Bible: Matthew 21:23-46

The Authority of Jesus

21:23 Now after Jesus 1  entered the temple courts, 2  the chief priests and elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority 3  are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority? 21:24 Jesus 4  answered them, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 21:25 Where did John’s baptism come from? From heaven or from people?” 5  They discussed this among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 21:26 But if we say, ‘From people,’ we fear the crowd, for they all consider John to be a prophet.” 21:27 So 6  they answered Jesus, 7 We don’t know.” 8  Then he said to them, “Neither will I tell you 9  by what authority 10  I am doing these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

21:28What 11  do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 21:29 The boy answered, 12 I will not.’ But later he had a change of heart 13  and went. 21:30 The father 14  went to the other son and said the same thing. This boy answered, 15 I will, sir,’ but did not go. 21:31 Which of the two did his father’s will?” They said, “The first.” 16  Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, 17  tax collectors 18  and prostitutes will go ahead of you into the kingdom of God! 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe. Although 19  you saw this, you did not later change your minds 20  and believe him.

The Parable of the Tenants

21:33Listen to another parable: There was a landowner 21  who planted a vineyard. 22  He put a fence around it, dug a pit for its winepress, and built a watchtower. Then 23  he leased it to tenant farmers 24  and went on a journey. 21:34 When the harvest time was near, he sent his slaves 25  to the tenants to collect his portion of the crop. 26  21:35 But the tenants seized his slaves, beat one, 27  killed another, and stoned another. 21:36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first, and they treated them the same way. 21:37 Finally he sent his son to them, 28  saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 21:38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and get his inheritance!’ 21:39 So 29  they seized him, 30  threw him out of the vineyard, 31  and killed him. 21:40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? 21:41 They said to him, “He will utterly destroy those evil men! Then he will lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his portion at the harvest.”

21:42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 32 

This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes? 33 

21:43 For this reason I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people 34  who will produce its fruit. 21:44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls will be crushed.” 35  21:45 When 36  the chief priests and the Pharisees 37  heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 21:46 They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, because the crowds 38  regarded him as a prophet.

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