed to my son.
38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, This is the heir; come on, let us kill him and have his inheritance.
39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes back, what will he do to those tenants?
41 They said to Him, He will put those wretches to a miserable death and rent the vineyard to other tenants of such a character that they will give him the fruits promptly in their season. [Isa. 5:1-7.]
42 Jesus asked them, Have you never read in the Scriptures: The very Stone which the builders rejected and threw away has become the Cornerstone; this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? [Ps. 118:22, 23.]
43 I tell you, for this reason the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce the fruits of it.
44 And whoever falls on this Stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom It falls will be crushed to powder [and It will winnow him, scattering him like dust]. [Isa. 8:14; Dan. 2:34, 35.]
45 And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables (comparisons, stories used to illustrate and explain), they perceived that He was talking about them.
46 And although they were trying to arrest Him, they feared the throngs because they regarded Him as a prophet.