1Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry.
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Seeing a lone 2fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, "No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you." And at once the fig tree withered.
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Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, "How did the fig tree wither all at once?"
And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, 3if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen.
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"And 4all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
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5When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him 6while He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?"
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Jesus said to them, "I will also ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things.
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"The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?" And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?'
"But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the people; for they all regard John as 7a prophet."
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And answering Jesus, they said, "We do not know." He also said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
"But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the 8vineyard.'
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"And he answered, 'I will not'; but afterward he regretted it and went.
"The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, 'I will, sir '; but he did not go.
"Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you that 9the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.
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"For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but 10the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.
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"Listen to another parable. 11There was a landowner who 12PLANTED A 13VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and 14went on a journey.
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"When the harvest time approached, he 15sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce.
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"The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another , and stoned a third.
"Again he 16sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them.
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"But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
"But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.'
"They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
"Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?"
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They said to Him, "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and 17will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons."
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Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, '18THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES '?
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"Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.
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"And 19he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust."
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When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.
When they sought to seize Him, they 20feared the people, because they considered Him to be a 21prophet.
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