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-LESSON 13: Mark 11

by Dr. D ~

To read the verses studied below, just type in each verse or verses wanted, in the Bible Search to the left ————-example: Mark 11:1 ——————->

Mark 11 -Things You Don’t See Every Day:

11:2-3  Jesus prophetically knows about the colt and predicts the response.

11:13,20  Jesus curses a fig tree.  It is withered the next time they see it.

Mark 11: The Triumphal Entry of Jesus Into Jerusalem:

Vs. 11:1-7  Jesus and The Colt

Jesus tells his disciples about a colt in the next village that he needs, and predicts the response.  Can you imagine what an uproar there would be today, if some strangers came into a neighborhood and tried to take a car?  Then said that some visiting preacher needed it? The event turned out just as Jesus predicted, and the faith of the disciples would have been increased in the process.  Which was important, considering the events ahead.

Vs. 8-11  The Triumphal Entry

Jesus rides the colt into Jerusalem as branches are spread before him and with disciples going before and after him shouting:

“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!   Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”

What an incredible scene that must have been.  It was a direct fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9:

  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!

behold, your king is coming to you;  righteous and having salvation is he,

humble and mounted on a donkey,  on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Jesus goes straight to the temple and looks around at everything, then leaves and spends the night at Bethany.  Probably at Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’ place.


Vs. 12-14  Jesus Curses a Fig Tree

     The passage tells us that Jesus was hungry, and seeing a fig tree in the distance, went to it to get some fruit. It was barren with only leaves.  The text tells us it was not the season for figs to bear fruit.  Nevertheless, Jesus curses the fig tree and proclaims that no one shall ever eat from it again.  The disciples witnessed this interlude.  Why did Jesus curse the tree, and what is the significance of this event?

     First of all, ’fig trees’ were one of the symbols of Israel.  As the fig tree in this passage had an abundance of leaves, which showed promise, but no fruit; so also Israel with its huge temple looked to have outward religious significance, without the fruit that the Lord was looking for.  As Jesus had cursed the tree, so also would he curse Israel and its fine temple–the day would come that “not one stone would be left upon another” (Lk 19:44).

Vs. 15-19  Jesus Spends the Day in Jerusalem and Clears the Temple

     vs. 15,16-  Jesus overturns the tables and the booths of business in the temples.  There were actual businesses selling animals and products for temple sacrifice.  There was even a money changing booth, because the Roman money with the image of Caesar on it was considered a sacrilege.  That money had to be exchanged for ‘temple’ coins.  Apparently, these businesses were not entirely honest, and actually cheated the people who came to worship in God’s temple.  Jesus was full of righteous indignation.

     vs. 17-  Jesus stayed all day in the temple teaching.  The Greek word here denotes a regular extended systematic teaching, rather than just a proclamation.

     vs. 18-  The chief priests observed the actions of Jesus and heard his teaching.  They were trying to figure out a way to stop him, but they were afraid of the crowds of people following him.  He had obviously put a dent in their income that day.  They were using their positions to gain vast amounts of wealth through cheating temple worshippers.  They were now ready to do anything to get rid of Jesus, even go to the Romans, who they usually had little or no dealings with, if at all possible.

     vs. 19-  When evening came, they left the city once more.  Probably back to Bethany where they had lots of friends and some degree of protection.

Vs. 20-26   A Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree

     The next morning, Jesus and his disciples pass by the fig tree that Jesus had cursed the day before and it was withered.  Jesus uses this example as an object for teaching ‘faith’ to his group.  The disciples were amazed that the word of Jesus had been fulfilled so quickly.

     vs. 22-24  Have faith and you can remove mountains, believe and what you pray for will be given to you (my paraphrase).   This really isn’t a matter of ‘claiming’ what you want and if you have enough, or the ‘right kind’ of faith, you will receive it.  One could never ‘work’ hard enough to get this kind of effective faith–that is, the kind that literally moves mountains. That kind of faith comes only through the Holy Spirit.  It is God given faith in order to achieve God given tasks and goals which he inspires.  Nevertheless, God gives people the privilege to play a major part in the process, to step out in faith.  e.g.:  Elijah calls down fire from heaven; Jonathan attacks a whole army of Philistines with just his armor bearer; David battles Goliath, etc.   Also The Father honors those who seek a greater faith and relationship with him.

     vs. 25  Jesus teaches another important lesson in this verse.  If you do want your prayers to be answered, make sure you have forgiven everyone and have no grudges against anyone.  Then the Heavenly Father will be able to forgive you also; and you will be in a better relationship with God, having nothing to obstruct and to get in the way of your prayers being fulfilled.

Vs. 27-33  The Authority of Jesus is challenged Once More

     Jesus and his disciples enter the temple once more and are confronted by a group of ‘chief priests’, teachers, and elders. They ask Jesus:

“By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”

Jesus answers them by asking them to comment on the origin of John’s baptism (John the Baptist): “was it from God or men? Tell me.”

    Notice that the priests are only concerned about their own positions and the opinion of the people.  They really don’t seem to care whether the ministry of John, or Jesus for that matter, was ordained by God.  In this, they condemn themselves and the conversation and the judgment is really over.  They are trying to judge Jesus, but in the process,  they themselves are tested and found wanting.


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