Matthew 21; Matthew 22

1 As they all approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage. It was on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two disciples. 2 He said to them, "Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you will find a donkey tied up. Her colt will be with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them. The owner will send them right away." 4 This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet would come true. It says, 5 "Say to the city of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you. He is gentle and riding on a donkey. He is riding on a donkey's colt.' " (Zechariah 9:9) 6 The disciples went and did what Jesus told them to do. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt. They placed their coats on them. Then Jesus sat on the coats. 8 A very large crowd spread their coats on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Some of the people went ahead of him, and some followed. They all shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Psalm 118:26) "Hosanna in the highest heaven!" 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. The people asked, "Who is this?" 11 The crowds answered, "This is Jesus. He is the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee." 12 Jesus entered the temple area. He began chasing out all 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. 13 He said to them, "It is written that the Lord said, 'My house will be called a house where people can pray.'(Isaiah 56:7) But you are making it a 'den for robbers.' "(Jeremiah 7:11) 14 Blind people and those who were disabled came to Jesus at the temple. There he healed them. 15 The chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did. They also saw the children in the temple area shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" But when they saw all of this, they became angry. 16 "Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus. "Haven't you ever read about it in Scripture? It says, " 'You have made sure that children and infants praise you.' " (Psalm 8:2) 17 Then Jesus left the people and went out of the city to Bethany. He spent the night there. 18 Early in the morning, Jesus was on his way back to Jerusalem. He was hungry. 19 He saw 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!" Right away the tree dried up. 20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?" they asked. 21 Jesus replied, "What I'm about to tell you is true. You must have faith and not doubt. Then you can do what was done to the fig tree. And you can say to this mountain, 'Go and throw yourself into the sea.' It will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive what you ask for when you pray." 23 Jesus entered the temple courtyard. While he was teaching there, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "Who gave you this authority?" 24 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. 25 Where did John's baptism come from? Was it from heaven? Or did it come from men?" They talked to each other about it. They said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' 26 But what if we say, 'From men'? We are afraid of the people. Everyone believes that John was a prophet." 27 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. 28 "What do you think about this? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' 29 " 'I will not,' the son answered. But later he changed his mind and went. 30 "Then the father went to the other son. He said the same thing. The son answered, 'I will, sir.' But he did not go. 31 "Which of the two sons did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "What I'm about to tell you is true. Tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 John came to show you the right way to live. And you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. You saw this. But even then you did not turn away from your sins and believe him. 33 "Listen to another story. A man who owned some land planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it. He dug a pit for a winepress in it. He also built a lookout tower. He rented the vineyard out to some farmers. Then he went away on a journey. 34 When harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the renters. He told the servants to collect his share of the fruit. 35 "But the renters grabbed his servants. They beat one of them. They killed another. They threw stones at the third to kill him. 36 Then the man sent other servants to the renters. He sent more than he did the first time. The renters treated them the same way. 37 "Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said. 38 "But the renters saw the son coming. They said to each other, 'This is the one who will receive all the owner's property someday. Come, let's kill him. Then everything will be ours.' 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard. Then they killed him. 40 "When the owner of the vineyard comes back, what will he do to those renters?" 41 "He will destroy those evil people," they replied. "Then he will rent the vineyard out to other renters. They will give him his share of the crop at harvest time." 42 Jesus said to them, "Haven't you ever read what the Scriptures say, " 'The stone the builders didn't accept has become the most important stone of all. The Lord has done it. It is wonderful in our eyes'? (Psalm 118:22,23) 43 "So here is what I tell you. The kingdom of God will be taken away from you. It will be given to people who will produce its fruit. 44 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces. But the stone will crush anyone it falls on." 45 The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' stories. They knew he was talking about them. 46 So they looked for a way to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowd. The people believed that Jesus was a prophet.
1 Jesus told them more stories. He said, 2 "Here is what the kingdom of heaven is like. A king prepared a wedding dinner for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the dinner. The servants told them to come. But they refused. 4 "Then he sent some more servants. He said, 'Tell those who were invited that I have prepared my dinner. I have killed my oxen and my fattest cattle. Everything is ready. Come to the wedding dinner.' 5 "But the people paid no attention. One went away to his field. Another went away to his business. 6 The rest grabbed his servants. They treated them badly and then killed them. 7 "The king became very angry. He sent his army to destroy them. They killed those murderers and burned their city. 8 "Then the king said to his servants, 'The wedding dinner is ready. But those I invited were not fit to come. 9 Go to the street corners. Invite to the dinner anyone you can find.' 10 So the servants went out into the streets. They gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad. Soon the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 "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 couldn't think of anything to say. 13 "Then the king told his servants, 'Tie up his hands and feet. Throw him outside into the darkness. Out there people will sob and grind their teeth.' 14 "Many are invited, but few are chosen." 15 The Pharisees went out. They made plans to trap Jesus with his own words. 16 They sent their followers to him. They sent the Herodians with them. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of honor. You teach the way of God truthfully. You don't let others tell you what to do or say. You don't care how important they are. 17 Tell us then, what do you think? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" 18 But Jesus knew their evil plans. He said, "You pretenders! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin people use for paying the tax." They brought him a silver coin. 20 He asked them, "Whose picture is this? And whose words?" 21 "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. And give to God what belongs to God." 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away. 23 That same day the Sadducees came to Jesus with a question. They do not believe that people rise from the dead. 24 "Teacher," they said, "here is what Moses told us. If a man dies without having children, his brother must get married to the widow. He must have children to carry on his brother's name. 25 There were seven brothers among us. The first one got married and died. Since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brothers. It happened right on down to the seventh brother. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, when the dead rise, whose wife will she be? All seven of them were married to her." 29 Jesus replied, "You are mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures. And you do not know the power of God. 30 When the dead rise, they won't get married. And their parents won't give them to be married. They will be like the angels in heaven. 31 "What about the dead rising? Haven't you read what God said to you? 32 He said, 'I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.'(Exodus 3:6) He is not the God of the dead. He is the God of the living." 33 When the crowds heard this, they were amazed by what he taught. 34 The Pharisees heard that the Sadducees weren't able to answer Jesus. So the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them was an authority on the law. So he tested Jesus with a question. 36 "Teacher," he asked, "which is the most important commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.'(Deuteronomy 6:5) 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 And the second is like it. 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'(Leviticus 19:18) 40 Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments." 41 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. 43 He said to them, "Then why does David call him 'Lord'? The Holy Spirit spoke through David himself. David said, 44 " 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your control." ' (Psalm 110:1) 45 So if David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be David's son?" 46 No one could answer him with a single word. From that day on, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
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