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Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Mark 11

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-10

41 The other apostles are no better than the sons of Zebedee. They all want place, power, prestige. They little know the kind of kingdom they are to enter. They dream of some oriental despotism in which the whims of the ruling class, and their desires, are the only law. But in the kingdom all sovereignty will be based on service. None will rule there who have not suffered. They will rule the people as a shepherd tends his sheep. They will lead them and feed them and protect them. So the great King and Shepherd served them when He suffered for their ransom.

42-45 Compare Mat_20:25-28 ; Luk_22:24-27 .

46-52 Compare Mat_20:29-34 ; Luk_18:35-43 . See also Mat_9:27-31 .

46 There were probably four blind men healed at Jericho, one as He was nearing the city ( Luk_18:35 ) Bar Timeus, at His going out, and two more at about the same time ( Mat_20:29 ). To the spiritual mind there is a delightful harmony between all our Lord's words and ways. He did not go down to Jericho, the city of the curse ( Jos_6:26 ) until He had been rejected. It is most fitting that He should pass through it on this journey. The contrast between the single blind man before He entered the city and the three after leaving it is very suggestive. So far as we know, only Mary, of all His disciples, had her eyes opened to the truth that He was to enter the place of the curse and die ( Mat_26:12 ). But, after He had passed through, the eyes of many were opened. To this very day an accursed Christ a suffering Saviour, is distasteful to the human heart. As a Leader or Example He is welcome and is accorded the place supreme among the sons of Adam. As such, He supports the self-righteous attitude of the sons of Cain. They are glad to enlist under His banner, as one like Him, ready to fight an external foe. But to find that foe in themselves, to see in His humiliation and shame an intimation of their own, and acknowledge His accursed death as their deserts, requires a miracle on God's part greater in its way than any He ever wrought. And he who knows the power of this in his own heart cannot doubt the lesser miracles of Holy Writings.

1-7 Compare Mat_21:1-7 ; Luk_19:28-36 .

1 Strange as it may seem, there are only seven recorded visits of Christ to Jerusalem. And it was the temple rather than the city which drew Him for He came only to fulfill the law, and to keep the festivals. The first was His own dedication to God ( Luk_2:22 ). The second was at twelve years of age, when He became "a son of the law" ( Luk_2:42 ). The third and fourth were for the Passover festivals at the beginning of His public ministry. Then we find Him in the temple for the festival of Tabernacles ( Joh_7:2 ; Joh_7:10 ) and Dedications ( Joh_10:22 ). The last occasion, here referred to, was for the Passover festival. Only on this last visit is He spoken of as being in the city itself, once at Bethesda ( Joh_5:2 ) and again in the upper room ( Mar_14:15 ). At His first visit a sacrifice was offered for Him, at the last He Himself became the Sacrifice.

2 The animal on which our Lord is mounted is always in keeping with His immediate concerns. When He will come forth to battle with His enemies He will be seated on a white horse at once a symbol of exalted rank and of war ( Rev_19:11 ). Indeed, His very lack of a mount on His journeys is in harmony with His humiliation. Now He, for the first time in His career exercising the right which is accorded to every oriental king, commandeers a colt for His entry into Jerusalem. But kings do not ride on colts. Nothing less than a chariot or a white horse befits their rank. As the prophets predicted, He is humble, riding on the foal of an ass ( Zec_9:9 ). His glory is in His humility. His majesty is in His meekness. But there is more than lowliness. There is salvation, or rather redemption. The firstling of an ass must be ransomed with a flockling ( Exo_13:13 ). The animal He rode was a type of the ransomed who supported Him in His humiliation. Hence He does not go to the palace of the king, but to the sanctuary. There must be redemption before there can be a righteous reign. Herein lies the point of the whole picture. As King He comes with salvation.

8-10 Compare Mat_21:8-9 ; Luk_19:37-44 ; Joh_12:12-16 .

9 See Psa_118:25-26 .

10 See Psa_148:1 .

Verses 11-23


11 See Mat_21:10-11

12-14 Compare Mat_21:18-19

12 A beautiful figure of the condition of Israel at that time is found in the barren fig tree. On a fruitful fig tree the figs form before the leaves, and the first crop should be ready to eat when the tree is in full leaf. It was evidently too early in the season to expect figs, yet there was one tree which seemed to be in advance of its time. What a marvelously accurate delineation of the nation! God's due time had not yet come. Yet they pretended to all the righteousness and sweetness and goodness which will characterize the kingdom. They were a vain show. Love, joy, and peace were not to be found on the branches of their profession. They were a pious sham. This seems to be the only time He used His miraculous power for destruction. As we look upon Israel today, with even the leaves of their profession withered, let us remember that they are no less miracles than the fig tree by which they were prefigured. The cursing of the fig tree took place immediately after His formal presentation to Jerusalem as their King, and is a standing symbol of their rejection. The present yearning to reestablish Zion is an effort of the fig tree to put forth leaves once again.

15-19 Compare Mat_21:12-16 ; Luk_19:45-48 . See Joh_2:13-17 .

15 He now gives His final judgment of the spiritual side of their apostasy by entering the sanctuary and driving out the traders as He had done at the beginning of His ministry ( Joh_2:13 ). Covetousness is leaven and idolatry ( 1Co_5:10 ; Col_3:5 ). The Passover was approaching. So He cleanses His Father's house from leaven and rebukes them for worshiping money instead of praising God.

17 Compare Isa_56:7 ; Jer_7:11 .

20-23 Compare Mat_21:20-22 . See Mat_17:20 ; Luk_17:6 ; 1Co_13:2 .

20 There is a close connection between the fig tree-Israel politically-and the mountain-Rome's oppressive tyranny-as well as between the cursing of the fig tree and the removal of the mountain into the sea. If Israel had believed, the Roman oppressors would have been scattered among the nations, whence they came.

24 See Jam_1:5-6 ; 1Jn_5:14-15 .

24 Whatever prayer is offered in accord with the will of God will be answered in His time. Whatever is not in line with His purpose need not expect to be fulfilled.

25 See Mat_6:14-15 ; Mat_18:35 ; Col_3:13 .

25 We have the forgiveness of offenses according to the riches of His grace ( Eph_1:7 ). There are no conditions, no qualifications, no demands that we cannot fulfill, in God's dealings with us. But with Israel nationally, forgiveness was on a much lower level. It depended on their response and could be revoked. The confusion which exists today would be largely dispelled if we would get a grasp of our own transcendent position in grace and revel in it, and refuse to drag it down to the precarious position here indicated. This is not grace, far less the rich and edundant favor which is ours in Christ Jesus.

26 See Jam_2:13 .

27-33 Compare Mat_21:23-27 ; Luk_20:1-8 .

27 The chief priests were in supreme authority in the sanctuary. They should have cleansed its courts of this pernicious traffic. But it was probably their own covetousness that countenanced the desecration. They feel that He has gone beyond His rights, and think they can curb Him by demanding His credentials. But they were not only hypocrites, but cowards. He knew that they would not dare to question His acts if He were popular with the people. He knew that they would not dare question the authority of John the baptist, for the people never lost their faith in him. So He exposes their hypocrisy by a simple question. The proud priests confess that they are afraid to answer Him. Yet worse than this, they convict themselves of the utmost incapacity for their office. They should be able to discern whether John's baptism was of God or not, for it was their function to know the mind of God and to teach the people. Seeking to undermine His authority they effectually destroy their own. Man's every attempt to deny the authority of conscience or revelation can end only in the eventual unmasking of his own pretentions. His defiance only strengthens his ultimate conviction of the supremacy of God.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Mark 11". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/mark-11.html. 1968.
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