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Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

11

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’ ” 4They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

“Hosanna!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

10

Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

15 Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; 16and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written,

‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?

But you have made it a den of robbers.”

18 And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. 19And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree

20 In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. 24So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

25 “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

 

Jesus’ Authority Is Questioned

27 Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him 28and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” 29Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” 31They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. 33So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”


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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 ItSecond 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 fatal one.

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 Monday.

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 (Mr 11:20-26).

20. 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 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 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 (Mt 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 God.

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 Mr 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 expected.

Mr 11:27-33. The Authority of Jesus QuestionedHis Reply. ( = Mt 21:23-27; Lu 20:1-8).

See on Mt 21:23-27.




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