11. While those who were also at Zacchaeus' house that day were listening to this exchange between him and his self-invited Guest, Jesus proceeded to tell them an illustration. He used this opportunity to tell it, because He was near Jerusalem, and the people thought that the Kingdom of God was going to visibly appear all at once.
12. He said, "There once was a man, a descendant from a royal house, who went to a distant country to have himself appointed king...to get authorization for his rule...and then return.
13. But first he called his ten servants together, and gave them each a sum of money. Then he said to them, 'Operate with this until I return.'
14. However, the citizens there hated him, so they sent a commission with a signed petition to oppose his rule. They made no bones about their feelings, and their petition simply stated: 'We don't want this man to rule over us.'
15. When he returned, bringing the authorization of his rule with him, he called those ten servants to whom he had given the money to find out how they had done with what he left them.
16. The first one said, 'Sir, while you were on your journey, I doubled your money.'
17. He said to him, 'Excellent! Good for you! Now, because you've been trustworthy and productive in this small job, I'm going to make you governor of ten towns.'
18. Then the second one stepped up and said, 'Sir, while you were gone, I made a fifty percent profit on your money.'
19. He said to him, 'Great! Because of this I'm going to put you in charge of five towns.'
20. Then a third one came and said, 'Here's your money, just as you left it. I've kept it tied up in a handkerchief and hidden away while you were gone.
21. I thought that it was the right thing to do. Besides, I was really afraid of you. I know you are a stern and severe man. I know that you pick up what you didn't lay down, and that you reap what you didn't sow.'
22. He said to this one, 'Oh, really? You think you know a lot about me, don't you?
Well, your own lack of perception is going to be your downfall! I'll show you how stern and severe I really can be. You knew, did you, that I pick up what I didn't lay down, and reap what I didn't sow?
23. Then why didn't you at least put my money in a bank, so that when I got back I might have collected it with some interest?
24. Then he said to the bystanders, 'Take the money away from him and give it to the man who doubled what I gave him.'
25. But they said to him, 'Sir, he already has double!'
26. But he said, 'This is the way it works...to everyone who gets and has will more be given, but from the man or woman who does not get and does not have, even what he or she has will be taken away from him/her.
27. Oh, and one more thing', said the indignant king, 'as for these enemies of mine who didn't want me to reign over them, bring them here and execute them in my presence!'"
28. When He finished this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of His disciples.
29. On the way He came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, and He sent two disciples ahead there.
30. And He said to them “Go into that village over there, and as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. I want you to untie it, and bring it here.
31. If anyone should ask you, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ just say to them, ‘We're taking it because the Lord needs it.’”
32. So they did exactly as He said, and went and found the colt.
33. And, indeed, the owners saw them taking it and asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”
34. And, according to instructions, the disciples simply replied, “We're taking it because the Lord needs it.”
35. Then they brought the colt to Jesus, and threw their garments over it for Him to ride on into Jerusalem.
36. And as He rode along, the crowds spontaneously began to spread out their garments on the road ahead of Him.
37. And when He reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, His followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles that they had seen manifested through His ministry.
38. They sang, “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in the heavenlies, and glory in the highest part of the heavenly dimension!”
39. But some of the Pharisees were in the crowd, as usual, and, as usual, they were displeased with Him. They said, “Teacher, you should rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”
40. But He replied, “You know what? If they were to keep quiet, the stones along the road would burst into shouts of praise!”
41. But as He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He burst into tears and wept over it.
42. And He said, "Jerusalem, if you had only known in this present day what would bring you peace...but right now your religious tradition has hidden it from your eyes.
43. And so the days will come in the not-too-distant future when your enemies will build an embankment against you, and encircle you. They will hem you in on every side.
44. Destruction will be everywhere within your walls, even to you and your children. Your enemies will not leave one stone on another in this city, because you did not recognize the time of God's visitation to you as a nation."
45. Then He continued on into the city, and when He entered the temple courts, He began to personally drive out those who were there selling.
46. He said to them "It's written that 'My house is designed to be a house of prayer!'...but you have degraded it into a den of robbers."
47. For the next several days after this, He was teaching there in the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were, at this point, completely focused on trying to kill Him.
48. But they couldn't find any opportunity or way to do it, because the people were surrounding Him constantly, hanging on to His every word.