1"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard.2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.3"About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing.4He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.'5So they went. "He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing.6About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'7" 'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'8"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.'9"The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius.10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.12'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'13"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius?14Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you.15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'16"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."
Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them,
18"We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death19and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!"
Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
21"What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."
22"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?" "We can," they answered.
Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father."24
When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him.
Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked.
"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,
saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."4
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
"Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' "
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.
They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.
A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"
The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.
13"It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers.' "14
The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.
But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were indignant.
"Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, " 'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise' ?"17
And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry.
Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.
When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked.
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you this authority?"
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.25John's baptism--where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?" They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'
But if we say, 'From men'--we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet."
So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Then he said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
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.'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, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
33"Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.34When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.35"The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.36Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way.37Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said.38"But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.'39So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.40"Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"41
"He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."
Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: " 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes' ?43"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.44He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."45
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them.
They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.