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The New International Version

Matthew 21:23–32

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The Authority of Jesus Questioned

21:23–27pp—Mk 11:27–33; Lk 20:1–8

23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authorityo are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”

24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”p

27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’q

29 “ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectorsr and the prostitutess are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness,t and you did not believe him, but the tax collectorsu and the prostitutesv did. And even after you saw this, you did not repentw and believe him.

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