ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 361



21:14-32
M atthe w
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The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them.
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. 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.’” Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.
In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, 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.
The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the
fig tree wither so quickly?”
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. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
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?”
“I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replied. “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. But if we say it was merely human,
we’ll be mobbed because the people believe John was a prophet.” So they
finally replied, “We don’t know.”
And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do
these things.
“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.’ The son answered, ‘No,
I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father
told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.
“Which of the two obeyed his father?”
They replied, “The first.”
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. For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but





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