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Friday, July 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Mark 11

Gray's Concise Bible CommentaryGray's Concise Commentary

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Verses 1-33


In these chapters we have:

· Teaching about Divorce (Mark 10:1-12 ) · Blessing little Children (Mark 10:13-16 ) · The Story of the Rich Young Man and its Lessons (Mark 10:17-31 ) · Christ’s Second Prediction of His Death (Mark 10:32-34 ) · The Ambitious Request of James and John (Mark 10:35-45 ) · The Healing of Bartimeus (Mark 10:46-52 ) · The Formal Entry into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-11 ) · The Cursing of the Fig Tree (Mark 11:12-14 ) · The Cleansing of the Temple (Mark 11:15-21 ) · Teaching about Prayer (Mark 11:22-26 ) · Discussion with the Rulers (Mark 11:27-33 ).

It will be worthwhile to compare the teaching about divorce with Matthew 19:1-9 , for the points of difference between them. Both the evangelists record the same incident, but reading of the two together throws light upon it. This does not mean that one contradicts the other, but that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit one describes the event as he saw it, and the other does the same. Again, one lays emphasis on this feature of the dialogue between Christ and the Pharisees, and the other on that.

But note Mark’s particularities about the next event as compared with Matthew. Jesus “was much displeased,” he says, “moved with indignation” (margin). Mark 11:15 is original with Mark, and so is the record that Jesus took the little children “up in His arms” and “blessed them.”

In the same way observe the details in the story of the rich young man. His running and kneeling. “Jesus beholding him, loved him.” “Jesus looked round about.” The astonishment of the disciples and Jesus’ explanation (Mark 11:24 ).

The second prediction of Christ’s death has similar features. Mark says “they were amazed,” doubtless at His calmness in walking into the face of death, when even “they were afraid.” “He took again the twelve.” “And shall spit upon Him.” Mark alone mentions this in Christ’s prophecy.

There is no contradiction between Mark 10:35 and Matthew 20:20 , for if their mother spake for them it were really James and John who were speaking. All the disciples recognized this, for it was the sons they rebuked and not the mother.

The healing of Bartimeus as we noted in Matthew, stands at the beginning of the end of Christ’s earthly life, and is the prelude to the great events following in Jerusalem. It holds the same place in the three Gospels. The apparent contradiction as to whether one or two men were healed, is treated in our notes on Matthew. But note the details in Mark ( Mark 11:49-50, 52 ).

The entry into Jerusalem is equally graphic. “A colt tied, whereon never man sat.” Note the details also in 11:5-6 and 11.

We cannot pursue these comparisons, but trust interest has been awakened to lead the reader to do so for himself.


1. Give the details of these two chapters.

2. What is the most important difficulty you note in Christ’s teaching on divorce as between Mark and Matthew?

3. Have you reviewed our notes on Matthew with reference to Bartimeus?

4. What are the details peculiar to Mark in 11:5-6 and 11?

5. Have you pursued the comparisons throughout this chapter?

Bibliographical Information
Gray, James. "Commentary on Mark 11". Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jgc/mark-11.html. 1897-1910.
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