Matthew 21:1-46, NLT
Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
1As 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.
4This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,
5“Tell the people of Jerusalem,*21:5a Greek Tell the daughter of Zion. Isa 62:11.
‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.’”*21:5b Zech 9:9.
6The two disciples did as Jesus commanded.
8Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
“Praise God*21:9a Greek Hosanna, an exclamation of praise that literally means “save now”; also in 21:9b, 15. for the Son of David!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Praise God in highest heaven!”*21:9b Pss 118:25-26; 148:1.
10The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.
11And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus Clears the Temple
12Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.
14The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them.
But the leaders were indignant.
“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’*21:16 Ps 8:2 (Greek version).”
Jesus Curses the Fig Tree
18In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry,
20The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”
21Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, 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 you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.
The Authority of Jesus Challenged
23When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”
24“I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replied.
They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask us why we didn’t believe John.
And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.
Parable of the Two Sons
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.’
31“Which of the two obeyed his father?”
They replied, “The first.”*21:29-31 Other manuscripts read “The second.” In still other manuscripts the first son says “Yes” but does nothing, the second son says “No” but then repents and goes, and the answer to Jesus’ question is that the second son obeyed his father.
Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do.
Parable of the Evil Farmers
33“Now listen to another story. A certain landowner planted a vineyard, built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country.
37“Finally, the owner sent his son, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’
38“But when the tenant farmers saw his son coming, they said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Come on, let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’
40“When the owner of the vineyard returns,” Jesus asked, “what do you think he will do to those farmers?”
41The religious leaders replied, “He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest.”
42Then Jesus asked them, “Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.’*21:42 Ps 118:22-23.
43I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit.
45When the leading priests and Pharisees heard this parable, they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers.