Matthew 21; Matthew 22

1 As Jesus and his followers were coming closer to Jerusalem, they stopped at Bethphage at the hill called the Mount of Olives. From there Jesus sent two of his followers 2 and said to them, "Go to the town you can see there. When you enter it, you will quickly find a donkey tied there with its colt. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone asks you why you are taking the donkeys, say that the Master needs them, and he will send them at once." 4 This was to bring about what the prophet had said: 5 "Tell the people of Jerusalem, 'Your king is coming to you. He is gentle and riding on a donkey, on the colt of a donkey.'" 6 The followers went and did what Jesus told them to do. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt to Jesus and laid their coats on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 Many people spread their coats on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The people were walking ahead of Jesus and behind him, shouting, "Praisen to the Son of David! God bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, all the city was filled with excitement. The people asked, "Who is this man?" 11 The crowd said, "This man is Jesus, the prophet from the town of Nazareth in Galilee." 12 Jesus went into the Temple and threw out all the people who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of those who were exchanging different kinds of money, and he upset the benches of those who were selling doves. 13 Jesus said to all the people there, "It is written in the Scriptures, 'My Temple will be called a house for prayer.' But you are changing it into a 'hideout for robbers.'" 14 The blind and crippled people came to Jesus in the Temple, and he healed them. 15 The leading priests and the teachers of the law saw that Jesus was doing wonderful things and that the children were praising him in the Temple, saying, "Praisen to the Son of David." All these things made the priests and the teachers of the law very angry. 16 They asked Jesus, "Do you hear the things these children are saying?" Jesus answered, "Yes. Haven't you read in the Scriptures, 'You have taught children and babies to sing praises'?" 17 Then Jesus left and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night. 18 Early the next morning, as Jesus was going back to the city, he became hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree beside the road, Jesus went to it, but there were no figs on the tree, only leaves. So Jesus said to the tree, "You will never again have fruit." The tree immediately dried up. 20 When his followers saw this, they were amazed. They asked, "How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?" 21 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will be able to do what I did to this tree and even more. You will be able to say to this mountain, 'Go, fall into the sea.' And if you have faith, it will happen. 22 If you believe, you will get anything you ask for in prayer." 23 Jesus went to the Temple, and while he was teaching there, the leading priests and the older leaders of the people came to him. They said, "What authority do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?" 24 Jesus answered, "I also will ask you a question. If you answer me, then I will tell you what authority I have to do these things. 25 Tell me: When John baptized people, did that come from God or just from other people?" They argued about Jesus' question, saying, "If we answer, 'John's baptism was from God,' Jesus will say, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' 26 But if we say, 'It was from people,' we are afraid of what the crowd will do because they all believe that John was a prophet." 27 So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Jesus said to them, "Then I won't tell you what authority I have to do these things. 28 "Tell me what you think about this: A man had two sons. He went to the first son and said, 'Son, go and work today in my vineyard.' 29 The son answered, 'I will not go.' But later the son changed his mind and went. 30 Then the father went to the other son and said, 'Son, go and work today in my vineyard.' The son answered, 'Yes, sir, I will go and work,' but he did not go. 31 Which of the two sons obeyed his father?" The priests and leaders answered, "The first son." Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God before you do. 32 John came to show you the right way to live. You did not believe him, but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Even after seeing this, you still refused to change your ways and believe him. 33 "Listen to this story: There was a man who owned a vineyard. He put a wall around it and dug a hole for a winepress and built a tower. Then he leased the land to some farmers and left for a trip. 34 When it was time for the grapes to be picked, he sent his servants to the farmers to get his share of the grapes. 35 But the farmers grabbed the servants, beat one, killed another, and then killed a third servant with stones. 36 So the man sent some other servants to the farmers, even more than he sent the first time. But the farmers did the same thing to the servants that they had done before. 37 So the man decided to send his son to the farmers. He said, 'They will respect my son.' 38 But when the farmers saw the son, they said to each other, 'This son will inherit the vineyard. If we kill him, it will be ours!' 39 Then the farmers grabbed the son, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 So what will the owner of the vineyard do to these farmers when he comes?" 41 The priests and leaders said, "He will surely kill those evil men. Then he will lease the vineyard to some other farmers who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time." 42 Jesus said to them, "Surely you have read this in the Scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone. The Lord did this, and it is wonderful to us.' 43 "So I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to people who do the things God wants in his kingdom. 44 The person who falls on this stone will be broken, and on whomever that stone falls, that person will be crushed." 45 When the leading priests and the Pharisees heard these stories, they knew Jesus was talking about them. 46 They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the people, because the people believed that Jesus was a prophet.
1 Jesus again used stories to teach the people. He said, 2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. 3 The king invited some people to the feast. When the feast was ready, the king sent his servants to tell the people, but they refused to come. 4 "Then the king sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who have been invited that my feast is ready. I have killed my best bulls and calves for the dinner, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.' 5 "But the people refused to listen to the servants and left to do other things. One went to work in his field, and another went to his business. 6 Some of the other people grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. 7 The king was furious and sent his army to kill the murderers and burn their city. 8 "After that, the king said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready. I invited those people, but they were not worthy to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite everyone you find to come to my feast.' 10 So the servants went into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 "When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man who was not dressed for a wedding. 12 The king said, 'Friend, how were you allowed to come in here? You are not dressed for a wedding.' But the man said nothing. 13 So the king told some servants, 'Tie this man's hands and feet. Throw him out into the darkness, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.' 14 "Yes, many people are invited, but only a few are chosen." 15 Then the Pharisees left that place and made plans to trap Jesus in saying something wrong. 16 They sent some of their own followers and some people from the group called Herodians. They said, "Teacher, we know that you are an honest man and that you teach the truth about God's way. You are not afraid of what other people think about you, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 So tell us what you think. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" 18 But knowing that these leaders were trying to trick him, Jesus said, "You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me a coin used for paying the tax." So the men showed him a coin. 20 Then Jesus asked, "Whose image and name are on the coin?" 21 The men answered, "Caesar's." Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and give to God the things that are God's." 22 When the men heard what Jesus said, they were amazed and left him and went away. 23 That same day some Sadducees came to Jesus and asked him a question. (Sadducees believed that people would not rise from the dead.) 24 They said, "Teacher, Moses said if a married man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. 25 Once there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died. Since he had no children, his brother married the widow. 26 Then the second brother also died. The same thing happened to the third brother and all the other brothers. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Since all seven men had married her, when people rise from the dead, whose wife will she be?" 29 Jesus answered, "You don't understand, because you don't know what the Scriptures say, and you don't know about the power of God. 30 When people rise from the dead, they will not marry, nor will they be given to someone to marry. They will be like the angels in heaven. 31 Surely you have read what God said to you about rising from the dead. 32 God said, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' God is the God of the living, not the dead." 33 When the people heard this, they were amazed at Jesus' teaching. 34 When the Pharisees learned that the Sadducees could not argue with Jesus' answers to them, the Pharisees met together. 35 One Pharisee, who was an expert on the law of Moses, asked Jesus this question to test him: 36 "Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?" 37 Jesus answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' 38 This is the first and most important command. 39 And the second command is like the first: 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.' 40 All the law and the writings of the prophets depend on these two commands." 41 While the Pharisees were together, Jesus asked them, 42 "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" They answered, "The Christ is the Son of David." 43 Then Jesus said to them, "Then why did David call him 'Lord'? David, speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit, said, 44 'The Lord said to my Lord: Sit by me at my right side, until I put your enemies under your control.' 45 David calls the Christ 'Lord,' so how can the Christ be his son?" 46 None of the Pharisees could answer Jesus' question, and after that day no one was brave enough to ask him any more questions.
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