Jesus enters Jerusalem
1When Jesus and his followers approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus gave two disciples a task, 2saying to them, "Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter it, you will find tied up there a colt that no one has ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘Its master needs it, and he will send it back right away.’"
4They went and found a colt tied to a gate outside on the street, and they untied it. 5Some people standing around said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" 6They told them just what Jesus said, and they left them alone. 7They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes upon it, and he sat on it. 8Many people spread out their clothes on the road while others spread branches cut from the fields. 9Those in front of him and those following were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!#Ps 118:26 10Blessings on the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest!" 11Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. After he looked around at everything, because it was already late in the evening, he returned to Bethany with the Twelve.
Fig tree and the temple
12The next day, after leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13From far away, he noticed a fig tree in leaf, so he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing except leaves, since it wasn’t the season for figs. 14So he said to it, "No one will ever again eat your fruit!" His disciples heard this.
15They came into Jerusalem. After entering the temple, he threw out those who were selling and buying there. He pushed over the tables used for currency exchange and the chairs of those who sold doves. 16He didn’t allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17He taught them, "Hasn’t it been written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?#Isa 56:7 But you’ve turned it into a hideout for crooks."#Jer 7:11 18The chief priests and legal experts heard this and tried to find a way to destroy him. They regarded him as dangerous because the whole crowd was enthralled at his teaching. 19When it was evening, Jesus and his disciples went outside the city.
Power, prayer, and forgiveness
20Early in the morning, as Jesus and his disciples were walking along, they saw the fig tree withered from the root up. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look how the fig tree you cursed has dried up."
22Jesus responded to them, "Have faith in God! 23 I assure you that whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea’—and doesn’t waver but believes that what is said will really happen—it will happen. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you will receive it, and it will be so for you. 25 And whenever you stand up to pray, if you have something against anyone, forgive so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your wrongdoings."#11:26 is omitted in most critical editions of the Gk New Testament And if you don’t forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you your wrongdoings.
Controversy over authority
27Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem again. As Jesus was walking around the temple, the chief priests, legal experts, and elders came to him. 28They asked, "What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?"
29Jesus said to them, "I have a question for you. Give me an answer, then I’ll tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things. 30 Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me."
31They argued among themselves, "If we say, ‘It’s of heavenly origin,’ he’ll say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32But we can’t say, ‘It’s of earthly origin.’" They said this because they were afraid of the crowd, because they all thought John was a prophet. 33They answered Jesus, "We don’t know."
Jesus replied, "Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things."
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