corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.10.15
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Mark 11

 

 

Verses 1-11

And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,

For the exposition of this majestic scene-recorded, as will be seen, by all the Evangelists-see the notes at Luke 19:29-40.

Verse 11. And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon (or 'surveyed') all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. Thus briefly does our Evangelist dispose of this His first day in Jerusalem, after the triumphal entry. Nor do the Third and Fourth Gospels give us more light. But from Matthew (Matthew 21:10-11; Matthew 21:14-16) we learn some additional and precious particulars, for which see the notes at Luke 19:45-48. It was not now safe for the Lord to sleep in the City, nor, from the day of His Triumphal Entry, did He pass one night in it, except the last fatal one.


Verse 12

And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

And on the morrow. The Triumphal Entry being on the First day of the week, this following day was Monday.

When they were come from Bethany ["in the morning" (Matthew 21:18)] he was hungry. How was that? Had He stolen forth from that dear roof at Bethany to the "mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God?" (Luke 6:12); or, "in the morning," as on a former occasion, "risen up a great while before day, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed" (Mark 1:35); not breaking His fast thereafter, but bending His steps straight for the city, that He might "work the works of Him that sent Him` while it was day"? (John 9:4). We know not, though one lingers upon and loves to trace out the every movement of that life of wonder. One thing, however, we are sure of-it was real bodily hunger which He now sought to allay by the fruit of this fig tree, "if haply He might find any thing thereon;" not a mere scene for the purpose of teaching a lesson, as some early heretics maintained, and some still seem virtually to hold.


Verse 13

And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

And seeing a fig tree. (In Matthew 21:19, it is 'one fig tree' [ mian (Greek #3391)], but the sense is the same as here, 'a certain fig tree' [= tina (Greek #5100)], as in Matthew 8:19, etc.) Bethphage, which adjoined Bethany, derives its name from its being a fig-region [ beeyt (Hebrew #1004) pagiy (Hebrew #6291)] - 'House of figs.'

Afar off having leaves - and therefore promising fruit, which in the case of figs comes before the leaves. Afar off having leaves - and therefore promising fruit, which in the case of figs comes before the leaves.

He came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not [yet]. What the precise import of this explanation is, interpreters are not agreed. Perhaps all that is meant is, that as the proper fig season had not arrived, no fruit would have been expected even of this tree but for the leaves which it had, which were in this case prematurely and unnaturally developed.


Verse 14

And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. That word did not make the tree barren, but sealed it up in its own barrenness. See the notes at Matthew 13:13-15.

And his disciples heard it - and marked the saying. This is introduced as a connecting link, to explain what was afterward to be said on the subject, as the narrative has to proceed to the other transactions of this day.


Verses 15-18

And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

For the exposition of this portion, see the notes at Luke 19:45-48.


Verse 19

And when even was come, he went out of the city.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 20

And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

And in the morning - of Tuesday, the third day of the week: He had slept, as during all this week, at Bethany.

As they passed by (going into Jerusalem again), they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots - no partial blight, leaving life in the root; but it was now dead, root and branch. In Matthew 21:19, it is said it withered away as soon as it was cursed. But the full blight had not appeared probably at once; and in the dusk perhaps, as they returned to Bethany, they had not observed it. The precision with which Mark distinguishes the days is not observed by Matthew, intent only on holding up the truths which the incident was designed to teach. In Matthew the whole is represented as taking place at once, just as the two stages of Jairus' daughter-dying and dead-are represented by him as one. The only difference is between a more summary and a more detailed narrative, each of which only confirms the other.


Verse 21

And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him - satisfied that a miracle so very special, a miracle, not of blessing, as all his other miracles, but of cursing, could not have been performed but with some higher reference, and fully expecting to hear something weighty on the subject:

Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away - so connecting the two things as to show that he traced the death of the tree entirely to the curse of his Lord. Matthew (Matthew 21:20) gives this simply as a general exclamation of surprise by the disciples "how soon" the blight had taken effect.


Verse 22

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.


Verse 23

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.

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. Here is the lesson now. From the nature of the case supposed-that they might wish a mountain removed and cast into the sea, a thing far removed from anything which they could be thought actually to desire-it is plain that not physical but moral obstacles to the progress of His kingdom were in the Redeemer's view, and that what He designed to teach was the great lesson, that no obstacle should be able to stand before a confiding faith in God.


Verse 24

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. This verse only generalizes the assurance of the former verse; which seems to show that it was designed for the special encouragement of evangelistic and missionary efforts, while this is a directory for prevailing prayer in general.


Verse 25

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have anything against any; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.


Verse 26

But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. This is repeated from the Sermon on the Mount (see the notes at Matthew 6:14-15); to remind them that if this was necessary to the acceptableness of all prayer, much more when great things were to be asked and confidently expected. [Tischendorf excludes Mark 11:26 from his text, on what appears to us very insufficient evidence. He thinks it borrowed from Matthew 6:15. Tregelles also excludes it; but Lachmann retains it. Of critical commentators, though Fritzsche brackets it and inclines against it, Meyer and Alford defend it, and DeWette is in favour of it.]

Remarks:

(1) Needless difficulties have been raised, and indifferent solutions of them offered, on the subject of our Lord's expecting fruit from the fig tree when He must have known there was none. But the same difficulty may be raised about the structure of the parable of the Barren Fig Tree, in which it is said that the great Husbandman "came and sought fruit thereon, and found none" (Luke 13:6). The same difficulty may be raised about almost every human thought, feeling, and action of our Lord-that if He possessed divine knowledge and infinite power, such thoughts, feelings, and actions could not have been real. Nay, such difficulties may be raised about the reality of human freedom and responsibility, if it be true that everything is under the supreme direction of the Lord of all. Let us have done with such vain speculations, which every well-regulated mind sees to involve no difficulty at all, though the principle which lies at the bottom of them is beyond the reach of the human mind at present-possibly beyond all finite comprehension.

(2) Was there not another fig tree to which Christ came-not once only, but "lo, those three years-seeking fruit and finding none"? (See the notes at Luke 13:6-9.) How really, how continuously, how keenly, He hungered for that fruit, is best understood by His lamentation over it - "How often would I have gathered thee, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37). And is not this repeated from age to age? Well, just as the fig tree which Christ cursed was dried up from the roots long before it was pulled up by the roots, so was it with Israel, of whom Jesus said, while He was yet alive, "but now the things that belong to thy peace are hid from thine eyes;" and yet it was long after that before "the wrath came upon them to the uttermost." And so it is to be feared that many are blighted before they are cut down and cast into the fire, and that there may be a definite time when the curse is pronounced, when the transition takes place, and when the withering process begins, never to be arrested. (See Ezekiel 17:24.) O that men were wise, that they understood these things, that they would consider their latter end!

(3) What glorious encouragement to evangelistic and missionary effort is here held forth! And has not the promise of Mark 11:23 been so abundantly fulfilled in past history as to put to flight all our fears about the future? Certainly when one thinks of the "mountains" that have already been "removed and cast into the sea" by the victorious faith of Christ's disciples-the towering paganisms of the old world which have fallen before the Church of Christ-we may well exclaim of the gigantic Indian superstitions, with the hoar of entire millenniums upon them, and of all other obstacles whatever to the triumphs of the Cross, "Who art thou, O great mountain! Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain" (Zechariah 4:7).


Verses 27-33

And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

For the exposition, see the notes at Matthew 21:23-27.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Mark 11:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/mark-11.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology