Matthew 21 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
The Triumphal Entry
21 And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village before you, and right away you will find a donkey tied and a colt with her. Untie them[a] and[b] bring them[c] to me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you will say, ‘The Lord needs them,’[d] and he will send them at once.” 4 Now this took place so that what was spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled, saying,
6 So the disciples went[g] and did[h] just as Jesus directed them, 7 and[i] brought the donkey and the colt and put their[j] cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 And a very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them[k] on the road. 9 And the crowds who went ahead of him and the ones who followed were shouting, saying,
10 And when[n] he entered into Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee!”
The Cleansing of the Temple
12 And Jesus entered the temple courts[o] and drove out all those who were selling and buying in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling doves. 13 And he said to them, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[p] but you have made it a cave of robbers!”
14 And the blind and the lame came up to him in the temple courts[q] and he healed them. 15 But when[r] the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children shouting in the temple courts[s] and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant. 16 And they said to him, “Do you hear what these children[t] are saying?” So Jesus said to them, “Yes, have you never read, ‘Out of the mouths of children and nursing babies you have prepared for yourself praise’?”[u] 17 And leaving them, he went outside of the city to Bethany and spent the night there.
A Barren Fig Tree Cursed
18 Now early in the morning, as he[v] was returning to the city, he was hungry. 19 And seeing a single fig tree by the road, he went to it and found nothing on it except leaves only. And he said to it, “May there be no more fruit from you forever,[w] and the fig tree withered at once. 20 And when they[x] saw it,[y] the disciples were astonished, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 21 And Jesus answered and[z] said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will do not only what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,” it will happen! 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, if you[aa] believe, you will receive.”
Jesus’ Authority Challenged
23 And after[ab] he arrived at the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him while he[ac] was teaching, saying, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” 24 And Jesus answered and[ad] said to them, “I also will ask you one question. If you tell the answer[ae] to me, I also will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 From where was the baptism of John—from heaven or from men?” And they began to discuss[af] this[ag] among themselves, saying, “If we say ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we are afraid of the crowd, because they all look upon John as a prophet.” 27 And they answered and[ah] said to Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
The Parable of the Two Sons
28 “Now what do you think? A man had two sons. He approached[ai] the first and[aj] said, ‘Son, go work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered and[ak] said, ‘I do not want to!’ But later he changed his mind and[al] went. 30 And he approached the second[am] and[an] said the same thing. So he answered and[ao] said, ‘I will, sir,’ and he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his[ap] father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going ahead of you into the kingdom of God! 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did believe him. And when[aq] you saw it,[ar] you did not even change your minds later so as to believe in him.
The Parable of the Tenant Farmers in the Vineyard
33 “Listen to another parable: There was a man—a master of a house—who planted a vineyard, and put a fence around it, and dug a winepress in it, and built a watchtower, and leased it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey. 34 And when the season of fruit drew near, he sent his slaves to the tenant farmers to collect his fruit. 35 And the tenant farmers seized his slaves, one of whom they beat, and one of whom they killed, and one of whom they stoned. 36 Again, he sent other slaves, more than the first ones, and they did the same thing to them. 37 So finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when[as] the tenant farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance!’ 39 And they seized him and[at] threw him[au] out of the vineyard and killed him.[av] 40 Now when the master of the vineyard arrives, what will he do to those tenant farmers?” 41 They said to him, “He will destroy those evil men completely and lease the vineyard to other tenant farmers who will give him the fruits in their season.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures,
43 For this reason, I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a people[ay] who produce its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls—it will crush him!” 45 And when[az] the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them, 46 and although they[ba] wanted to arrest him, they were afraid of the crowds, because they looked upon him as a prophet.