1 As they approached Jerusalem, near to Bethphage and Bethany, beside the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples on ahead. 2 He told them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as soon as you enter, you'll find a colt tied up that no one has ever ridden before. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you what you are doing, tell them, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back soon.’ ”
4 So they set off, and found a colt tied to a door, out on the street, and they untied it. 5 Some of the people standing around asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt”? 6 The disciples replied just as Jesus told them to, and the people let them go.
7 They brought the colt to Jesus, put their cloaks on it, and Jesus sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others laid down leafy branches that they'd cut in the fields.
9 Those leading in the front and those that were following were all shouting, “Hosanna!* “Hosanna!” This is simply a transliteration of the Aramaic word meaning “Save!” Bless the one coming in the name of the Lord. 10 Bless the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!”† Quoting Psalms 118:26.
11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went in to the Temple. He looked around him, observing everything, and then, since it was getting late, he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples.
12 The next day, as they left Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 From some distance away he saw a fig tree with leaves, so he went over to it to see if it had any fruit. But when he got there, he found it had only leaves, because it was not the season for figs.
14 He said to the tree, “May no one eat fruit from you ever again.” His disciples heard his words.
15 They arrived back in Jerusalem, and Jesus went into the Temple. He started driving out the people who were buying and selling in the Temple. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the chairs of the people selling doves. 16 He stopped anyone carrying things through the Temple.
17 He explained to them, “Doesn't Scripture say, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’?‡ Quoting Isaiah 56:7. But you have turned it into a den of thieves!”§ Quoting Jeremiah 7:11.
18 The chief priests and religious teachers heard what had happened, and tried to find a way to kill Jesus. But they were afraid of him, for everyone was so impressed by his teaching.
19 When evening came Jesus and his disciples left the city. 20 The following morning as they returned, they saw the fig tree, withered from the roots up. 21 Peter remembered what Jesus had done, and said to him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
22 “Trust in God,” Jesus replied. 23 “Believe me when I say to you that if you told this mountain, ‘Get out of here and be thrown into the sea,’ and you don't doubt in your heart, but are convinced about what you're asking, then it will happen! 24 I'm telling you that whatever you pray for, whatever you ask, trust that you've received it, and it's yours. 25 But when you're praying, if you have something against someone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your sins.” 26 * The earliest manuscripts do not contain verse 26, which is inserted from Matthew 6:15.
27 They returned to Jerusalem, and as he was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, religious teachers, and the leaders approached him. 28 “By what authority are you doing all this?” they demanded. “Who gave you the right?”
29 “Let me ask you a question,” Jesus told them. “You answer me, and I'll tell you by whose authority I do these things. 30 John's baptism—did that come from heaven, or from people?”
31 They discussed it among themselves. They said, “If we say it's from heaven, he'll reply, ‘So why didn't you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, it's of human origin, well…” They were afraid of the crowd, because everyone believed that John was a true prophet.
33 So they answered Jesus, “We don't know.”
“Then I'm not telling you by whose authority I do these things,” replied Jesus.
*11:9 “Hosanna!” This is simply a transliteration of the Aramaic word meaning “Save!”