Life Recovery Bible - Page 38

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animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the
tables of the money changers and the chairs
of those selling doves. 13 He said to them,
“The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be
called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned
it into a den of thieves!”*
The blind and the lame came to him in
the Temple, and he healed them. 15 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. 16 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.
Jesus Curses the Fig Tree
In the morning, as ­Jesus was returning to
Je­ru­sa­lem, he was hungry, 19 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. 22 You can pray for anything, and if
you have faith, you will receive it.”
The Authority of Jesus Challenged
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. 25 “Did John’s authority to
baptize come from heaven, or was it merely
They talked it over among themselves. “If
we say it was from heaven, he will ask us why
we didn’t believe John. 26 But if we say it was
merely human, we’ll be mobbed because the
people believe John was a prophet.” 27 So they
finally replied, “We don’t know.”
And J­esus responded, “Then I won’t tell
you by what authority I do these things.
Parable of the Two Sons
“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.’ 29 The
son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he
changed his mind and went anyway. 30 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. 32 For John the Baptist came
and showed you the right way to live, but
you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors
and prostitutes did. And even when you saw
this happening, you refused to believe him
and repent of your sins.
Parable of the Evil Farmers
“Now listen to another story. A certain
land­owner planted a vineyard, built a wall
around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape
juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he
1:13 Isa 56:7; Jer 7:11. 21:16 Ps 8:2 (Greek version). 21:29-31 Other manuscripts read “The second.” In still other
manuscripts the first son says “Yes” but does nothing, the second son says “No” but then repents and goes, and the
answer to Jesus’ question is that the second son obeyed his father. 
21:18-22 Jesus again commented on the power of faith. Seemingly impossible answers to prayer,
including life-transforming recovery, can occur as we live by faith and grow in commitment to
God. This passage does not suggest that we pray for the withering of a fig tree or the actual relocation of a mountain. It tells us, however, that incredible answers are given when we pray to God
and believe that he will answer.
21:28-32 Before we began the recovery process, we were like the first son, saying no to his father’s
wishes. We turned our back to God and indulged our selfish desires. But later we saw where we
were headed, changed our mind, and followed our Father. Although we have messed up our life,
we are now obeying God. This is in sharp contrast to the son who said he would obey and then
didn’t. People like this may be part of the established “church” and think they are following God
but are really far from his ways. Our change of heart and lifestyle will gain us eternal life; their
denial will lead to eternal punishment.

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