Matthew 21

Matthew 21

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1 As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead.

2 "Go into the village over there," he said, "and you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them here.

3 If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, `The Lord needs them,' and he will immediately send them."

4 This was done to fulfill the prophecy,

5 "Tell the people of Israel,* `Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey-- even on a donkey's colt.' "*1

6 The two disciples did as Jesus said.

7 They brought the animals to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.*2

8 Most of the crowd spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

9 He was in the center of the procession, and the crowds all around him were shouting, "Praise God* for the Son of David! Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in highest heaven!"*3

10 The entire city of Jerusalem was stirred as he entered. "Who is this?" they asked.

11 And the crowds replied, "It's Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling doves.

13 He said, "The Scriptures declare, `My Temple will be called a place of prayer,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves!"*4

14 The blind and the lame came to him, and he healed them there in the Temple.

15 The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the little children in the Temple shouting, "Praise God for the Son of David." But they were indignant

16 and asked Jesus, "Do you hear what these children are saying?" "Yes," Jesus replied. "Haven't you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, `You have taught children and infants to give you praise.'* "5

17 Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.

18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry,

19 and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs on it, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" And immediately the fig tree withered up.

20 The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?"

21 Then Jesus told them, "I assure you, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, `May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and it will happen.

22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

23 When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and other leaders came up to him. They demanded, "By whose authority did you drive out the merchants from the Temple?* Who gave you such authority?"6

24 "I'll tell you who gave me the authority to do these things if you answer one question," Jesus replied.

25 "Did John's baptism come from heaven or was it merely human?" They talked it over among themselves. "If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn't believe him.

26 But if we say it was merely human, we'll be mobbed, because the people think he was a prophet."

27 So they finally replied, "We don't know." And Jesus responded, "Then I won't answer your question either.

28 "But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, `Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.'

29 The son answered, `No, I won't go,' but later he changed his mind and went anyway.

30 Then the father told the other son, `You go,' and he said, `Yes, sir, I will.' But he didn't go.

31 Which of the two was obeying his father?" They replied, "The first, of course." Then Jesus explained his meaning: "I assure you, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do.

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1: Greek Tell the daughter of Zion. Isa 62:11.

2: Greek over them, and he sat on them.

3: Greek Hosanna, an exclamation of praise that literally means “save now”; also in 21:9b, 15.

4: Isa 56:7; Jer 7:11.

5: Ps 8:2.

6: Or By whose authority do you do these things?

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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