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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Mark 11

 

 

Introduction

The King Of Kings
And Lord Of Lords
- Mark Eleven -

As Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem the people shouted Hosanna. "Hosanna" is a Hebrew word meaning Lord save now us now. Soon those same people cried "crucify Him." On the first day when Jesus entered Jerusalem ridding on the colt it was late. The Messiah riding into Jerusalem on a colt was the fulfillment of a prophecy made through Zechariah. (Zechariah 9:9) What will you do with the Messiah? Will you worship Him or reject Him?

The power of the Lord is seen as He condemned a fruitless fig tree. The apostles were amazed that the fig tree withered so quickly. Jesus explained to them the need for constant faith. He said, "Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him." Jesus entered the Temple area and drove out those that were buying and selling there. He had previously cleansed the Temple at the beginning of His ministry. With much power and wisdom Jesus answered their questions about His authority. He answered their questions by asking a question of His own to them concerning John"s baptism.


Verses 1-11

The King enters Jerusalem - Mark 11:1-11 : Jesus approached Jerusalem from the east. Bethphage (house of figs), Bethany (house of dates), and the Mount of Olives were all very near to Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives provided a view of the entire city. Two disciples were sent to bring a colt that had never been ridden to Jesus. Zecheriah had predicted," O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." (Zecheriah 9:9) This is a prophecy that was likewise given early in the Bible concerning the Messiah in Genesis 49:10-11.

The reason the colt was taken was "the Lord has need of it." (Mark 11:3) The two disciples that were involved were good examples. They went as the Lord commanded and said what the Lord told them to say. Garments made a rough saddle for the colt; garments and branches provided a path for its feet. The colt provided no trouble for the Lord even though it was unbroken. The people shouted "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Mark 11:9) This is a quote from Psalms 118:26. Jesus was declaring Himself King of kings and Lord of lords. When Jesus entered it was late so He viewed the Temple and went to Bethany, the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.


Verses 12-19

Judgment against a fruitless tree and a filthy Temple - Mark 11:12-19 : The human side of Jesus is seen often in the gospels. Early the next morning as he journeyed from Bethany to Jerusalem He was hungry. He saw a fig tree that had leaves but no fruit. The tree was not doing what fig trees were supposed to do. It was condemned and the next day it had dried up from the roots. Just like the fig tree Israel did not do the job God sent them to do. They were to exalt God in their nation and also before the Gentiles. God"s desire was to draw all men unto Him. (Isaiah 56:1-6) Like the fruitless tree they failed.

In the temple Jesus found people buying and selling. They had turned the house of prayer into a den of robbers. A den of robbers is where the robbers go to escape, not where they go to do the robbing. The den was a place of safety. They went there to hide their evils. Is it the case that anyone ever attends church services just to hide their evils and feel safe thinking that no one will ever know? The hatred that the religious leaders felt for Jesus increased after He cleansed the Temple. They were now "seeking a way to destroy Him." When the evening came Jesus again went out of the city.


Verses 20-26

Judgment against the fruitless tree explained - Mark 11:20-26 : Within about twenty-four hours the fig tree had dried up from the roots. Peter seemed to have been the person that was so impressed with what had happened. He said, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered." (Mark 11:21) The Lord did not curse the fig tree in the sense of using profanity against it. He simply made a pronouncement against the tree that it would never bear fruit again. Jesus wanted the apostles to understand that a lack of faithful obedience had brought Israel to this fruitless condition. How surprised the apostles must have been when Jesus said to them, "Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."

Jesus was not just talking about moving "a mountain," but He said "this mountain." Later all would understand the meaning of the fig tree when they observed the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple on that mountain. Jesus was not giving the apostles or anyone else the power to perform massive and nonsensical miracles. However, Jesus did want the great power of a believer's prayer to be understood. "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." (Mark 11:24) He again stressed the importance of a forgiving spirit if we are to be forgiven and have our prayers answered. If God punished Israel for her fruitlessness how could we expect Him to overlook fruitlessness in our day?


Verses 27-33

The authority of Jesus questioned - Mark 11:27-33 : Jesus was in the Temple teaching. The chief priests, scribes, and the elders wanted to know where He got His authority. They asked Him "By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?" (Mark 11:28) They desired to embarrass Jesus by saying that He was neither God ordained or even qualified to preach. Therefore, they said that the people ought not to hear Him. Actually their questions were not bad, only their motives were bad. When something is taught by a preacher he should be able to give his authority for such teachings.

In response to their question Jesus asked, "Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?" (Mark 11:30) This was a question that could not be ignored. They refused to answer Jesus" question. They reasoned, "If we say, "From heaven," he will say, "Why then did you not believe him?" But shall we say, "From man"?" -- they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet." How can a man live with himself when he will not be honest to his own convictions? In a few short days the resurrection would prove once and for all times where Christ received His authority from!

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Mark 11:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/mark-11.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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