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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Mark 11

Verse 1

JESUS OFFICIALLY PRESENTED AS KING, V. 1-11

1) ’’And when they came nigh to Jerusalem,’’ (kai hate engizousin eis lerosoluma) ’’And when they (had) drawn near to Jerusalem, ’ on their way into Jerusalem, their destination from the direction of, or coming up from Jericho, Mark 10:46; Matthew 21:1; Luke 19:28.

2) ’’Unto Bethphage and Bethany," (eis Bethphage kai Bethaman) ’’Into Bethphage and Bethany," Luke 19:29. These were two village towns on the Mount of Olives, East of Jerusalem, where Jesus often resided when in the area. Bethphage means ’’house of unripe figs, Mark 11:12; Mark 11:20, and Bethany means ’’house of dates”

3) "At the Mount of Olives," (pros to horos ton elaion) "Which are at or on the Mount of Olives,’’ about one to two miles East of Jerusalem from the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

4) ’’He sendeth forth two of His disciples,’’ (apostellei duo ton matheton autou) "He sends (mandates) two of His disciples," on a specific mission to prepare for the fulfillment of a prophecy, Zechariah 9:9. The disciples and apostles were evidently, usually sent forth -two-and two" Luke 10:1. It was for protection of their personal reputations and for testamentary purposes, as set forth under the Law of Moses, that "in the mouth of two or three witnesses,’’ every word should be established or sustained, Deuteronomy 19:15; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1.

Verse 2

1) "And saith unto them," (kai legei autois) "And He instructed them,’’ as He sent them forth on the mission. In all that the Lord wills and commands us to do He provides instructions and guidelines, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Philippians 4:19.

2) "Go your way into the village over against you:” ­(hupagete eis ten komen ten katenanti humon) "You (two) go into the village opposite you,’’ into Bethany.

3) "And as soon as ye be entered into it," (kai euthus eis poreuomenoi eis auten) "And as you are entering into it immediately," at the edge of the village, just inside it.

4) "Ye shall find a colt tied," (heuresete polon dedemenon) "You will find a colt that has been and is tied,’’ awaiting the call of the Master of the universe, evidence of God’s omniscience.

5) ’’Whereon never man sat," (eph’ hon oudeis oupo anthropon ekathisen) "Upon which no one at all among men has sat," an untrained colt, tied up and waiting. The idea is that only unused animals were used for sacred purposes, Numbers 19:2; Deuteronomy 21:3; 1 Samuel 6:7.

6) "Loose him, and bring him.’’ (lusate auton kai pherete) "You (two) loose him at once and lead him gently to me,’’ because I need him, untamed though he be, Matthew 21:3; Luke 19:31.

Verse 3

1) "And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this?’’ (kai ean tis humin eipe) "And if anyone should ask you,’’ (ti poieite touto) "Why are you doing this?" If any person should question what you are doing, should fear you are stealing the colt.

2) "Say ye that the Lord hath need of him;" (eipate ho kurios autou cheian echei) "You say, The Lord of it has a need of it,’’ Psalms 50:10. It is needed for a Divine purpose, Zechariah 9:9.

4) "And straightway he will send him hither." (kai euthus auton apostellei palm hide) "And immediately He will send it (the colt) here again," or will return the colt, just as soon as He has completed His use of it, without delay.

Verse 4

1) "And they went their way, and found the colt," (kai apelthon kai heuron polon) "And they went and found a colt,’’ as the Lord had told them they would, Mark 11:2.

2) "Tied by the door without, in a place where two ways met;” (dedemenon pros thuran ekso epi tou amphosou) "That had been tied at a door outside, on the open street," Mark 11:2; Matthew 21:2; Luke 19:30.

3) "And they loose him." (kai luousin auton) "And they loosened (untied) it," or him, the male colt, as they had been told, to fulfill the prophecy, Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:4-6, and to obey the Lord.

Verse 5

1) "And certain of them that stood there said unto them," (kai tines ton ekei hestekoton elegon autois) "And some of those who were standing there asked them," inquired of them, as the Lord anticipated, prepared the two disciples for an adequate reply, Mark 11:3.

