Jesus Enters Jerusalem Like a King
(Mt. 21:1–11; Lk. 19:28–40; Jn. 12:12–19)
1Jesus and his followers were coming closer to Jerusalem. They came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. There Jesus sent two of his followers to do something. 2He said to them, “Go to the town you can see there. When you enter it, you will find a young donkey that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here to me. 3If anyone asks you why you are taking the donkey, tell them, ‘The Master needs it. He will send it back soon.’”
4The followers went into the town. They found a young donkey tied in the street near the door of a house, and they untied it. 5Some people were standing there and saw this. They asked, “What are you doing? Why are you untying that donkey?” 6The followers answered the way Jesus told them, and the people let them take the donkey.
7The followers brought the donkey to Jesus. They put their coats on it, and Jesus sat on it. 8Many people spread their coats on the road for Jesus. Others cut branches in the fields and spread the branches on the road. 9Some of them were walking ahead of Jesus. Others were walking behind him. Everyone shouted,
“‘Praise#11:9 Praise Literally, “Hosanna,” a Hebrew word used in praying to God for help. Here, it was probably a shout of celebration used in praising God or his Messiah. Also in verse 10. Him!’
‘Welcome! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Psalm 118:25-26
10“God bless the kingdom of our father David.
That kingdom is coming!
Praise to God in heaven!”
11Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the Temple. He looked at everything in the Temple area, but it was already late. So he went to Bethany with the twelve apostles.
Jesus Says a Fig Tree Will Die
12The next day, Jesus was leaving Bethany. He was hungry. 13He saw a fig tree with leaves. So he went to the tree to see if it had any figs growing on it. But he found no figs on the tree. There were only leaves, because it was not the right time for figs to grow. 14So Jesus said to the tree, “People will never eat fruit from you again.” His followers heard him say this.
Jesus Goes to the Temple
(Mt. 21:12–17; Lk. 19:45–48; Jn. 2:13–22)
15When Jesus and his followers came to Jerusalem, they entered the Temple area. Jesus began driving out the people who were buying and selling things there. He turned over the tables that belonged to those who were exchanging different kinds of money. And he turned over the benches of those who were selling doves. 16He refused to allow anyone to carry things through the Temple area. 17Then Jesus began teaching the people and said, “It is written in the Scriptures, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.’#Quote from Isa. 56:7 But you have changed it into a ‘hiding place for thieves.’#Quote from Jer. 7:11”
18When the leading priests and the teachers of the law heard what Jesus said, they began trying to find a way to kill him. They were afraid of him because all the people were amazed at his teaching. 19That night Jesus and his followers left the city.
Jesus Shows the Power of Faith
20The next morning Jesus was walking with his followers. They saw the fig tree that he spoke to the day before. The tree was dry and dead, even the roots. 21Peter remembered the tree and said to Jesus, “Teacher, look! Yesterday, you told that fig tree to die. Now it is dry and dead!”
22Jesus answered, “Have faith in God. 23The truth is, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, mountain, fall into the sea.’ And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that what you say will happen, then God will do it for you. 24So I tell you to ask for what you want 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, forgive that person. Forgive them so that your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.” 26#11:26 Some early Greek copies add verse 26: “But if you don’t forgive others, then your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins.”
Jewish Leaders Doubt Jesus’ Authority
(Mt. 21:23–27; Lk. 20:1–8)
27Jesus and his followers went again to Jerusalem. Jesus was walking in the Temple area. The leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the older Jewish leaders came to him. 28They said, “Tell us! What authority do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?”
29Jesus answered, “I will ask you a question. You answer my question. Then I will tell you whose authority I use to do these things. 30Tell me: When John baptized people, did his authority come from God or was it only from other people? Answer me.”
31These Jewish leaders talked about Jesus’ question. They said to each other, “If we answer, ‘John’s baptism was from God,’ then he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe John?’ 32But we can’t say that John’s baptism was from someone else.” (These leaders were afraid of the people, because the people believed that John was a prophet.)
33So the leaders answered Jesus, “We don’t know the answer.”
Jesus said, “Then I will not tell you who gave me the authority to do these things.”