The Lord Jesus, in accordance with the Scriptures, presented Himself as King-Savior at Jerusalem where He displayed His Kingly authority by cleansing the temple. He came seeking fruit of Israel, and gave the sign of their doom knowing His coming rejection by them.
1 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,
2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.
3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.
4 And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.
5 And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?
6 And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.
7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.
8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.
9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
12 ¶ And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
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.
14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
15 ¶ 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;
16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.
20 ¶ And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
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, 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.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
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.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
27 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,
28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?
29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.
31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?
32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.
33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mark 11:1-6 – J. Vernon McGee
Mark 11:7-19 – J. Vernon McGee
Mark 11:20-23 – J. Vernon McGee
Mark 11:24-33 – J. Vernon McGee
Mark 11:1-19 – Praise and Fear Greet Jesus’ Approach
On the first day of Passion Week a gleam of light fell athwart the Master’s path as He rode into Jerusalem. It was a lowly triumph. The humble ass was escorted by poor men, Galilean pilgrims, and children, who excited the haughty criticism of the metropolis. May a similar procession enter your heart and mine! “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in” (Psalm 24:7).
With irresistible might the Lord drove forth the buyers and sellers from the Temple. According to the ancient prediction, He sat as a refiner and purifier of silver, to purify the sons of Levi. And whenever He enters the heart, He performs a similar work. He drives out bestial forms of sin, and mere traffic, so that the whole nature—spirit, soul, and body—may be surrendered to God. What our Lord said of the Temple should be true of each church of the living God. It should be His residence, where men of all nationalities should come to a unity, as they worship, confess sin, and intercede. Certainly God’s house must not be a place of merchandise and traffic. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Mark 11:20-33 – The Conditions of Prayer
The great lesson taught by this stricken tree justified its doom. It was not yet the time of the fig harvest, but some of last year’s fruit might still be found; and the hope of this was still further aroused by the abundance of young leaves. It was a type of profession without performance. In addition to proclaiming the doom of promise which is not followed by performance, our Lord drew from the miracle the great lesson that faith can absolutely reckon on God’s faith, that is, His faithfulness. Throughout His life, as we look into the heart of Jesus, we find only forgiving love, humility, faith. Forgiveness and love are the conditions of all successful prayers, Mark 11:24-26. We do not show sufficient appreciation for our Lord’s marvelous intellectual power. He was more than equal to these clever intellects trained to argument. They were beaten at their own game. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Mark 11:22—Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
As long as I live I shall remember this text in connection with my first meeting with Hudson Taylor. He was to preach for me on a Sunday morning, now years ago, and gave out this as his text. But he said that he had always interpreted it as dealing rather with God’s faith to us than ours to Him.
1. We must be sure that we are on God’s plan.—There is a prepared path for us, along which God has stored up all necessary supplies. But if we want those supplies, we must find and follow it. Along the track which he has marked out between this and Home, our Father has erected cairns full of provisions; but we must let his route prevail over our own notions and wishes, if we are to enjoy his preparations.
2. We must be prepared to wait on Him.—For these things He will be inquired of. Though He knows what we need, He expects our humble request, that we may be perpetually reminded of our entire dependence on Him. He sometimes appears to tarry, to draw out our faith and prayer. But He will never utterly fail.
3. We must walk worthily of Him.—God shows Himself strong only on behalf of those whose heart is perfect towards Him. By his enabling grace we must put away the old manner of life, and be renewed in the spirit of our mind, that we may be such whom the great God shall delight to honor. Let such trust Him to the hilt; they will find Him faithful. He will never put us into positions of peril and responsibility, and leave us to take our chance. —Our Daily Homily