2) "What do ye, loosing the colt?" (ti poiete luonets ton polon) "What are you (two) doing loosing the colt?" The people of the place challenged the action of the two disciples, as also recounted by Matthew, as a possibility, Matthew 21:3.

Verse 6

1) "And they said unto them," (hoi de eipan autois) "Then they (the two disciples) said unto them," to them who stood by, to those near the colt, to those who challenged them, as the Lord had indicated they would.

2) "Even as Jesus had commanded:”- (kathos eipen ho lesous) "Just as Jesus had instructed or directed them. The true servant obeys his master, in minute detail; This is the emphasis of Mark, Luke 19:34; 1 Corinthians 4:2.

3) "And they let them go." (kai aphekan autous) "And they let them go." The by-standers did not further question or detain the two disciples, from taking the colt to be used by the Lord, then returned, Mark 11:3; Luke 19:35; Matthew 21:6.

The owner is also believed to have possibly been a disciple of the Lord.

Verse 7

1) "And they brought the colt to Jesus," (kai pherousin ton polon pros ton lesoun) "And they gently led or brought the colt to Jesus," in Bethphage, from which He sent for it, Mark 11:1-2.

2) "And cast their garments on him," (kai epiballousin auto ta himatia auton) "And they threw their garments on it;" their loose outer robes, to make the ride more comfortable and sanitary for Jesus, Luke 19:35.

3) "And He sat upon him." (kai ekathisen ep’ auton) "And He (Jesus) sat upon it," or rode upon it, upon the colt that had the garments of the two spread upon it, Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:7.

Verse 8

1) "And many spread their garments in the way:" (kai polloi ta himatia auton estrosan eisten hodon "And many (people)spread their garments(like a red carpet welcome) in the way," where Jesus rode the colt, between Bethphage and Jerusalem, Matthew 21:8-9.

2) "And others cut down branches off the trees," (alloi de stibadas kopsantes ek ton agron) "While others cut whisps of twigs out of the fields,’’ perhaps olive branches, John 12:12-13. The actions were a demonstration of loyalty to Jesus, that was initiated by the disciples.

3) "And strawed them in the way.’’ (estrosan eis ten hodon) "Who also strawed them in the way before where Jesus rode,’’ Matthew 21:8; John 12:12-13. Casting of the palm leaves was a symbol of peace.

Verse 9

1) "And they that went before, and they that followed,’’ (kai hoi proagontes kai hoi akolouthountes) "And those who went before Him and those who followed Him,’’ both those who had gone out from Jerusalem upon hearing of His coming, and those who were already following Him, as He came up from Jericho, Mark 10:46; Mark 11:1.

2) "Cried, saying, Hosanna;”- (ekrazon Hosanna) "Cried aloud, Hosanna!" which means "save us now we pray," Psalms 118:25-26; Matthew 21:9.

3) "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord:” (eulogemenos ho erchomencis en onomati kuriou) ’’Blessed is that one who has come in the name of the Lord," or by the authority of the Lord, Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 23:39; Luke 11:35; Psalms 118:26.

Verse 10

1) "Blessed be the kingdom of our father David,’’ (eulogemene he erchomene basileia tou patros hemon David) ’’Blessed be (exists) the coming kingdom of our father David," of our Lord. How many look for the kingdom, but care so little for the King! Isaiah 62:10-12.

2) ’’That cometh in the name of the Lord:”- (the ones now riding by the authority of our God who sent Him Zechariah 9:9; Lu 1910; John 3:17, as also prophesied, Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 33:15. They looked for the restoration of the kingdom of David, Luke 1:32-33.

3) "Hosanna in the highest." (Hosanna en tois hupsistois) "Hosanna in the highest places," above Michael or Gabriel, or man or any unfallen angel, Save us or deliver us to salvation from Him we pray, Luke 19:37-38; John 12:13; Matthew 21:9.

Verse 11

1) "And Jesus entered into Jerusalem," (kai eiselthen eis lerosoluma) "And He (Jesus) entered into Jerusalem," from the East of Jerusalem, from the Mount of Olives area.

2) "And into the temple:”- (eis to hieron) "And into the temple area," the center of the national Hebrew worship, to observe what was going on in her religious life in the most sacred place, the Holy Temple area.

3) "And when He had looked round about upon all things," (kai periblepsamenos panta) "And having looked around at or upon all things," in the temple area; The procession of the Ghetto-King, Jesus of Nazareth, was now over. He entered Jerusalem, and the temple area especially, and didn’t like what He saw in the area as the passover approached, as is evident from what He returned and did the next day, Mark 11:15-17.

4) "And now the eventide had come,’’ (opse ede ouses tes horas) "The hour of the day already being late," and night was coming on rapidly; See also how He left Jerusalem again the next evening, evidently spending the nights in Bethany, Mark 11:19.

5) "He went out unto Bethany with the twelve." (ekselthen eis Bethanain meta ton dodeka) "He went out of and away from the temple area and Jerusalem (back into Bethany, near (two miles east) with the twelve," home of Lazarus and his sisters, where Jesus often resided, where Lazarus was raised from the dead, and where He ascended back into heaven, John 11:43-44; Luke 24:50, The whole city of Jerusalem had been moved at the coming of Jesus, and the Pharisees said, "The whole world is gone after Him," John 12:19.

Verse 12

THE BARREN FIG TREE CURSED, V. 12-14

1) "And on the morrow,’’ (kai te epaurion) "And on the following day," after He looked over the temple area, and after He had gone back out to Bethany to spend the night, Mark 11:11.

2) "When they were come from Bethany," (ekselthon ton auton apo Bethanias) "When they, the disciples and Jesus went out from Bethany," on their way back into Jerusalem, for the cleansing of the temple, Mark 11:15-17.

3) "He was hungry:”- (eneinasen) "He hungered," became or was hungry, Matthew 21:18. This verifies His humanity, as well as His growing weary, so that He sat on Jacob’s well, John 4:6, being tempted or tested as we are, so that He understands, Hebrews 4:15-16. Time of the first daily meal was about 9 a.m.; For it could not properly be eaten until after the daily morning sacrifice.

Verse 13

1) "And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves," (kai idon suken apo makrothen echousan pulla) "And seeing a fig tree a solitary one from a distance, having leaves or foliage;" belonging to no one. Fig trees that hold leaves through the winter usually have fruit also, but this one was a fake, had no fruit, but a deceiving form only, like Israel’s form of worship.

2) "He came, if haply He might find anything thereon:” ­(elthen ei ara ti heuresei en aute) "He came to it as if Re would find something on it," to eat, to satisfy His hunger and hope, Luke 13:6. He came to see if it was what it appeared or pretended to be, by its appearance.

3) "And when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves," (kai elthon ep’ auten ouden heuren ei me phulla) "And when He had come upon the place where it was He found not one thing, except foliage.’’ It was too early in the spring, as the passover approached, for new foliage. It had leaves only, a show of pretense, like the Jewish people who shouted Hosanna, or save us now.

4) "For the time of figs was not yet." (ho gar karios ouk en sukon) "Because it was not the fig season," late enough in the spring for new figs, Matthew 21:19. Israel was God’s fig tree, olive tree, and vineyard, which disappointed and rejected the Messiah, John 1:11-12; John 5:43.

The first ripe figs had usually hung on trees through the winter, always desirable in early spring, Jeremiah 24:2.

Verse 14

1) "And Jesus answered and said unto it," (kai apokiritheis eipen aute) "And Jesus responded to it, "to its barren testimony, like clouds and wind without rain, to its foliage and leaves that drew Him there, like Israel’s empty forms of worship, 2 Peter 2:17-18; Mark 7:7-9.

2) "No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever." (meketi eis ton aiona ek sou, edeos karpon phagoi) "No man may ever eat of your fruit any more, forever." A symbolic curse of Israel in her unfruitful, barren, unproductive state, from then and now, and in the future, till after Jesus comes, Mark 11:20-21; Matthew 23:37-39.

