19 At evening, Jesus and his disciples left the city.
The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree
20 In the morning, walking along the road, they saw the fig tree, shriveled to a dry stick. 21 Peter, remembering what had happened the previous day, said to him, "Rabbi, look - the fig tree you cursed is shriveled up!" 22 Jesus was matter-of-fact: "Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, 23 and 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. 24 That'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. 25 And 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."
Jesus' Authority Questioned
27 Then when they were back in Jerusalem once again, as they were walking through the Temple, the high priests, religion scholars, and leaders came up 28 and demanded, "Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to speak and act like this?" 29 Jesus responded, "First let me ask you a question. Answer my question and then I'll present my credentials. 30 About the baptism of John - who authorized it: heaven or humans? Tell me." 31 They 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; 32 if we say 'humans,' we'll be up against it with the people because they all hold John up as a prophet." 33 They decided to concede that round to Jesus. "We don't know," they said. Jesus replied, "Then I won't answer your question either."