Gospel of Matthew Chapter Twenty-One

21:1 When they neared Jerusalem, they arrived at Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent out two disciples –
21:2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead and you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.
21:3 And if anyone says anything to you, you tell them the Master needs them, and immediately he will provide them."
21:4 This was all done so that it would accomplish what was spoken by the Prophet, who said:
21:5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold your king is coming to you, lowly and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”1
21:6 The disciples left and did as Jesus instructed them,
21:7 and brought the donkey and the colt and put their cloaks on them and they sat him on them.
21:8 A great crowd spread their clothes on the path – others cut down tree branches and spread them along the path.
21:9 The crowds that were ahead and following chanted, “Praise God2 for the follower of David – Blessed is he who comes in the Holy Name of the LORD.”
21:10 Thus when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred, asking, “Who is this?”
21:11 And the crowds said, “This is Jesus the Prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
21:12 Then Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all the buyers and sellers in the temple, and overturned the tables of the bankers, and the chairs of those who sold doves.
21:13 And he said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer’ – but you have made it a den of thieves.”3
21:14 And the blind and the crippled approached him in the temple and he healed them.
21:15 Yet when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things he had done and the children chanting in the temple – saying, “Praise God for the follower of David” – they were indignant.
21:16 So they said to him, “Do you hear what they are saying?” And Jesus replied to them, “Yes, have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of children and infants You have perfected Your praise?’”4
21:17 Then he left them and left the city into Bethany and he stayed the night there.
21:18 Then in the morning he was hungry as he returned to the city.
21:19 When he saw a fig tree on the road and approached it and found nothing on it except for leaves, he said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you during your lifetime.” And immediately the fig tree withered away.
21:20: But when the disciples saw it they were amazed, and asked, “How did the fig tree wither away so quickly?”
21:21 Jesus replied and said to them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only be able to do this to a fig tree – if you say to this mountain, ‘Depart and be thrust into the sea’ it would be done.
21:22 And everything you request in prayer with faith – you will receive.”
21:23 As he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him and he was teaching, and said: “By what authority do you do these things? And who gave you this authority?”
21:24 Thus Jesus replied and said to them, “I will also ask you something: If you can answer me, I will likewise tell you by what authority I do these things.
21:25 The baptism of John – from where did it come? From the spiritual realm or from men? And they debated this amongst themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From the spiritual realm’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’
21:26 But if we say, ‘From men’ – we are afraid of the people because everyone holds John as a Prophet.”
21:27 Thus they answered Jesus, saying, “We don’t know.” And he replied to them, “Neither will I explain to you by what authority I am doing these things.
21:28 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he approached the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in my vineyard.’
21:29 He answered, saying, ‘I won’t,’ but afterward the son changed his mind and went.
21:30 And the man approached the second and said the same thing. And the son answered, saying, ‘I will,’ but didn’t go.
21:31 Which of these two did what pleased his father?” They said to him, “The first.” Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you that the publicans and the prostitutes will achieve the sanctuary of God before you.
21:32 For John appeared to you in the path of devotion and you did not believe him; but the publicans and prostitutes believed him. And you, after you saw this, did not have a change of heart – so that you might believe him.
21:33 Listen to another analogy: There was a certain householder who planted a vineyard and hedged it all around and built a winepress there and built a tower, and rented it out to farmers and left for a remote country.
21:34 And when harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the farmers so they might collect the fruit.
21:35 So the farmers grabbed his servants and beat one and killed another, and stoned another.
21:36 Then he sent some other servants – more than the first – and they did the same thing to them.
21:37 Then finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘they will respect my son.’
21: 38 But when the farmers saw the son, they said amongst themselves, ‘This is the heir – come on, let’s kill him and let’s seize his inheritance.’
21:39 And they captured him and brought him out of the vineyard and murdered him.
21:40 When the master of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?”
21:41 They replied, “He will angrily destroy those wicked men, and will rent out his vineyard to other farmers – who will give to him the fruits of the harvests.”
21:42 Jesus said to them, “Did you not read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected will become the cornerstone – this is what the LORD has done and it is marvelous in our eyes?5
21:43 Therefore I say to you, the sanctuary of God will be taken from you and given to people who bring forth the fruits.
21:44 And whoever will fall on this stone will be broken – but upon whomever it shall fall, it will turn to dust.”
21:45 When the chief priests and pharisees heard these analogies they understood that he was speaking of them.
21:46 Yet when they sought to arrest him, they were afraid of the people because they considered him a Prophet.


1. Verse 21:5.
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9 NIV)

2. Verse 21:9. The Greek word ὡσαννά (hōsanna) reflects an ancient chant in praise of God – in this case, for sending His esteemed confidential representative.

3. Verse 21:13.
And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to Him, to love the Name of the LORD, and to be His servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to My covenant—these I will bring to My holy mountain and give them joy in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Isaiah 56:6-7 NIV)

4. Verse 21:16.
Through the praise of children and infants You have established a stronghold against Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2 NIV)
5. Verse 21:42.
The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:22-23 NIV)