3) "And His disciples heard it." (kai ekouon hou mathetai autou) "And His disciples heard it," what He said, were very observant, as also indicated Mark 11:20-21.

Verse 15

1) "And they come to Jerusalem:" (kai erchontai lerosoluma) "And they, the apostles came into Jerusalem," from Bethany, of their own will, with Jesus.

2) "And Jesus went into the temple," (kai eiselthon eis to hieron) "And when He (Jesus) began entering into the temple," where He had looked over and observed the, desecrating situation the previous afternoon, Mark 11:11.

3) "And began to cast out them," (erksato ekballein) "He began repeatedly, forcibly to cast out," to cast those out or drive those out of the temple or temple area, when He found it disturbed by noisy traffic and defiled by dishonest trade.

4) "That sold and bought in the temple," (tous poluntas kai tous agorazontas en to hiero) "Those who were buying and those who were selling in the temple area," in the court of the Gentiles, as if it were an unsanctified commercial center, Luke 19:45.

5) "And overthrew the tables of the money-changers,”

(kai katestrepsen tas trapezas ton kollubiston) "And He overturned (capsized, flipped) the trapeze-like tables of the money-changers," as He had formerly done once, earlier in His ministry, John 2:13-15.

6) ’’And the seats of them that sold cloves;”- (kai tas kathedras ton polouton tas peristeras) "And the seats of those who were selling the doves," in the temple area, Matthew 21:12. Both the money-changers and dove barterers or sellers were declared by our Lord to be thieves, robbers, or law-breakers, desecrating the Divine order of Hebrew worship, Matthew 21:13.

Verse 16

1) "And would not suffer that any man," (kai ouk ephien hina tis) "And He did not permit that anyone," would not sanction or give His approval, since He came "to fulfill the Law," Matthew 5:17-18.

2) "Should carry any vessel through the temple." (dienegke skeuos dia tou heirou) "Might carry a vessel through the temple," any unsanctified thing, even through the court of the Gentiles’ area, John 2:12-16.

Verse 17

1) "And He taught, saying unto them,’’ (kai edidasken kai elegen autois) "And He taught them, rhetorically saying," for He was ever a teacher.

2) "is it not written, My house shall be called," (ou gegraptai hoti ho oikos mou klethesetai) ’’Has it not been written (in the scriptures) that my house shall be called," identified as, Jeremiah 7:10-11.

3) "Of all nations the house of prayer?" (oikos proseuches pasin tois ethnesin) "For all nations an house of prayer?’’ If any nation should morally, ethically, and spiritually deserve the term, shouldn’t my cent worship have such reverence? Isaiah 56:7; 2 Chronicles 7:1.

4) "But ye have made it a den of thieves." (hume pepoiekate auton spelaton leston) "Yet you al commercial merchandizers) have made it, and it now is a den of robbers," or thieves, as described John 2:12-17; Luke 19:46.

Verse 18

1) "And the scribes and chief priests heard it,” ekouson hoi archiereis kai hoi grammateis) "An chief priests and the scribes of the temple heard it," Heard ­what He said. It was they who governed the temple and had granted commercial trade usage of the become party to thieving and robbery of those who up to the temple to worship, Matthew 21:45.

2) "And sought how they might destroy Him:’ ezetoun pos auton apolesosin) "And they sought (ways by which) they might destroy Him," cut Him d liquidate Him, get rid of Him, get Him out of the temple out of the city, and away from His hurting their lucrative business, Matthew 21:46, Luke 19:47-48; Psalms 2:2.

3) "For they feared Him," (ephobounto gar a "Because they feared Him," were afraid of His influence. Their fixed purpose of heart, as Jewish priests and scribes was to get rid of Jesus, but how to do it puzzled because of His acceptance by the masses, Matthew 21:1.

