Mark 11

The Triumphal Entry

1 When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples
2 and told them, "Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here.
3 If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.' "
4 So they went and found a young donkey outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it,
5 and some of those standing there said to them, "What are you doing, untying the donkey?"
6 They answered them just as Jesus had said, so they let them go.
7 Then they brought the donkey to Jesus and threw their robes on it, and He sat on it.
8 Many people spread their robes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields.[a]
9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed kept shouting: Hosanna ! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! [b]
10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
11 And He went into Jerusalem and into the temple complex. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, He went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The Barren Fig Tree Is Cursed

12 The next day when they came out from Bethany, He was hungry.
13 After seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, He went to find out if there was anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.
14 He said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again!" [c] And His disciples heard it.

Cleansing the Temple Complex

15 They came to Jerusalem, and He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers' tables and the chairs of those selling doves,
16 and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple complex.
17 Then He began to teach them: "Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations ? [d] But you have made it a den of thieves !" [e]
18 Then the chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to destroy Him. For they were afraid of Him, because the whole crowd was astonished by His teaching.
19 And whenever evening came, they would go out of the city.

The Barren Fig Tree Is Withered

20 Early in the morning, as they were passing by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.
21 Then Peter remembered and said to Him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that You cursed is withered."
22 Jesus replied to them, "Have faith in God.
23 I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
24 Therefore, I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for-believe that you have received [f] them, and you will have them.
25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing. [g] [
26 But if you don't forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your wrongdoing."] [h]

Messiah's Authority Challenged

27 They came again to Jerusalem. As He was walking in the temple complex, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came and asked Him,
28 "By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority to do these things?"
29 Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
30 Was John's baptism from heaven or from men? Answer Me."
31 They began to argue among themselves: "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'
32 But if we say, 'From men' "-they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was a genuine prophet.
33 So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." And Jesus said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things."

Images for Mark 11

Mark 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. (1-11) The barren fig-tree cursed, The temple cleansed. (12-18) Prayer in faith. (19-26) The priests and elders questioned concerning John the Baptist. (27-33)

Verses 1-11 Christ's coming into Jerusalem thus remarkably, shows that he was not afraid of the power and malice of his enemies. This would encourage his disciples who were full of fear. Also, that he was not disquieted at the thoughts of his approaching sufferings. But all marked his humiliation; and these matters teach us not to mind high things, but to condescend to those of low estate. How ill it becomes Christians to take state, when Christ was so far from claiming it! They welcomed his person; Blessed is he that cometh, the "He that should come," so often promised, so long expected; he comes in the name of the Lord. Let him have our best affections; he is a blessed Saviour, and brings blessings to us, and blessed be He that sent him. Praises be to our God, who is in the highest heavens, over all, God blessed for ever.

Verses 12-18 Christ looked to find some fruit, for the time of gathering figs, though it was near, was not yet come; but he found none. He made this fig-tree an example, not to the trees, but to the men of that generation. It was a figure of the doom upon the Jewish church, to which he came seeking fruit, but found none. Christ went to the temple, and began to reform the abuses in its courts, to show that when the Redeemer came to Zion, it was to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. The scribes and the chief priests sought, not how they might make their peace with him, but how they might destroy him. A desperate attempt, which they could not but fear was fighting against God.

Verses 19-26 The disciples could not think why that fig-tree should so soon wither away; but all wither who reject Christ; it represented the state of the Jewish church. We should rest in no religion that does not make us fruitful in good works. Christ taught them from hence to pray in faith. It may be applied to that mighty faith with which all true Christians are endued, and which does wonders in spiritual things. It justifies us, and so removes mountains of guilt, never to rise up in judgment against us. It purifies the heart, and so removes mountains of corruption, and makes them plain before the grace of God. One great errand to the throne of grace is to pray for the pardon of our sins; and care about this ought to be our daily concern.

Verses 27-33 Our Saviour shows how near akin his doctrine and baptism were to those of John; they had the same design and tendency, to bring in the gospel kingdom. These elders did not deserve to be taught; for it was plain that they contended not for truth, but victory: nor did he need to tell them; for the works he did, told them plainly he had authority from God; since no man could do the miracles which he did, unless God were with him.

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. Other mss read others were cutting leafy branches from the trees and spreading them on the road
  • [b]. Ps 118:26
  • [c]. Jr 8:13
  • [d]. Isaiah 56:7
  • [e]. Jr 7:11
  • [f]. Other mss read you receive; other mss read you will receive
  • [g]. These are the only uses of this word in Mk. It means "the violation of the Law" or "stepping over a boundary" or "departing from the path" or "trespass."
  • [h]. Other mss omit bracketed text

Mark 11 Commentaries