Mr 11:1-11. Christ's
Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, on the First Day of the Week. (
= Mt 21:1-9; Lu 19:29-40; Joh 12:12, 19).
See on Lu 19:29-40.
Mr 11:11-26. The Barren Fig
Tree Cursed with Lessons from It—Second Cleansing of the Temple, on the Second and Third
Days of the Week. ( = Mt 21:12-22; Lu 19:45-48).
11. And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the
temple: and when he had looked round about upon—surveyed.
all things, and now the eventide was come, he
went out into 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 (Mt 21:10, 11, 14-16) we learn some additional and precious
particulars, for which see on Lu 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, save the last
The Barren Fig Tree Cursed (Mr 11:12-14).
12. And on the morrow—The Triumphal
Entry being on the first day of the week, this following day was
when they were come from Bethany—"in
the morning" (Mt 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?" (Lu 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" (Mr 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?" (Joh 9:4). We know not, though one lingers upon
and loves to trace out the every movement of that life of wonders. 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.
13. And seeing a fig tree—(In Mt 21:19, it is "one fig tree," but the
sense is the same as here, "a certain fig tree," as in Mt 8:19, &c.). Bethphage, which adjoined
Bethany, derives its name from its being a fig
region—"House of figs."
afar off having leaves—and therefore
promising fruit, which in the case of figs come 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.
14. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man
eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever—That word did not
make the tree barren, but sealed it up in its own barrenness.
See on Mt 13:13-15.
And his disciples heard it—and marked
the saying. This is introduced as a connecting link, to explain what
was afterwards to be said on the subject, as the narrative has to
proceed to the other transactions of this day.
Second Cleansing of the Temple (Mr 11:15-18).
For the exposition of this portion, see on Lu 19:45-48.
Lessons from the Cursing of the Fig Tree
20. And in the morning—of Tuesday, the
third day of the week: He had slept, as during all this week, at
as they passed by—going into Jerusalem
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 Mt 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.
21. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto
him—satisfied that a miracle so very peculiar—a
miracle, not of blessing, as all His other miracles, but of
cursing—could not have been wrought but with some higher
reference, and fully expecting to hear something weighty on the
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.
21:20) gives this simply as a
general exclamation of surprise by the disciples "how soon" the blight
had taken effect.
22. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have
faith in God.
23. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever
shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed … 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
24. 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
11:23; 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.
25. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have
aught against any; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive
you your trespasses, &c.—This is repeated from the Sermon
on the Mount (see on Mt 6:12); 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
Mr 11:27-33. The Authority
of Jesus Questioned—His
Reply. ( = Mt 21:23-27; Lu 20:1-8).
See on Mt 21:23-27.