4) "Because all the people,’’ (pas gar ho ochlos) –For all the crowd," of the Jerusalem area, and the disciples the crowd that followed Him up from the Jericho area Mark 10:46; Mark 11:9-10; Mark 11:15.

5) "Was astonished at His doctrine." (ekseplesse te didache autou) "Was astounded at His teaching also declared, Mark 1:22; Luke 19:39-40.

Verse 19

1) "And when even was come," (kai hoten opse egeneto) "And when it became late," in the day, when evening came again at the end of His second day of His visit in the temple area in Jerusalem, Mark 11:11.

2) "He went out of the city," (ekseporeuonto ekso tes poleos) "They went forth out of and away from the city," of Jerusalem to spend the night. He did not stay in the city over night at all, by mere choice, perhaps back out to Bethany, Matthew 21:17.

Verse 20

1) "And in the morning as they passed by," (kai paraporeuomenoi proi) "And as they passed along early the next morning," In the clear daylight of the morning, in contrast with the darker shadows of the previous late afternoon, as they went passed it, while going out of Jerusalem, Mark 11:19.

2) "They saw the fig tree dried up from the roots." (eidon ten suken ekserammenen ek hrizon) "They saw the fig tree had been withered from the roots," had dried, Matthew 21:19-20. This perhaps expresses the thoughts of our Lord concerning Israel in her barren form of worship.

Verse 21

1) "And Peter calling to remembrance,’’ (kai anamnestheis ho Petros) "And Peter recalling (remembering what had happened there);" What the Lord had said, upon cursing the tree the previous morning, Mark 11:13-14. Their remembrance was aided by what they saw had come to the fig tree.

2) "Saith unto Him, Master, behold," (legei auto hrabbi ide) "Says to Him (Jesus) Rabbi behold," look what has happened! Peter, as usual, was the spokesman, first to speak out among the disciples.

3) "The fig tree which thou cursedst," (he suke hen kateraso) "The fig tree which you spoke against," which you cursed, as also recounted by Matthew who did not clarify that the withered tree was observed the following day, Matthew 21:19-20.

4) "Is withered away." (ekseranti) "It has become withered, dried up, shriveled, or has dried," from the judgement curse of the Lord; This is a picturesque illustration of what happened to barren Israel who rejected their Messiah, Matthew 23:37-39; John 1:11-12.

Verse 22

INSTRUCTION ON PRAYER AND FAITH, V. 22-26

1) "And Jesus answering saith unto them,’’ (kai apokritheis ho lesous legei) "And replying Jesus said," (autois) -Directly to them," to His disciples who were following Him.

2) "Have faith in God.’’ (evhete pistin theou) "You all have, hold, or possess (hold on to) the faith of God," Genetive objective which means, The faith God has given you, John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 12:9. It is the faith that God requires each person place in His Son for salvation, John 1:11-12; John 8:24.

WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE

I was standing with a friend in his garden gate one evening when two little children came by. As they approached us he said to me, "Watch the difference in these two boys." Taking one of them in his arms he stood him on the gatepost, and stepping back a few feet he folded his arms and called to the little fellow to jump. In an instant the boy sprang toward him and was caught in his arms. Then turning to the second boy he tried the same experiment. But in the second case it was different. The child trembled and refused to move. At last my friend had to lift him down from the post and let him go. "What makes such a difference in the two?" I asked. My friend smiled and said, "The first is my own boy and knows me; but the other is a stranger’s child whom I have never seen before.’’ And there was all the difference. My friend was equally able to prevent both from falling, but the difference was the boys themselves. The first had assurance in his father’s ability and acted upon it, while the second, although he might have believed in the ability to save him from harm, would not put his belief into action. And so it is with us. We hesitate to trust ourselves to that loving One whose plans for us are far higher than any we have ourselves made. He, too, with outreached arms, calls us, and would we but listen to His voice, we would hear’ that invitation and promise of assurance as He gave it of old "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’’

- D. L. Moody

Verse 23

1) "For verily I say unto you," (amen lego humin) "Truly I tell you all," the yet doubting, "weak in faith disciples.’’

