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Chapter 21

1When they were near Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage and the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples on ahead, 2saying to them,

“Go to the village that lies in front of you, and you will at once find an ass tied there, and a colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, ‘The Master needs them’; then he will send them at once.”

4Now this happened in fulfilment of what was said by the prophet,

5“Tell the daughter of Zion,

‘Here is your king coming to you,

Gentle, and riding on an ass,

And on the foal of a beast of burden.’ ”

6So the disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7they brought the ass and the colt, and laid their coats upon them, and Jesus seated himself upon them. 8And most of the crowd spread their coats in his way, and others cut branches from the trees and scattered them before him. 9And the crowds that went in front of him and that followed him shouted,

“God bless the Son of David!

Blessed be he who comes in the Lord’s name.

God bless him from on high!”

10When he came into Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred, and everyone asked,

“Who is he?”

11The crowd answered,

“It is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth in Galilee!”

12And Jesus went into the Temple and drove out all who were buying or selling things in it, and he upset the money-changers’ tables and the pigeon-dealers’ seats, 13and he said to them,

“The Scripture says, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a robbers’ cave.”

14And blind and lame people came up to him in the Temple, and he cured them. 15But when the high priests and the scribes saw the wonders that he did and saw the boys shouting in the Temple, “God bless the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16and said to him,

“Do you hear what they are saying?”

Jesus said to them,

“Yes. Did you never read, ‘You have drawn praise from the mouths of children and infants’?”

17And he left them, and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.

18In the morning as he went back to the city, he grew hungry, 19and seeing a fig tree by the roadside, he went up to it, but found nothing on it but leaves. And he said to it,

“No more fruit shall ever grow on you!”

And the fig tree withered up at once. 20When the disciples saw it, they were amazed and said,

“How did the fig tree come to wither up immediately?”

21Jesus answered,

“I tell you, if you have faith and have no doubt, you will not only do what I have done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Get up and throw yourself into the sea,’ it will be done. 22And everything that you pray for with faith, you will obtain.”

23When he had entered the Temple, and was teaching, the high priests and the elders of the people came up to him, and said,

“What authority have you for doing as you do, and who gave you this authority?”

24Jesus answered,

“Let me ask you one question, and if you answer it, I will tell you what authority I have for doing as I do. 25Where did John’s baptism come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?”

And they argued with one another,

“If we say, ‘It was from heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘From men,’ we have the people to fear, for they all consider John a prophet.”

27And they answered Jesus,

“We do not know.”

He said to them,

“Nor will I tell you what authority I have for doing as I do. 28But what do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘My son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29And he answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. 30Then the man went to the second son, and told him the same thing. And he answered, ‘I will not!’ But afterward he changed his mind and went. 31Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

They said,

“The second one.”

Jesus said to them,

“I tell you, the tax-collectors and prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you with a way of uprightness, and you would not believe him. The tax-collectors and prostitutes believed him, but even after seeing that, you would not change your minds and believe him!

33“Listen to another figure. There was a land owner who planted a vineyard and fenced it in, and hewed out a wine-vat in it, and built a watch-tower, and leased it to tenants, and left the neighborhood. 34When the time for the vintage approached he sent his slaves to the tenants to receive his share. 35But the tenants took his slaves and beat one and killed another and stoned a third. 36Again he sent other slaves and more of them than he had sent at first, and they treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw his son, they said to one another. ‘This is his heir! Come on, let us kill him, and get his inheritance!’ 39So they took him and drove him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40When the owner of the vineyard comes back, therefore, what will he do to these tenants?”

41They said to him,

“He will put the wretches to a miserable death, and let the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his share of the vintage when it is due.”

42Jesus said to them,

“Did you never read in the Scriptures,

“ ‘That stone which the builders rejected

Has become the cornerstone;

This came from the Lord,

And seems marvelous to us’?

43“That, I tell you, is why the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and given to a people that will produce its proper fruit. 44Whoever falls on that stone will be shattered, but whoever it falls upon will be pulverized.”

45When the high priests and the Pharisees heard his figures, they knew that he was speaking about them, 46and they wanted to have him arrested, but they were afraid of the people, for the people considered him a prophet.

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