When Jesus had finished this instruction, He departed from Galilee and went to the region of Judea across the Jordan.
Large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.
Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?"
"Haven't you read," He replied, "that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female,
and He also said: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate."
"Why then," they asked Him, "did Moses command [us] to give divorce papers and to send her away?"
He told them, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning.
And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery."
His disciples said to Him, "If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it's better not to marry!"
But He told them, "Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those it has been given to.
For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb, there are eunuchs who were made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way because of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can."
Then children were brought to Him so He might put His hands on them and pray. But the disciples rebuked them.
Then Jesus said, "Leave the children alone, and don't try to keep them from coming to Me, because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this."
After putting His hands on them, He went on from there.
Just then someone came up and asked Him, "Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?"
"Why do you ask Me about what is good?" He said to him. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."
"Which ones?" he asked Him. Jesus answered, Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother; and love your neighbor as yourself.
"I have kept all these," the young man told Him. "What do I still lack?"
"If you want to be perfect," Jesus said to him, "go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me."
When the young man heard that command, he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "I assure you: It will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven!
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
When the disciples heard this, they were utterly astonished and asked, "Then who can be saved?"
But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Then Peter responded to Him, "Look, we have left everything and followed You. So what will there be for us?"
Jesus said to them, "I assure you: In the Messianic Age, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has left houses, brothers or sisters, father or mother, children, or fields because of My name will receive 100 times more and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with the workers on one denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.
When he went out about nine in the morning, he saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing.
To those men he said, 'You also go to my vineyard, and I'll give you whatever is right.' So off they went.
About noon and at three, he went out again and did the same thing.
Then about five he went and found others standing around, and said to them, 'Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?'
" 'Because no one hired us,' they said to him. " 'You also go to my vineyard,' he told them.
When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his foreman, 'Call the workers and give them their pay, starting with the last and ending with the first.'
"When those who were hired about five came, they each received one denarius.
So when the first ones came, they assumed they would get more, but they also received a denarius each.
When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner:
'These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day and the burning heat!'
"He replied to one of them, 'Friend, I'm doing you no wrong. Didn't you agree with me on a denarius?
Take what's yours and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you.
Don't I have the right to do what I want with my business? Are you jealous because I'm generous?'
"So the last will be first, and the first last."
While going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the 12 disciples aside privately and said to them on the way:
"Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death.
Then they will hand Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged, and crucified, and He will be resurrected on the third day."
Then the mother of Zebedee's sons approached Him with her sons. She knelt down to ask Him for something.
"What do you want?" He asked her. "Promise," she said to Him, "that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom."
But Jesus answered, "You don't know what you're asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?" "We are able," they said to Him.
He told them, "You will indeed drink My cup. But to sit at My right and left is not Mine to give; instead, it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father."
When the 10 [disciples] heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers.
But Jesus called them over and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them.
It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave;
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life-- a ransom for many."
As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him.
There were two blind men sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!"
The crowd told them to keep quiet, but they cried out all the more, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!"
Jesus stopped, called them, and said, "What do you want Me to do for you?"
"Lord," they said to Him, "open our eyes!"
Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see, and they followed Him.
When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples,
telling them, "Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me.
If anyone says anything to you, you should say that the Lord needs them, and immediately he will send them."
This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:
Tell Daughter Zion, "See, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden."
The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them.
They brought the donkey and the colt; then they laid their robes on them, and He sat on them.
A very large crowd spread their robes on the road; others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road.
Then the crowds who went ahead of Him and those who followed kept shouting: Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
When He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken, saying, "Who is this?"
And the crowds kept saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee!"
Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers' tables and the chairs of those selling doves.
And He said to them, "It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves!"
The blind and the lame came to Him in the temple complex, and He healed them.
When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonders that He did and the children in the temple complex cheering, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant
and said to Him, "Do You hear what these [children] are saying?" "Yes," Jesus told them. "Have you never read: You have prepared praise from the mouths of children and nursing infants?"
Then He left them, went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.
Early in the morning, as He was returning to the city, He was hungry.
Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He went up to it and found nothing on it except leaves. And He said to it, "May no fruit ever come from you again!" At once the fig tree withered.
When the disciples saw it, they were amazed and said, "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?"
Jesus answered them, "I assure you: If you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you tell this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it will be done.
And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
When He entered the temple complex, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to Him as He was teaching and said, "By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority?"
Jesus answered them, "I will also ask you one question, and if you answer it for Me, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Where did John's baptism come from? From heaven or from men?" They began to argue among themselves, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'
But if we say, 'From men,' we're afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought John was a prophet."
So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." And He said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
"But what do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'My son, go, work in the vineyard today.'
"He answered, 'I don't want to!' Yet later he changed his mind and went.
Then the man went to the other and said the same thing. " 'I will, sir,' he answered. But he didn't go.
"Which of the two did his father's will?" "The first," they said. Jesus said to them, "I assure you: Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you!
For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn't believe him. Tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him, but you, when you saw it, didn't even change your minds then and believe him.
"Listen to another parable: There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a watchtower. He leased it to tenant farmers and went away.
When the grape harvest drew near, he sent his slaves to the farmers to collect his fruit.
But the farmers took his slaves, beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.
Again, he sent other slaves, more than the first group, and they did the same to them.
Finally, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said.
"But when the tenant farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance!'
So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?"
"He will completely destroy those terrible men," they told Him, "and lease his vineyard to other farmers who will give him his produce at the harvest."
Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came from the Lord and is wonderful in our eyes?
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing its fruit.
[[Whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder!"]]
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they knew He was speaking about them.
Although they were looking for a way to arrest Him, they feared the crowds, because they regarded Him as a prophet.