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Matthew - Chapter 21

Matthew Chapters

1 When they were near Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,

2 saying to them, 'Go to the village facing you, and you will at once find a tethered donkey and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.

3 If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, "The Master needs them and will send them back at once." '

4 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet:

5 Say to the daughter of Zion: Look, your king is approaching, humble and riding on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.

6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus had told them.

7 They brought the donkey and the colt, then they laid their cloaks on their backs and he took his seat on them.

8 Great crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road, while others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in his path.

9 The crowds who went in front of him and those who followed were all shouting: Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heavens!

10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil as people asked, 'Who is this?'

11 and the crowds answered, 'This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.'

12 Jesus then went into the Temple and drove out all those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers.

13 He said to them, 'According to scripture, my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits' den.'

14 There were also blind and lame people who came to him in the Temple, and he cured them.

15 At the sight of the wonderful things he did and of the children shouting, 'Hosanna to the son of David' in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes were indignant and said to him,

16 'Do you hear what they are saying?' Jesus answered, 'Yes. Have you never read this: By the mouths of children, babes in arms, you have made sure of praise?'

17 With that he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

18 As he was returning to the city in the early morning, he felt hungry.

19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it and found nothing on it but leaves. And he said to it, 'May you never bear fruit again,' and instantly the fig tree withered.

20 The disciples were amazed when they saw it and said, 'How is it that the fig tree withered instantly?'

21 Jesus answered, 'In truth I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt at all, not only will you do what I have done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, "Be pulled up and thrown into the sea," it will be done.

22 And if you have faith, everything you ask for in prayer, you will receive.'

23 He had gone into the Temple and was teaching, when the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him and said, 'What authority have you for acting like this? And who gave you this authority?'

24 In reply Jesus said to them, 'And I will ask you a question, just one; if you tell me the answer to it, then I will tell you my authority for acting like this.

25 John's baptism: what was its origin, heavenly or human?' And they argued this way among themselves, 'If we say heavenly, he will retort to us, "Then why did you refuse to believe him?";

26 but if we say human, we have the people to fear, for they all hold that John was a prophet.'

27 So their reply to Jesus was, 'We do not know.' And he retorted to them, 'Nor will I tell you my authority for acting like this.'

28 'What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, "My boy, go and work in the vineyard today."

29 He answered, "I will not go," but afterwards thought better of it and went.

30 The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, "Certainly, sir," but did not go.

31 Which of the two did the father's will?' They said, 'The first.' Jesus said to them, 'In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.

32 For John came to you, showing the way of uprightness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.

33 'Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad.

34 When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce.

35 But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third.

36 Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way.

37 Finally he sent his son to them thinking, "They will respect my son."

38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, "This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance."

39 So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?'

41 They answered, 'He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him at the proper time.'

42 Jesus said to them, 'Have you never read in the scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this is the Lord's doing and we marvel at it?

43 'I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.'

44

45 When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realised he was speaking about them,

46 but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.


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