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Jesus Enters Jerusalem

11 Jesus and his disciples reached Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives. When they were getting close to Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of them on ahead. He told them, “Go into the next village. As soon as you enter it, you will find a young donkey that has never been ridden. Untie the donkey and bring it here. If anyone asks why you are doing that, say, ‘The Lord[a] needs it and will soon bring it back.’”

The disciples left and found the donkey tied near a door that faced the street. While they were untying it, some of the people standing there asked, “Why are you untying the donkey?” They told them what Jesus had said, and the people let them take it.

The disciples led the donkey to Jesus. They put some of their clothes on its back, and Jesus got on. Many people spread clothes on the road, while others went to cut branches from the fields.[b]

In front of Jesus and behind him, people went along shouting,

“Hooray![c]
God bless the one
who comes
    in the name of the Lord!
10 God bless the coming kingdom
    of our ancestor David.
Hooray for God
    in heaven above!”

11 After Jesus had gone to Jerusalem, he went into the temple and looked around at everything. But since it was already late in the day, he went back to Bethany with the twelve disciples.

Jesus Puts a Curse on a Fig Tree

12 When Jesus and his disciples left Bethany the next morning, he was hungry. 13 From a distance Jesus saw a fig tree covered with leaves, and he went to see if there were any figs on the tree. But there were not any, because it wasn’t the season for figs. 14 So Jesus said to the tree, “Never again will anyone eat fruit from this tree!” The disciples heard him say this.

Jesus in the Temple

15 After Jesus and his disciples reached Jerusalem, he went into the temple and began chasing out everyone who was selling and buying. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those who were selling doves. 16 Jesus would not let anyone carry things through the temple. 17 Then he taught the people and said, “The Scriptures say, ‘My house should be called a place of worship for all nations.’ But you have made it a place where robbers hide!”

18 The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses heard what Jesus said, and they started looking for a way to kill him. They were afraid of him, because the crowds were completely amazed at his teaching.

19 That evening, Jesus and the disciples went outside the city.

A Lesson from the Fig Tree

20 As the disciples walked past the fig tree the next morning, they noticed that it was completely dried up, roots and all. 21 Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree. Then Peter said, “Teacher, look! The tree you put a curse on has dried up.”

22 Jesus told his disciples:

Have faith in God! 23 If you have faith in God and don’t doubt, you can tell this mountain to get up and jump into the sea, and it will. 24 Everything you ask for in prayer will be yours, if you only have faith.

25-26 Whenever you stand up to pray, you must forgive what others have done to you. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.[d]

A Question about Jesus' Authority

27 Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. And as he was walking through the temple, the chief priests, the nation’s leaders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses came over to him. 28 They asked, “What right do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?”

29 Jesus answered, “I have just one question to ask you. If you answer it, I will tell you where I got the right to do these things. 30 Who gave John the right to baptize? Was it God in heaven or merely some human being?”

31 They thought it over and said to each other, “We can’t say that God gave John this right. Jesus will ask us why we didn’t believe John. 32 On the other hand, these people think that John was a prophet. So we can’t say that it was merely some human who gave John the right to baptize.”

They were afraid of the crowd 33 and told Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus replied, “Then I won’t tell you who gave me the right to do what I do.”

Footnotes

  1. 11.3 The Lord: Or “The master of the donkey.”
  2. 11.8 spread. . . branches from the fields: This was one way that the Jewish people welcomed a famous person.
  3. 11.9 Hooray: This translates a word that can mean “please save us.” But it is most often used as a shout of praise to God.
  4. 11.25,26 your sins: Some manuscripts add, “But if you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you.”

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