1 When they were near Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage and the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples on ahead, 2 and ordered them, "Go into the village that is ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, and a colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you will say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he at once will send them."
4 Now this occurred to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:
5 "Tell the daughter of Zion, your King is now coming to you, gentle, and riding on a donkey, yea, on the colt of a beast of burden."
6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their coats upon them, and Jesus took His seat on them. 8 And most of the crowd spread their coats along the road, but some were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them along the road. 9 And the crowds that went in front of Him and followed Him shouted: "Welcome the Son of David! Blessed be He who comes in the name of the Lord; Welcome Him from on high!"
10 When He came into Jerusalem, the whole city was trembling with excitement, and asking, "Who is He?" 11 And the crowds kept saying, "He is the prophet Jesus of Nazareth in Galilee."
12 And Jesus went into the temple and drove out all the buyers and sellers, and turned the money-changers' tables and the dove-dealers' seats upside down, 13 and said to them, "The Scripture says, 'My house must be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a cave for robbers."
14 Then blind and crippled people came to Him, and He cured them. 15 But because the high priests and scribes saw the wonders that He did and the children shouting in the temple, "Welcome the Son of David," they were indignant 16 and asked Him, "Do you hear what they are saying?" Jesus answered them, "Yes. Did you never read this, 'Out of the mouths of little children, yea, of infants, you have perfect praise'?"
17 And He left and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.
18 Early next morning when He returned to the city, He felt hungry. 19 As He saw a fig tree by the roadside, He came to it but found on it nothing but leaves, and said to it, "Never again shall a fig grow on you!" And the fig tree at once withered up.
20 When the disciples saw it, they were dumbfounded, and asked, "How is it that the fig tree withered up all at once?"
21 And Jesus answered them, "I solemnly say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt at all, you will not only do the sort of wonder done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Get up and throw yourself into the sea,' it will be done. 22 And whatever you ask for in prayer, if you believe it, you will get it."
23 And when He had come into the temple, the high priests and elders of the people came up to Him while He was teaching, and asked, "What sort of authority have you for doing these things, and who gave you this authority?"
24 Jesus answered them, "Let me too ask you just one question, and if you answer it, I will tell you what sort of authority I have for doing as I do. 25 Where did John's baptism come from? From heaven, or from men?" They argued it out among themselves in this way, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?' 26 But if we say, 'From men,' we are afraid of the people, for they all consider John a prophet." 27 So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." He also answered them, "Nor am I going to tell you what sort of authority I have for doing as I do.
28 "But what do you think? There was a man who had two sons, He came to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in my vineyard today.'
29 And he answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. 30 Then he came to the second and said the same thing. And he answered, 'I will not.' But afterward he changed his mind and went.
31 Which of the two did what his father wanted?" They answered, "The second one." Jesus said to them, "I solemnly say to you, the tax-collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of heaven ahead of you. 32 For John came to you walking in the way of uprightness, and yet you did not believe him. The tax-collectors and prostitutes did believe him, but you, even though you saw that, would not change your minds afterward and believe him.
33 "Listen to another story. There was once an owner of an estate who planted a vineyard and built a fence around it, and hewed out a wine-vat in it, and built a tower, and rented it to tenant farmers, and then went abroad. 34 But when the time for gathering grapes was near, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his rent. 35 But the tenants took his slaves and beat the first one, killed the second, and stoned the third. 36 Again he sent other slaves, and more than at first, and they treated them exactly the same way. 37 At last he sent his son to them, for he said to himself, 'They will surely respect my son.'
38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is his heir, come on, let us kill him, and get all that is coming to him!' 39 So they took him and drove him out of the vineyard and murdered him. 40 Now when the owner of the estate comes back, what will he do to these tenants?"
41 They answered, "In vengeance he will put the scoundrels to death, and rent the vineyard to other tenants who will promptly pay him the rent."
42 Then Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures: 'That stone which the builders threw away has become the cornerstone; this is the work of the Lord and seems wonderful to us!'
43 "This, I tell you, is why the kingdom will be taken away from you, and given to a people who will pay a fair rent for it. 44 Who ever falls upon that stone will be broken to pieces, but whomever it falls upon will be crushed to powder."
45 When the high priests and the Pharisees heard His stories, they knew that He was speaking about them, 46 but although they were trying to have Him arrested, they were afraid of the people, for they considered Him a prophet.