Psalm 23 (CSB)
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have what I need.
2 He lets me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He renews my life;
he leads me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
as long as I live.,
Proverbs 4:25–27 (CSB)
25 Let your eyes look forward;
fix your gaze straight ahead.
26 Carefully consider the path for your feet,
and all your ways will be established.
27 Don’t turn to the right or to the left;
keep your feet away from evil.
Matthew 21:18–32 (CSB)
THE BARREN FIG TREE
18 Early in the morning, as he was returning to the city, he was hungry. 19 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.
20 When the disciples saw it, they were amazed and said, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”
21 Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell 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. 22 And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHALLENGED
23 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority?”
24 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. 25 Did John’s baptism come from heaven, or was it of human origin?”
They discussed it among themselves, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we’re afraid of the crowd, because everyone considers John to be a prophet.” 27 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.
THE PARABLE OF THE TWO SONS
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘My son, go work in the vineyard today.’
29 “He answered, ‘I don’t want to,’ but later he changed his mind and went. 30 Then the man went to the other and said the same thing. ‘I will, sir,’ he answered, but he didn’t go. 31 Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They said, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. 32 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.