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The Blue Letter Bible

Matthew 21 :: New Living Translation (NLT)

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Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
(Mar 11:1–10; Luk 19:28–40; Jhn 12:12–19 )
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:1 - As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:2 - “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:3 - If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:4 - This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:5 - “Tell the people of Jerusalem,[fn]
‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.’”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:6 - The two disciples did as Jesus commanded.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:7 - They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:8 - Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:9 - Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,
“Praise God[fn] for the Son of David!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!
Praise God in highest heaven!”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:10 - The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:11 - And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus Clears the Temple
(Mar 11:15–19; Luk 19:45–48; Jhn 2:13–22 )
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:12 - Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:13 - He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:14 - The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:15 - The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.”
But the leaders were indignant.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:16 - They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” “Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:17 - Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.
Jesus Curses the Fig Tree
(Mar 11:12–14 )
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:18 - In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry,
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:19 - and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up.
(Mar 11:20–24 )
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:20 - The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:21 - Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:22 - You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
The Authority of Jesus Challenged
(Mar 11:27–33; Luk 20:1–8 )
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:23 - When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:24 - “I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replied.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:25 - “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”
They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask us why we didn’t believe John.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:26 - But if we say it was merely human, we’ll be mobbed because the people believe John was a prophet.”
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:27 - So they finally replied, “We don’t know.”
And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.
Parable of the Two Sons
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:28 - “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:29 - The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:30 - Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:31 - “Which of the two obeyed his father?”
They replied, “The first.”[fn]
Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:32 - For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.
Parable of the Evil Farmers
(Mar 12:1–12; Luk 20:9–19 )
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:33 - “Now listen to another story. A certain landowner planted a vineyard, built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:34 - At the time of the grape harvest, he sent his servants to collect his share of the crop.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:35 - But the farmers grabbed his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:36 - So the landowner sent a larger group of his servants to collect for him, but the results were the same.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:37 - “Finally, the owner sent his son, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:38 - “But when the tenant farmers saw his son coming, they said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Come on, let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:39 - So they grabbed him, dragged him out of the vineyard, and murdered him.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:40 - “When the owner of the vineyard returns,” Jesus asked, “what do you think he will do to those farmers?”
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:41 - The religious leaders replied, “He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest.”
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:42 - Then Jesus asked them, “Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
This is the LORD’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.’[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:43 - I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:44 - Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:45 - When the leading priests and Pharisees heard this parable, they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 21:46 - They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, who considered Jesus to be a prophet.
NLT Footnotes
Greek Tell the daughter of Zion. Isa 62:11.
Zech 9:9.
Greek over them, and he sat on them.
Greek Hosanna, an exclamation of praise that literally means “save now”; also in 21:9b, 15.
Pss 118:25-26; 148:1.
Isa 56:7; Jer 7:11.
Ps 8:2.
Other manuscripts read “The second.” In still other manuscripts the first son says “Yes” but does nothing, the second son says “No” but then repents and goes, and the answer to Jesus’ question is that the second son obeyed his father.
Other manuscripts read “The second.” In still other manuscripts the first son says “Yes” but does nothing, the second son says “No” but then repents and goes, and the answer to Jesus’ question is that the second son obeyed his father.
Other manuscripts read “The second.” In still other manuscripts the first son says “Yes” but does nothing, the second son says “No” but then repents and goes, and the answer to Jesus’ question is that the second son obeyed his father.
Ps 118:22-23.
This verse is not included in some early manuscripts. Compare Luke 20:18.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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