2) "That whosoever shall say unto this mountain," (hoti has an eipe to orei touto) "That whoever may say to this mountain,’’ this insurmountable obstacle, this obstruction, with positive God-given faith, as also recounted and compared with a mustard see, in kind of productive faith, Matthew 17:20.

3) "Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;” ­(artheti kai bletheti eis tes thalassan) "Be thou taken up and cast into the sea," or unto "yonder place," an unoffending place, Matthew 17:20-21.

4) "And shall not doubt in his heart," (kai me diakrithe en te kardia autou) "And he has no doubt in his heart," as men are to ask in faith, nothing doubting, Matthew 21:21.

5) ’’But shall believe that those things," (alla posteue hoti ho lalei ginetai) "But believes that what he says occurs," is positive in faith, praying, doing what he can, as the farmer, the pilot, or physician, Matthew 21:22.

6) "Which he saith shall come to pass;" (estai auto) "He will have it," what he requests, as and to the extent that he asks "in the name," and "according to the will of the Lord,’’ John 14:13-14.

7) "He shall have whatsoever he saith." (according to the will of the Lord. 1 John 3:22.

Verse 24

1)"Therefore I say unto you," (kai touto lego humin) "Therefore I tell you all," as professing and following disciples of mine.

2) "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray,’’ (panta hosa proseuch esthe kai aiteisthe) "All things that you all pray and ask (for)," with a willing mind, to do His will, John 7:17; 2 Corinthians 8:12; Ephesians 5:17.

3) "Believe that ye receive them," (pisteute hoti elabete) "You are to believe that you (will) receive," 1 John 5:14-15.

4) "And ye shall have them." (kai estai humin) "And you will have, obtain, or possess it,’’ the object of your faith ­prayer and petition, as pledged by our Lord, Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9; the pledges are based on one’s being in and doing the will of God, based upon His word, when interpreted and obeyed in the context of or harmony with the condition of the promise of God, John 15:7; James 1:6-7; Colossians 3:17.

Verse 25

1) "And when ye stand praying, forgive," (kai hoten stekete peoseuchomenoi aphiete) "And when ye stand, you all stand praying, forgive ye," as also recounted by Matthew in abbreviated form, Matthew 18:35. Standing was the normal posture in public prayer, 2 Chronicles 6:13; Daniel 6:10; But kneeling in private prayer.

2) "If you have ought against any:”- (ei ti echete kata tinos) "If you have or hold anything at all against anyone," if you have or hold any malice, envy, old grudge, hate, or unkind disposition toward any person and expect to have your prayers answered by the Lord, Ephesians 4:31; Matthew 5:24.

3) "That your Father also which is in heaven," (hina kai ho pater humon ho en tois puranois) ’’in order that your Father also who is (exists in) the heavens," who holds no such attitude of malice or grudge against you, Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 12:14.

4) "May forgive you your trespasses." (aphe humin ta paraptomata humon) "May forgive to you your trespasses," Matthew 5:14-15; Matthew 18:35, Colossians 3:13. A disposition or attitude of heart and life, free from any unforgiving spirit, or concealing malice, hatred, envy or any such covert, covetous, carnal inclination, is necessary for one to have his prayers answered, and the object of his desires realized from an holy, compassionate, and caring heavenly Father.

Verse 26

1) "But if ye do not forgive," (an interpolation not in the older manuscripts) yet the idea is found in the word repeatedly, Matthew 6:15.

2) "Neither will your Father which is in heaven," (interpolated) Matthew 18:21-35. That one forgiven by his Lord, forgiven of all his iniquities, must have and hold a kindred spirit of forgiveness toward others, that his prayers be not hindered, or go not granted.

3) "Forgive your trespasses," (interpolated) As an explanation, not found in better manuscripts of Mark, but the remarks are explanatory, in harmony with the words of Jesus, elsewhere quoted, Matthew 18:35; James 2:13; Matthew 6:14-15.

