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.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation