Matthew 21:23-46 Bible in Basic English

Jesus' Authority Questioned

23  And when he had come into the Temple, the chief priests and those in authority over the people came to him while he was teaching, and said, By what authority do you do these things? and who gave you this authority? 24  And Jesus said to them in answer, I will put one question to you, and if you give me the answer, I will say by what authority I do these things. 25  The baptism of John, where did it come from? from heaven or from men? And they were reasoning among themselves, saying, If we say, From heaven; he will say to us, Why then did you not have faith in him? 26  But if we say, From men; we are in fear of the people, because all take John to be a prophet. 27  And they made answer and said, We have no idea. Then he said to them, And I will not say to you by what authority I do these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28  But how does it seem to you? A man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go and do work today in the vine-garden. 29  And he said in answer, I will not: but later, changing his decision, he went. 30  And he came to the second and said the same. And he made answer and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31  Which of the two did his father's pleasure? They say, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, that tax-farmers and loose women are going into the kingdom of God before you. 32  For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you had no faith in him, but the tax-farmers and the loose women had faith in him: and you, when you saw it, did not even have regret for your sins, so as to have faith in him.

The Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen

33  Give ear to another story. A master of a house made a vine garden, and put a wall round it, and made a place for crushing out the wine, and made a tower, and let it out to field-workers, and went into another country. 34  And when the time for the fruit came near, he sent his servants to the workmen, to get the fruit. 35  And the workmen made an attack on his servants, giving blows to one, putting another to death, and stoning another. 36  Again, he sent other servants more in number than the first: and they did the same to them. 37  But after that he sent his son to them, saying, They will have respect for my son. 38  But when the workmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is he who will one day be the owner of the property; come, let us put him to death and take his heritage. 39  And they took him and, driving him out of the vine-garden, put him to death. 40  When, then, the lord of the vine-garden comes, what will he do to those workmen? 41  They say to him, He will put those cruel men to a cruel death, and will let out the vine-garden to other workmen, who will give him the fruit when it is ready. 42  Jesus says to them, Did you never see in the Writings, The stone which the builders put on one side, the same has been made the chief stone of the building: this was the Lord's doing, and it is a wonder in our eyes? 43  For this reason I say to you, The kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation producing the fruits of it. 44  Any man falling on this stone will be broken, but he on whom it comes down will be crushed to dust. 45  And when his stories came to the ears of the chief priests and the Pharisees, they saw that he was talking of them. 46  And though they had a desire to take him, they were in fear of the people, because in their eyes he was a prophet.

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