1 And when they [all] approached Jerusalem, and came close to Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives [Note: These small villages were about two miles east of Jerusalem], He sent two of His disciples on ahead, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village just ahead of you and, upon entering it, you will find tied up [there] a colt that no one has ever ridden; untie it and bring it here. 3 And if anyone says to you, "Why are you doing this?" you should say, "The Lord needs it," and immediately he will send it back here.
4 So, they went away and found a [donkey's] colt tied up at the gate, outside in the street, and untied it. 5 Some bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" 6 But they answered him exactly what Jesus had told them to say, so the people let them go. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and spread their clothing on it and He mounted it.
8 Many people spread their clothing on the roadway, while others spread leafy branches, which they had cut from the fields. 9 And the people who walked ahead of Him and followed behind shouted, "Hosanna [Note: The Syriac word 'Hosanna' originally meant 'save now' but came to be used as an expression of welcome, praise, blessing or acclamation], may He who comes in the name [i.e., by the authority] of the Lord, be blessed. 10 May the coming kingdom of our forefather David be blessed. Hosanna in the highest [i.e., may this blessing reach to the highest heaven]."
11 Then Jesus entered the Temple in Jerusalem, and after looking around at everything [there], He left for Bethany with the twelve apostles, since it was evening by then. [Note: Jesus stayed overnight at Bethany during the week prior to His crucifixion. See verse 19].
12 On the next day, when they were going from Bethany [to Jerusalem], Jesus became hungry. 13 Upon seeing in the distance a leafy fig tree, He approached it in hope of finding something on it [to eat]. But when He got there He found nothing but leaves on it, for it was not the season for figs [yet]. 14 Therefore, He said to the tree, "From now on no one will ever eat fruit from you." Now His disciples heard Him say this.
15 Then they entered Jerusalem and Jesus went into the Temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold [animals for sacrifice]. He upset the tables of the cashiers [i.e., those who exchanged foreign coins] and the benches of those who sold pigeons [for sacrifices]. 16 And He would not [even] allow anyone to carry a container [of goods] through the Temple [area].
17 Then He taught them, saying, "Is it not written [Isa. 56:7], 'My house [i.e., the Temple] will be called a house of prayer for people of all nations'? But [Jer. 7:11 says], 'You have made it a hideout for thieves.'" 18 The leading priests and experts in the law of Moses heard this and began looking for some way to kill Jesus, because they were afraid of Him, since the whole crowd was amazed at His teaching.
19 And each evening He left the city [of Jerusalem, and went to Bethany for the night].
20 The next morning, [as they returned to the city], they passed by the fig tree and saw that it had withered, clear down to its roots. 21 Then Peter remembered [what Jesus had done to the fig tree on a recent occasion], and said to Him, "Rabbi [i.e., Teacher], look, the fig tree you cursed [the other day] has withered up."
22 Jesus replied to him, "You should have faith in God. 23 Truly I tell you, whoever will say to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the ocean' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he said will happen, he will have his request granted. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever things you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received them, and you will have every one of them. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive whatever [grievance] you might have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you of your sins." {{Verse 26 is absent from many ancient manuscripts}}.
27 Jesus and His disciples again came to Jerusalem. As He was walking in the Temple [area] the leading priests, experts in the law of Moses and [Jewish] elders came to Him 28 and said, "By what authority are you doing these things [i.e., miracles and teaching]? Or who gave you the authority to do these things?"
29 Jesus answered them, "Let me ask you a question. And if you answer it, then I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30 Was the immersion of John [authorized] from heaven or from men? Give me an answer."
31 So, they discussed this among themselves, saying, "If we say 'from heaven' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe his message?' 32 But, should we say 'from men' [instead]?" Now they feared the people, for all of them considered John to be a true prophet. 33 So, they answered Jesus and said, "We do not know [where John got his authority to immerse]." Jesus replied to them, " [Then] neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things [i.e., miracles and teaching]."