As they all approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two of his disciples.
He said to them, "Go to the village ahead of you. Just as you enter it, you will find a donkey's colt tied there. No one has ever ridden it. Untie it and bring it here.
Someone may ask you, 'Why are you doing this?' If so, say, 'The Lord needs it. But he will send it back here soon.' "
So they left. They found a colt out in the street. It was tied at a doorway. They untied it.
Some people standing there asked, "What are you doing? Why are you untying that colt?"
They answered as Jesus had told them to. So the people let them go.
They brought the colt to Jesus. They threw their coats over it. Then he sat on it.
Many people spread their coats on the road. Others spread branches they had cut in the fields.
Those in front and those in back shouted, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!" #1(Psalm 118:25,26)#2
"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" "Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything. But it was already late. So he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
The next day as Jesus and his disciples were leaving Bethany, they were hungry.
Not too far away, he saw a fig tree. It was covered with leaves. He went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves. It was not the season for figs.
Then Jesus said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again!" And his disciples heard him say it.
When Jesus reached Jerusalem, he entered the temple area. He began chasing out those who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of the people who were exchanging money. He also turned over the benches of those who were selling doves.
He would not allow anyone to carry items for sale through the temple courtyards.
Then he taught them. He told them, "It is written that the Lord said, " 'My house will be called a house where people from all nations can pray.' #1(Isaiah 56:7)#2 But you have made it a 'den for robbers.' "#1(Jeremiah 7:11)#2
The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard about this. They began looking for a way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
When evening came, Jesus and his disciples left the city.
In the morning as Jesus and his disciples walked along, they saw the fig tree. It was dried up all the way down to the roots.
Peter remembered. He said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you put a curse on has dried up!"
"Have faith in God," Jesus said.
"What I'm about to tell you is true. Suppose one of you says to this mountain, 'Go and throw yourself into the sea.' You must not doubt in your heart. You must believe that what you say will happen. Then it will be done for you.
"So I tell you, when you pray for something, believe that you have already received it. Then it will be yours.
And when you stand praying, forgive anyone you have anything against. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins."
Jesus and his disciples arrived again in Jerusalem. He was walking in the temple courtyards. Then the chief priests came to him. The teachers of the law and the elders came too.
"By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "Who gave you authority to do this?"
Jesus replied, "I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
Was John's baptism from heaven? Or did it come from men? Tell me!"
They talked to each other about it. They said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'
But what if we say, 'From men'?" They were afraid of the people. Everyone believed that John really was a prophet.
So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Jesus said, "Then I won't tell you by what authority I am doing these things either."