The Gospel of Mark Chapter 11:1-19 Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem 1 - 11. 11. 1 - 2. Now as they approached Jerusalem, near Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. Jesus makes preparation for His entry into Jerusalem by sending two disciples to bring back a colt of an ass (Matt. 21: 2) which they would find tied up and to bring it back for Him. The special thing about this colt was that it had never been broken in, no one had ever ridden on it before. Here we see the Omniscience of Christ that is an attribute of God only, that is, the all-knowing God. Jesus knew the colt would be there and all about its life and behaviour. 11.3. If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here soon.' " He also knew that the disciples would be questioned concerning their right to take the colt. The answer they were to give â€œThe Lord needs itâ€? would be enough for the colt to be freely given without any argument. As we have been set free by the Lord (John 8: 36, Rom. 6: 18) so He has first claim on our lives (Rom. 14: 8). 11.4 - 5. So they went and found a colt tied at a door, outside in the street, and untied it. Some people standing there said to them, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" It all happened as Jesus said it would. We can be sure that if we receive a word from Christ that it will be fulfilled (Isaiah 55:11). 11.6. They replied as Jesus had told them, and the bystanders let them go. As soon as the owner of the colt knew that it was Jesus who wanted it he immediately obeyed. 11.7. Then they brought the colt to Jesus, threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it.
Note that the disciples were willing to give up their coats to provide a makeshift saddle and that this untamed colt was willing to submit itself under the hand of Jesus without any fuss. What does this say to us? 11.8. Many spread their cloaks on the road and others spread branches they had cut in the fields. If the disciples were willing to lend their coats to Jesus the people went even further, for in throwing their garments on the ground it showed that they were prepared to sacrifice them for Him. Those who had no coats took a hold of the nearest thing (branches) in order that they may honour Him. This would be the equivalent of rolling out the red carpet for royalty to walk on. 11.9 - 10. Both those who went ahead and those who followed kept shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!" So He made His entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey in fulfilment of the scriptures (Zec. 9: 9). The people welcome Him as the promised deliverer, the Saviour (Hosanna in Hebrew means save, we pray and came to be used as a word of praise) and King (Isaiah 9: 7). These were not be the same people who would later cry out for Him to be crucified. They acknowledged that He came to them in the name that they revered above all others, the LORD. However, they believed that He was now coming to set up His kingdom on earth when in fact He had come to impart it into the heart (Luke 17: 21). 11.11. Then Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. And after looking around at everything, he went out to Bethany with the twelve since it was already late. On entering the city He immediately goes to the Temple to have a look around, surveying and observing everything and all that was going on. In Matthew 21: 15 - 16 we are told that the chief priests and scribes objected to Him about the children crying out their praises to Him in the Temple for they realised the full implication of the term "Hosanna". In answer to them He quoted Psalm 8: 2 and in Luke 19: 40 He told them that if they did not praise Him then the very stones would do so. As it was late He left the city that would have been crowded for the festival and full of His enemies for the safety of the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus at Bethany.
2. Barrenness 12 - 14. Unless we look at this incident as an acted parable by the Lord there does not seem to be any sense to it. We know that there was no spitefulness in the Lord's nature at all therefore His action in these verses must have been for a purpose. 11.12. Now the next day, as they went out from Bethany, he was hungry. Just like any other man Jesus knew hunger and this clearly shows us that He was not only Divine, Son of God, but also human, Son of Man. It was therefore quite natural for Him to seek to satisfy His hunger. 11.13. After noticing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it. When he came to it he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
The only thing that was in sight was a flourishing fig tree and thus He turns to it expecting to find fruit, although it was not the season for figs! Apparently before the main crop of figs the fig tree produces small figs and it was these that Jesus expected to find but there was nothing on it, it was barren. The meaning of the parable is this. The fig like the vine in scripture is representative of Israel. God had chosen Israel to be His own and had given them His word that they may bear forth fruit for His glory. Yet when He sent His Son into the world to look for that fruit He found none. 11.14. He said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard it. It was because of this barrenness that the Lord cursed the fig tree and it died. The Lord has chosen and saved us to be His own people and He indwells us and has given us His word and the Holy Spirit that we may bear forth fruit for His honour and glory (John 15: 5, Rom. 7: 4). In John 15: 2 Jesus said that every branch in Him that bears no fruit He cuts away but those that bear fruit He trims them so that they may bring forth even more fruit.
3. Cleansing of the Temple 15 - 19. 11.15. Then they came to Jerusalem. Jesus entered the temple area and began to drive out those who were selling and buying in the temple courts. He turned over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, In His visit to the Temple the day before Jesus took in all that was going on and so His purpose in now returning was that He may cleanse and purify it from the things that were polluting it. The place where the money changers and animals were being sold was in the court of the Gentiles, the part of the Temple that had been set aside purposely for those of other nations to come and worship and pray to God. The Jews had desecrated this area and had therefore robbed the nations of their access to God. The Lord Jesus Christ has come to us and as we have excepted Him as our Saviour He has cleansed us by His blood (1 John 1: 7) that through Him both Jew and Gentile have access to God the Father (Eph. 2: 18). 11.16. and he would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. He also stopped them using the area as a short cut to carry things through so turning it back into its original use and purpose. 11.17. Then he began to teach them and said, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have turned it into a den of robbers!" It says that â€œHe began to teach themâ€?. This would suggest that they had become so used to misusing the Temple that they had forgotten the original purpose for it and so He had to remind them and start teaching afresh that the proper use of the Temple was as a "house of prayer" (Isaiah 56: 7) and that it was sacrilege to use it for anything else. 11.18 - 19. The chief priests and the experts in the law heard it and they considered how they could assassinate him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed by his teaching. When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
You would have thought that the chief priest and scribes who were supposed to be the upholders of the religion would have rejoiced and stood by Him for what He had done. But no they tried to find a way that they might kill Him for they feared that the people would forsake them and wholly follow after Jesus for they saw in Him was the Truth and a sincerity that they never had. At the close of the day Jesus and His disciples left the city and most probable went and stayed at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus for the night. © Derek Williams 2013 Bible Studies Online UK www.biblestudiesonline.org.uk You may copy, print or distribute our studies freely in any form, just so long as you make no charges. Sign up today for our FREE monthly Bible study magazine “Living Word” Scriptures taken from the NET Bible www.bible.org