Verse 27

AUTHORITY OF JESUS QUESTIONED, V. 27-33

1) "And they come again to Jerusalem:”- (kai erchontai palin eis lerosoluma) "And they came again into the city of Jerusalem," for the third time in recent days, Mark 11:11; Mark 11:15.

2) "And as He was walking in the temple," (kai en to hiero peripantountos autou) "And while He was walking about in the temple area," temple courts for the third time in the last week, having cleansed the temple from the pollution of the week earlier, Mark 11:15-17. He walked this time with pride, as if He were Lord of the place, He walked with an air of firm dignity.

3) "There came to Him,” - (erchontai pros auton) "There approached Him, - of their own will, choice, or accord, the consorting, collusive trio of Jewish religious committees, who had already sought ways to kill Him, Mark 11:18; Matthew 21:45-46; Luke 19:47-48.

a) "The chief priests," (hoi archiereis) "Those who were the chief priests," administrative staff of Jewish priests over the temple.

b) "And the scribes," (kai hoi grammateis) "And those who were the scribes," writers and archives­ keepers of the Law and records of court actions.

c) "And the elders," (kai hoi presbuteroi) "And those who were the elders," of the temple and of the Jews, the band of Sanhedrin interpreters of morals and ethics regarding the Law, those who later killed Him, were responsible for or caused His death on the cross, from the point of human testimony and influence against Him. Who killed Jesus is certified: Acts 2:22-23; Acts 2:36; Acts 3:12-14; Acts 4:5-10; Acts 10:39; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15.

Verse 28

1) "And say unto Him," (kai elegon auto) "And they challenged Him," with a belligerent attitude, having been convicted by His actions in cleansing the temple, and by the Hosanna cries of those who followed Him, Mark 11:9-10; Mark 11:15­,17.

2) "By what authority doest thou these things?" (en pois eksousia tauta poieis) "By what (source of) authority do You do these things?" Much as Moses was challenged, Numbers 16:1-41 Luke 20:1-2. Authority is primary in assuming administrative affairs, and their question was relative, but they really did not want to know the source of His authority, as the passage indicates.

3) "And who gave thee this authority," (e tis soi edoken ten eksousian tauten) "Or who gave (mandated or doled out) this (kind of) authority?’’ Did they really want to know? Would they give honest, unprejudiced respect to His answer. No! See also Acts 4:7; Acts 4:10.

4) "To do these things?’’ (hina tauta poies) "In order that you may do these things," these kind of things? such as His cleansing of the temple, His teaching there, and His openly indicating that they were accessories to the crime of theft, robbery, and temple desecration. They were livid, or near rabid with anger against Him, Matthew 21:23.

Verse 29

1) "And Jesus answered and said unto them," (ho de lesous eipen autois) ’’Then Jesus responded to them,’’ to the whole colluding, conniving committee of religious chameleon demagogues of priests, scribes, and elders, who sought His life, Mark 11:18; Luke 19:47.

2) ’’I will also ask of you one question,’’ (eperoteso humas hena logon) "I too will ask you just one word,’’ one question, if you please, if this question of yours is ’’fair ­play,’’ if you are sincere in wanting to know both the abstract and specific answer to your question.

3) ’’And answer me,’’ (kai apokrithete moil "And you all give me your mature judgement," or answer, no quibble or dodge, please, Luke 20:1.

4) ’’And I will tell you," (kai ero humin) "And(then) I will tell or disclose to you all," in just as abstract, concrete, or specific a manner, Matthew 21:24.

5) "By what authority I do these things.’’ (en poia eksousia tauta poio) "In or by what administrative authority I do these things that I do,’’ including cleansing the temple area of sellers of pigeons, doves, tables, and money-changers, etc., Matthew 7:29; John 3:35; John 5:22; John 5:27; John 5:30.

Verse 30

1) "The baptism of John," (to baptisma to loannou) ’’Now the baptism of John (the Baptist)," the immersion that John the Baptist administered to his followers, Matthew 3:1-12.

2) "Was it from heaven," (eks ouranou en) "Was it (did it) originate out of and from heaven;" Did its administrative performance originate from heaven - - -The answer is ’’it did," John 1:6; John 1:30-33.

