Jesus Enters Jerusalem as a King
1Jesus and his followers were coming closer to Jerusalem. They came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives. There Jesus sent two of his followers. 2He said to them, “Go to the town you see there. When you enter it, you will find a colt tied which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here to me. 3If anyone asks you why you are doing this, tell him, ‘The Master needs the colt. He will send it back soon.’”
4The followers went into the town. They found a colt tied in the street near the door of a house, and they untied it. 5Some people were standing there and asked, “What are you doing? Why are you untying that colt?” 6The followers answered the way Jesus told them to answer. And the people let them take the colt.
7The followers brought the colt to Jesus. They put their coats on the colt, and Jesus sat on it. 8Many people spread their coats on the road. Others cut branches in the fields and spread the branches on the road. 9Some of the people were walking ahead of Jesus. Others were following him. All of them were shouting,
“Praise# Literally, “Hosanna,” a Hebrew word used at first in praying to God for help, but at this time it was probably a shout of joy used in praising God or his Messiah. God!
God bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord! Psalm 118:26
10God bless the kingdom of our father David!
That kingdom is coming!
Praise to God in heaven!”
11Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. When he had looked at everything, and since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the 12 apostles.
12The next day as Jesus was leaving Bethany, he was hungry. 13He saw a fig tree in leaf. So he went to the tree to see if it had any figs on it. But he found no figs, only leaves. It was not the right season for figs to grow. 14So Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” Jesus’ followers heard him say this.
Jesus Goes to the Temple
15Jesus returned to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. He began to throw out those who were buying and selling things there. He overturned the tables that belonged to the men who were exchanging different kinds of money. And he turned over the benches of the men who were selling doves. 16Jesus refused to allow anyone to carry goods through the Temple courts. 17Then Jesus taught the people. He said, “It is written in the Scriptures, ‘My Temple will be a house where people from all nations will pray.’# Quotation from Isaiah 56:7. But you are changing God’s house into a ‘hideout for robbers.’”# Quotation from Jeremiah 7:11.
18The leading priests and the teachers of the law heard all this. They began trying to find a way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of him because all the people were amazed at his teaching. 19That night, Jesus and his followers# Some Greek copies mention only Jesus here. left the city.
The Power of Faith
20The next morning, Jesus was passing by with his followers. They saw the fig tree, and it was dry and dead, even to the roots. 21Peter remembered the tree and said to Jesus, “Teacher, look! Yesterday, you cursed the fig tree. Now it is dry and dead!”
22Jesus answered, “Have faith in God. 23I tell you the truth. You can say to this mountain, ‘Go, mountain, fall into the sea.’ And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that the thing you say will happen, then God will do it for you. 24So I tell you to ask for things in prayer. And if you believe that you have received those things, then they will be yours. 25When you are praying, and you remember that you are angry with another person about something, then forgive him. If you do this, then your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.” 26[But if you don’t forgive other people, then your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins.]# Some Greek copies do not contain the bracketed text.
Leaders Doubt Jesus’ Authority
27Jesus and his followers went again to Jerusalem. Jesus was walking in the Temple. The leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the Jewish elders came to him. 28They said to him, “Tell us! What authority do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?”
29Jesus answered, “I will ask you one question. You answer it. Then I will tell you whose authority I use to do these things. 30Tell me: When John baptized people, was that from God or from man? Answer me!”
31They argued about Jesus’ question. They said to each other, “If we answer, ‘John’s baptism was from God,’ then Jesus will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe John?’ 32But if we say, ‘From man,’ then the people will be against us.” (These leaders were afraid of the people. All the people believed that John was a prophet.)
33So the leaders answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Jesus said, “Then I will not tell you what authority I use to do these things.”