Entering Jerusalem on a Colt 11 1When they were nearing Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany on Mount Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: 2“Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never yet been ridden. Untie it and bring it. 3If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘The Master needs him, and will return him right away.’ ” 4They went and found a colt tied to a door at the street corner and untied it. 5Some of those standing there said, “What are you doing untying that colt?” 6The disciples replied exactly as Jesus had instructed them, and the people let them alone. 7They brought the colt to Jesus, spread their coats on it, and he mounted. 8The people gave him a wonderful welcome, some throwing their coats on the street, others spreading out rushes they had cut in the fields. 9Running ahead and following after, they were calling out,   Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in God’s name! 10Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in highest heaven!   11He entered Jerusalem, then entered the Temple. He looked around, taking it all in. But by now it was late, so he went back to Bethany with the Twelve.   The Cursed Fig Tree   12As they left Bethany the next day, he was hungry. 13Off in the distance he saw a fig tree in full leaf. He came up to it expecting to find something for breakfast, but found nothing but fig leaves. (It wasn’t yet the season for figs.)14He addressed the tree: “No one is going to eat fruit from you again—ever!” And his disciples overheard him. 15They arrived at Jerusalem. Immediately on entering the Temple Jesus started throwing out everyone who had set up shop there, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of the bankers and the stalls of the pigeon merchants. 16He didn’t let anyone even carry a basket through the Temple. 17And then he taught them, quoting this text:   My house was designated a house of prayer for the nations; You’ve turned it into a hangout for thieves.   18The high priests and religion scholars heard what was going on and plotted how they might get rid of him. They panicked, for the entire crowd was carried away by his teaching. 19At evening, Jesus and his disciples left the city. 20In the morning, walking along the road, they saw the fig tree, shriveled to a dry stick. 21Peter, remembering what had happened the previous day, said to him, “Rabbi, look—the fig tree you cursed is shriveled up!” 22Jesus was matter–of–fact: “Embrace this God–life. Really embrace it, 23and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly–shallying—and it’s as good as done. 24That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God–life, and you’ll get God’s everything. 25And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.” His Credentials 262726-27Then when they were back in Jerusalem once again, as they were walking through the Temple, the high priests, religion scholars, and leaders came up 28and demanded, “Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to speak and act like this?”     29Jesus responded, “First let me ask you a question. Answer my question and then I’ll present my credentials. 30About the baptism of John—who authorized it: heaven or humans? Tell me.” 31They were on the spot, and knew it. They pulled back into a huddle and whispered, “If we say ‘heaven,’ he’ll ask us why we didn’t believe John; 32if we say ‘humans,’ we’ll be up against it with the people because they all hold John up as a prophet.” 33They decided to concede that round to Jesus. “We don’t know,” they said. Jesus replied, “Then I won’t answer your question either.”
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