3) "Or of men?’’ (e eks anthropon) "Or was it (did it originate) out of and come out of men?" Without Divine sanction or without a Divine mandate? Matthew 3:13-17, John 1:19-34.

4) ’’Answer me.’’ (apokrithete moi) "Give to me an answer, answer me,’’ with your compound judgement, your joined judgement. What is your judgement in and of the matter? It is as if He needled them, ’’Don’t just stand there, say something," and they finally did reply, with an hedge, an evasion, a dodge of the question, as follows. Luke 20:4.

Verse 31

1) "And they reasoned with themselves," (kai dielogizonto pros heautous) "And they debated among themselves,’’ as priests, scribes, and elders of Israel - - -the supposed custodial keepers of the Law of Moses and the Law of God. They "goosejabbered,’’ disagreeing, uncertain, though in collusion against Him.

2) "Saying, If we shall say," (legontes ean eipomen) "Repeatedly saying to themselves, among themselves, one to another, if we say," or if we tell Him, or conclude, give our judgement that John the Baptist and his baptism were from heaven, of heaven’s origin, that won’t do.

3) "From heaven; He will say,’’ (eks ouranou erie) "Out of and from heaven, He will reply,’’ and they knew they stood on "shaky ground,’’ on an unstable foundation in their attitude toward John the Baptist and his baptism, even as protestantism does now, Matthew 21:25.

4) "Why then did ye not believe Him?" (dia ti oun ouk episteusate auto) "Then why (on account of what reason) did you all not believe Him?" accept Him, and His message? The truth was they knew John had baptized Jesus and declared that Jesus was greater than he, and called upon men to believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him. This was their ponderous, prejudiced, formal religious dilemma, Matthew 3:11-17; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 20:5.

Verse 32

Comments;

1) "But if we shall say, Of men;”- (alla eipomen eks anthropomen) "But what if we should say out of men?" May we say out of men? They reasoned in worldly wisdom, what was best to save face for them, a wisdom that was moronic in comparison with Divine wisdom and reasoning, Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Corinthians 3:19-20.

2) "They feared the people:”- (ephobounto ton ochlon) "They were in a state of fear of the crowd," what the masses might do to them, more than they feared God, though forbidden in the very word of God that they claimed to hold dear, Matthew 10:28, "The fear of man bringeth a snare," and they were snared in this, Proverbs 29:25, Matthew 14:5; Mark 6:20.

3) ’’For all men counted John," (hapantes gar eichon ton loannen) "For all men held-considered, or esteemed John the Baptist," held him in respect, Luke 20:6; Matthew 3:5-6; Mark 6:20.

4) "That he was a prophet indeed." (ontos hoti

prophetes en) "That he was actually, really, or truly a, prophet," Matthew 21:26; Even Herod had accepted John as a prophet, Matthew 14:1-2; Matthew 14:9.

Verse 33

1) "And they answered and said unto Jesus,’’ (kai apo krithentes to lesou legousin) "And replying to Jesus they said,’’ when they had arrived at a committee conclusion as scribes, priests, and elders of Israel, Mark 11:27-28; Luke 20:7, gave their joint conclusion.

2) "We cannot tell." (ouk oidamen) "We do not perceive," or really we do not know. They could not tell the truth, without indicting themselves as criminals or law­breakers of the very religious law they were employed to administer, See? Matthew 21:27.

3) "And Jesus answering saith unto them," (kai ho lesous legei autois) "And Jesus responded to them all," in answering their iniquity of Him, Mark 11:23.

4) "Neither do I tell you," (oude ego lego humin) "Neither at all do I tell you all," Luke 10:21-22, because if you would not receive the testimony of John, or my former testimony, you wouldn’t believe what I said anyway, John 8:24.

5) "By what authority I do these things." (en poia eksousia tauta poio) "By or in what administrative authority I do these things that I do," Matthew 21:17; Luke 20:8.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Mark 11". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/mark-11.html. 1985.