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.
Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:
2"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.4"Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'5"But they paid no attention and went off--one to his field, another to his business.6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.8"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.9Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.'10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.11"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.12'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.13"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'14"For many are invited, but few are chosen."
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.
They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.
Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?19Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius,
and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"21
"Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."22
When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.
"Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him.
Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother.
The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh.
Finally, the woman died.
Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"
Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.31But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you,32'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."33
When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'38This is the first and greatest commandment.39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42"What do you think about the Christ ? Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied.
He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says,44" 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." '45If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?"46
No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.11The greatest among you will be your servant.12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.15"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.16"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.'17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.'19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.
22And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.23"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.29"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.30And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.
37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.38Look, your house is left to you desolate.
39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' "
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.
2"Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."3
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you.5For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ, ' and will deceive many.6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.8All these are the beginning of birth pains.9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.15"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand--16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.17Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house.18Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again.22If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.23At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it.24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.25See, I have told you ahead of time.26"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it.27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.29"Immediately after the distress of those days " 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'30"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.32"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.33Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.34I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
36"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.45"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.47I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,'49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.