Mark 11: Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

How could Jesus predict what would happen when two disciples entered the next village?

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Mark 11:1–3 As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, past Bethany and near Bethphage, they stopped at the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two disciples, saying, “Go into the next village. As soon as you enter, you will see a young donkey. Untie it, and bring it to me. If someone asks what you are doing, say, ‘The Master needs it,’ and he will allow you to take it without hesitation.”
King James
Mark 11:1–3 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, 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. 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.

How confident do you think the disciples were in Jesus’ prediction?

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Mark 11:4–6 So the disciples did as they were told and found the colt on the street, tethered outside the front door. While they were untying it, some bystanders said, “What are you doing, taking that colt?” After answering exactly as Jesus had instructed, the disciples were allowed to leave.
King James
Mark 11:4–6 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. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.

For a king riding into a city, what would most people have expected Jesus to ride? Why was the donkey especially appropriate for Jesus?

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Mark 11:7 So they brought the colt and laid their coats on its back for Jesus to sit upon. So they brought the colt and laid their coats on its back for Jesus to sit upon.
King James
Mark 11:7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.

What stirred such a welcoming procession as Jesus entered Jerusalem?

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Mark 11:8–10 People spread their garments on the road before him. Others cut palm branches to lay a carpet in his path. A crowd walked ahead of Jesus while others followed, all shouting, “Hail to the King. Blessed is the one who comes in God’s name. Blessed is the kingdom of our father David. Praise God in the highest heaven.”
King James
Mark 11:8–10 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

What happened to the donkey after Jesus arrived in Jerusalem and entered the Temple?

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Mark 11:11 After entering Jerusalem, Jesus went to the Temple and spent time there, observing and interacting with people until evening. Then he and the disciples went to Bethany.
King James
Mark 11:11 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.

Why didn’t Jesus eat something before he left Bethany for Jerusalem?

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Mark 11:12 On his way from Bethany to Jerusalem the next morning, Jesus was hungry.
King James
Mark 11:12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree for having no fruit? Why did it die?

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Mark 11:13–14 After seeing a fig tree in the distance, covered with leaves, he went to pick its fruit. On arrival, he found nothing but leaves, because it was too early in the season. “Never will a man eat of your fruit.”
The disciples heard what he said.
11:19–21 That evening, Jesus and the disciples left the city, and they returned the following morning. As they walked along the road, the disciples noticed the fig tree, dried up from the roots. Peter remembered what Jesus had said. “Teacher, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered away.”
King James
Mark 11:13–14 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. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
11:19–21 And when even was come, he went out of the city. And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

Mark mentions Jesus driving the merchants from the Temple after he has described his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. John records Jesus driving out the merchants near the beginning of his ministry. What do you think really happened?

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Mark 11:15–18 When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants doing business there. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and the cages of those who sold doves. He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the Temple. In teaching the people, he said, “The scriptures say the Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a hangout for robbers.”
When the chief priests and teachers of the Law heard what Jesus had done, they looked for some way to get rid of him. They feared him because the crowds were so captivated by his teaching.
John 2:13–18 That spring, when it was almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple, he found merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices. Dealers had set up tables to exchange foreign money for the half-shekel Temple tax. After making a whip from small cords, Jesus drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the moneychangers’ coins, and overturned their tables. To those who sold the doves, he said, “Get these things out of here. Do not make my Father’s house a marketplace.” Then his followers were reminded of the passage from the Psalms: Passion for your house burns like fire within me.
The Jewish leaders demanded of him an answer. “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove you have the right to do this?”
King James
Mark 11:15–18 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; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. 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. 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.
John 2:13–18 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

How could one man be powerful enough to expel and enterprise supported by the chief priests and teachers of the Law?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 11:15–18 When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants doing business there. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and the cages of those who sold doves. He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the Temple. In teaching the people, he said, “The scriptures say the Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a hangout for robbers.”
When the chief priests and teachers of the Law heard what Jesus had done, they looked for some way to get rid of him. They feared him because the crowds were so captivated by his teaching.
King James
Mark 11:15–18 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; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. 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. 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.

What kind of faith causes mountains to be pulled up and cast into the sea?

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Mark 11:22–24 “If you have unwavering faith in God for what he wants to do, you can be sure that whoever says to this mountain, ‘Rise and be thrown into the sea,’ will see it happen. Under those conditions, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, is as good as done.”
King James
Mark 11:22–24 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 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. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

How important is forgiving others? Why?

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Mark 11:25–26 “Whenever you are praying, forgive others for their offenses so your heavenly Father will forgive you. If you do not forgive, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.”
King James
Mark 11:25–26 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. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Which is easier, to forgive others or to forgive yourself? Why?

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Mark 11:25–26 “Whenever you are praying, forgive others for their offenses so your heavenly Father will forgive you. If you do not forgive, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.”
King James
Mark 11:25–26 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. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

What was Jesus doing that led Jewish leaders to question his authority?

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Mark 11:27–28 Jesus and the disciples again went to Jerusalem. As Jesus was moving about in the Temple, the chief priests, Jewish leaders, and teachers of the Law said, “What right do you have to do these things? Who gave you the authority?”
King James
Mark 11:27–28 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, and say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

Why didn’t Jesus answer the Jewish leaders’ question about his authority?

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Mark 11:29–33 “Let me ask you a question. If you can give me the answer, I will tell you by what authority I do these things. From where did John receive his authority to baptize? Was it from God or men?”
They discussed the question among themselves. “If we say, ‘From God,’ he will ask why we did not believe him. But if we say, ‘From men,’ we will turn the people against us, because they all regard John as a prophet.” So they said to Jesus, “We don’t know.”
“Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”
King James
Mark 11:29–33 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. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 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.