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Matthew 21–23

The Triumphal Entry

21 qNow when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to rthe Mount of Olives, then Jesus ssent two disciples, saying to them, Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say,The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place tto fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

u“Say to the daughter of Zion,

‘Behold, your king is coming to you,

vhumble, and mounted on a donkey,

on a colt,1 the foal of a beast of burden.’ ”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd wspread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, x“Hosanna to ythe Son of David! zBlessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna ain the highest!” 10 And bwhen he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is cthe prophet Jesus, dfrom Nazareth of Galilee.”

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

12 eAnd Jesus entered the temple2 and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of fthe money-changers and the seats of those who sold gpigeons. 13 He said to them, It is written, hMy house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but iyou make it a den of robbers.”

14 jAnd the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 kBut when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, x“Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, Yes; lhave you never read,

m“ ‘Out of the mouth of ninfants and nursing babies

you have prepared praise’?”

17 And oleaving them, he pwent out of the city to qBethany and lodged there.

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

18 rIn the morning, as he was returning to the city, she became hungry. 19 tAnd seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.

20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 21 And Jesus answered them, uTruly, I say to you, vif you have faith and wdo not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, xBe taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And vwhatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, yif you have faith.”

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

23 zAnd when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him aas he was teaching, and said, b“By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, cfrom where did it come? dFrom heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, e‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From man,’ fwe are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was ga prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 hWhat do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in ithe vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered,I will not,’ but afterward he jchanged his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered,I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, Truly, I say to you, kthe tax collectors and lthe prostitutes go into mthe kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you nin the way of righteousness, and oyou did not believe him, but pthe tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward jchange your minds and believe him.

The Parable of the Tenants

33 qHear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted ra vineyard sand put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and tleased it to tenants, and uwent into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants3 to the tenants tto get his fruit. 35 vAnd the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and wstoned another. 36 xAgain he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, yThis is the heir. Come, zlet us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and athrew him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 bWhen therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, c“He will put those wretches to a miserable death and dlet out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

42 Jesus said to them, eHave you never read in the Scriptures:

f“ ‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;4

this was the Lord’s doing,

and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God gwill be taken away from you and given to a people hproducing its fruits. 44 And ithe one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and jwhen it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”5

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And lalthough they were seeking to arrest him, mthey feared the crowds, because they held him to be na prophet.

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

22 And again Jesus ospoke to them in parables, saying, pThe kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave qa wedding feast for his son, and rsent his servants1 to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. sAgain he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my tdinner, umy oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” ’ But vthey paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, wtreated them shamefully, and xkilled them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and ydestroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not zworthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and bgathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there ca man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, dFriend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and ecast him into the outer darkness. In that place ethere will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are fcalled, but few are fchosen.”

Paying Taxes to Caesar

15 gThen the Pharisees went and plotted how hto entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent itheir disciples to him, along with jthe Herodians, saying, “Teacher, kwe know that you are true and teach lthe way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for myou are not swayed by appearances.2 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay ntaxes to oCaesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, Why pput me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius.3 20 And Jesus said to them, Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, qTherefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they rleft him and went away.

Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection

23 The same day sSadducees came to him, twho say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, 24 saying, “Teacher, Moses said, u‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. 26 So too the second and third, down to the seventh. 27 After them all, the woman died. 28 In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”

29 But Jesus answered them, You are wrong, vbecause you know neither the Scriptures nor wthe power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither xmarry nor xare given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, yhave you not read what was said to you by God: 32 zI am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the crowd heard it, athey were astonished at his teaching.

The Great Commandment

34 bBut when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced cthe Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 dAnd one of them, ea lawyer, asked him a question fto test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, gYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And ha second is like it: iYou shall love your neighbor as

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