1 They were near Jerusalem at Bethphage. Jesus sent two disciples to the Mount of Olives.
2 He told them, »Go to the nearby town and look for a donkey with a cord around her neck. There will be a young one with her. Turn them loose and bring them to me.
3 »Tell anyone who asks, The Lord needs them, and right away he will allow them to go.«
4 This took place so that the words of the prophet might come true:
5 »Say to the daughter of Zion, See, your King comes to you, humble, and seated on a donkey, a colt, the offspring of a beast of burden.«
6 So the disciples did as Jesus commanded.
7 They got the donkey and the young one, and laid their clothing on them. And he sat on the clothing.
8 Most of the people spread their garments on the road. Others took branches from the trees and put them on the road.
9 Those going ahead of him and following him shouted praise: »Glory to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of Jehovah! Glory in the highest!« (Psalms 118:26)
10 When he came to Jerusalem, the people were excited. They asked: »Who is this?«
11 Other people said: »This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.«
12 Jesus went into the Temple and drove out all who were trading there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those trading in doves.
13 He told them: »It is written, My house is to be named a house of prayer, but you are making it a hiding place of thieves.«
14 The blind and the crippled came to him in the Temple, and he made them well.
15 The chief priests and the scribes saw the powerful works he did. They heard the children crying out in the Temple: »Glory to the son of David.« This made them very angry.
16 »Have you any idea what these people are saying?« Jesus answered: »Yes. It is written, From the lips of children and babies at the breast you have made your praise complete.«
17 He left them and went out of the town to Bethany where he stayed for the night.
18 He was hungry in the morning when he returned to the town.
19 He saw a fig tree along the side of the road. He went to it and saw nothing on it but leaves. He told it: »You will not bare fruit from this time forward, forever.« Immediately the fig tree became dry and dead.
20 The disciples were surprised when they saw it. They asked how the fig tree became dry so quickly?
21 Jesus answered: »If you have faith and do not doubt, I make this promise to you: You will be able to do what was done to this fig tree. When you say to this mountain, be moved into the sea, it will be done.
22 »You will receive the things you ask for in prayer when you have faith.«
23 When he went into the Temple, the chief priests and those in authority over the people came to him while he was teaching. They asked: »By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?«
24 Jesus answered: »I will ask you one question. If you give me the answer, I will say by what authority I do these things.
25 »Where did the baptism of John come from? Was it from heaven or from men?« They talked among themselves. »If we say, From heaven, he will say, Why did you not have faith in him?
26 »But if we say, From men, we must fear the people, because they all recognize John to be a prophet.«
27 Therefore they answered: »We have no idea.« He replied to them: »Then I will not tell you by what authority I do these things.«
28 »What do you think? A man had two sons. He asked the first to work today in the vineyard.
29 »The first son said in answer, I will not. Later he changed his mind and went to work.
30 »He said the same to the second son. That son answered, Yes, I will go, but he did not go to work.
31 »Which of the two pleased his father?« They replied: »The first.« Jesus said to them: »I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes will go into the kingdom of God before you.«
32 »John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him. Even the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. When you saw this, you did not regret your sins and did not have faith in him.
33 »Listen to another illustration. A master of a house made a vineyard, and put a wall around it. He made a wine press and built a tower. Then he rented it to workers and traveled to another country.
34 »When the time for the fruit came near, he sent his servants to the workmen, to get the fruit.
35 »The workmen attacked his servants, striking one with a stone and killing the other.
36 »He sent other servants more in number than the first. They did the same to them.
37 »Finally he sent his son to them, saying, Certainly they will respect my son.
38 »When the workmen saw the son, they said, Let us put him to death and take his heritage, for someday he will own this property.
39 »They took him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 »When the lord of the vineyard returns, what will he do to the workmen?«
41 They all said: »He will put those cruel men to death. Then he will find other workmen who are worthy and who will give him fruit when it is ready.«
42 Jesus said to them: »Have you read the Scriptures, The stone the builders rejected has been made the chief cornerstone of the building. This was Jehovahs doing, and it is wonderful in our eyes. (Isaiah 28:16)
43 »For this reason I tell you, The kingdom of God will be taken away from you. It will be given to a nation producing fruit.
44 »Any man falling on this stone will be broken. Any man having this stone fall on him will be crushed to dust.«
45 When the chief priests and Pharisees heard his illustrations they realized he was talking about them.
46 They wanted to seize him, but feared the people, because the people saw Jesus as a prophet.