Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
1As they all approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two of his disciples. 2He said to them, “Go to the village ahead of you. Just as you enter it, you will find a donkey’s colt tied there. No one has ever ridden it. Untie it and bring it here. 3Someone may ask you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ If so, say, ‘The Lord needs it. But he will send it back here soon.’ ”
4So they left. They found a colt out in the street. It was tied at a doorway. They untied it. 5Some people standing there asked, “What are you doing? Why are you untying that colt?” 6They answered as Jesus had told them to. So the people let them go. 7They brought the colt to Jesus. They threw their coats over it. Then he sat on it. 8Many people spread their coats on the road. Others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9Those in front and those in back shouted,
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:25,26)
10“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
11Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courtyard. He looked around at everything. But it was already late. So he went out to Bethany with the 12 disciples.
Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears Out the Temple Courtyard
12The next day as Jesus and his disciples were leaving Bethany, they were hungry. 13Not too far away, he saw a fig tree. It was covered with leaves. He went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves. It was not the season for figs. 14Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And his disciples heard him say it.
15When Jesus reached Jerusalem, he entered the temple courtyard. He began to drive out 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. 16He would not allow anyone to carry items for sale through the temple courtyard. 17Then he taught them. He told them, “It is written that the Lord said, ‘My house will be called a house where people from all nations can pray.’ (Isaiah 56:7) But you have made it a ‘den for robbers.’ ” (Jeremiah 7:11)
18The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard about this. They began looking for a way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
19When evening came, Jesus and his disciples left the city.
The Dried-Up Fig Tree
20In the morning as Jesus and his disciples walked along, they saw the fig tree. It was dried up all the way down to the roots. 21Peter remembered. He said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you put a curse on has dried up!”
22“Have faith in God,” Jesus said. 23“What I’m about to tell you is true. Suppose someone says to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea.’ They must not doubt in their heart. They must believe that what they say will happen. Then it will be done for them. 24So I tell you, when you pray for something, believe that you have already received it. Then it will be yours. 25-26And when you stand praying, forgive anyone you have anything against. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.”
The Authority of Jesus Is Questioned
27Jesus and his disciples arrived again in Jerusalem. He was walking in the temple courtyard. Then the chief priests came to him. The teachers of the law and the elders came too. 28“By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “Who gave you authority to do this?”
29Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30Was John’s baptism from heaven? Or did it come from human authority? Tell me!”
31They talked to each other about it. They said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32But what if we say, ‘From human authority’?” They were afraid of the people. Everyone believed that John really was a prophet.
33So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Jesus said, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I am doing these things either.”