When they were near Jerusalem, and had reached Bethphage, which is close to mount Olivet, Jesus sent two of his disciples on an errand;
Go into the village that faces you, he told them, and the first thing you will find there will be a she-ass tethered, and a foal at her side; untie them and bring them to me.
And if anyone speaks to you about it, tell him, The Lord has need of them, and he will let you have them without more ado.
All this was so ordained, to fulfil the word spoken by the prophet:
Tell the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy king is coming to thee, humbly, riding on an ass, on a colt whose mother has borne the yoke.
The disciples went and did as Jesus told them;
they brought the she-ass and its colt, and saddled them with their garments, and bade Jesus mount.
Most of the multitude spread their garments along the way, while others strewed the way with branches cut down from the trees.
And the multitudes that went before him and that followed after him cried aloud, Hosanna for the son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in heaven above.
When he reached Jerusalem, the whole city was in a stir; Who is this? they asked.
And the multitude answered, This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth, in Galilee.
Then Jesus went into the temple of God, and drove out from it all those who sold and bought there, and overthrew the tables of the bankers, and the chairs of the pigeon-sellers;
It is written, he told them, My house shall be known for a house of prayer, and you have made it into a den of thieves.
And there were blind and lame men who came up to him in the temple, and he healed them there.
The chief priests and scribes saw the miracles which he did, and the boys that cried aloud in the temple, Hosanna for the son of David, and they were greatly angered at it.
Dost thou hear what these are saying? they asked. Yes, Jesus said to them, but have you never read the words, Thou hast made the lips of children, of infants at the breast, vocal with praise?
So he left them, and went out of the city to Bethany, where he made his lodging.
As he was returning to the city at daybreak, he was hungry:
and, seeing a fig-tree by the road-side, he went up to it, and found nothing but leaves on it.
And he said to it, Let no fruit ever grow on thee hereafter; whereupon the fig-tree withered away.
His disciples were amazed when they saw it; How suddenly it has withered away! they said.
Jesus answered them, I promise you, if you have faith, and do not hesitate, you will be able to do more than I have done over the fig-tree; if you say to this mountain, Remove, and be cast into the sea, it will come about.
If you will only believe, every gift you ask for in your prayer will be granted.
Afterwards he came into the temple; and while he was teaching there, the chief priests and elders approached him, asking, What is the authority by which thou doest these things, and who gave thee this authority?
Jesus answered them, I too have a question to ask; if you can tell me the answer, I will tell you in return what is the authority by which I do these things.
Whence did John’s baptism come, from heaven or from men? Whereupon they cast about in their minds;
If we tell him it was from heaven, they said, he will ask us, Then why did you not believe him? And if we say it was from men, we have reason to be afraid of the people; they all look upon John as a prophet.
And they answered Jesus, We cannot tell. He, in his turn, said, And you will not learn from me what is the authority by which I do these things.
But tell me what you think; there was a man who had two sons, and when he went up to the first, and said, Away with thee, my son, and work in my vineyard to-day,
he answered; Not I, but he relented afterwards and went.
Then he went up to the other, and said the like to him; and his answer was, I will, sir; but he did not go.
Which of the two carried out his father’s will? The first, they said. And Jesus said to them, Believe me, the publicans and the harlots are further on the road to God’s kingdom than you.
John came among you following all due observance, but could win no belief from you; the publicans believed him, and the harlots, but even when you saw that, you would not relent, and believe him.
Listen to another parable. There was a rich man who planted a vineyard; he walled it in, and dug a wine-press and built a tower in it, and then let it out to some vine-dressers, while he went on his travels.
When vintage-time drew near, he sent his own servants on an errand to the vine-dressers, to claim its revenues.
Whereupon the vine-dressers laid hands upon his servants; one they beat, one they killed outright, one they stoned.
And he sent other servants on a second errand, more than he had sent at first, but they were used no better.
After that, he sent his own son to them; They will have reverence, he said, for my son.
But when the vine-dressers found his son coming to them, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize upon the inheritance.
And they laid hands on him, thrust him out from the vineyard, and killed him.
And now, what will the owner of the vineyard do to those vine-dressers when he returns?
They said, He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will let out the vineyard to other vine-dressers, who will pay him his due when the season comes.
And Jesus said to them, Have you never read those words in the scriptures, The very stone which the builders rejected has become the chief stone at the corner; this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and given to a people which yields the revenues that belong to it.
As for the stone, when a man falls against it, he will break his bones; when it falls upon him, it will scatter him like chaff.
The chief priests and the Pharisees saw clearly, when they heard his parables, that it was of themselves he was speaking,
and would gladly have laid hands on him, but they were afraid of the people, who looked upon him as a prophet.