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.120
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,2 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 for3 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 authority4 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."527
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.'629" '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 collectors7 and the prostitutes8 are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness,9 and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors10 and the prostitutes11 did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent12 and believe him.
33"Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted13 a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower.14 Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.1534When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants16 to the tenants to collect his fruit.35"The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.1736Then he sent other servants18 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.19 Come, let's kill him20 and take his inheritance.'2139So 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,"22 they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants,23 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 capstonea; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'b ?2443"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you25 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."c2645
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.27