Mark Chapter 11
The Triumphal Entry:
(Read: Mark 11:1-25)
As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the nearby town of Bethphage. Jesus sent two of his disciples to get a colt tied on which no one has ever sat. Jesus said, “If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, the Lord has need of it”. Jesus is looking for people who are available to him. Are you willing to be used by God? When Jesus entered Jerusalem on colt, the crowd praised him and rejoiced at the hope of the coming Kingdom. They sang Hosanna to Jesus which means “One who grants salvation”. It was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. To know more, read notes on Matthew 21:1-9. Jesus and his disciples went to nearby Bethany. While Jesus was leaving Bethany, he felt hungry. He saw a fig tree full of leaves but could not find any figs on it. Jesus cursed the fig tree saying, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” The tree was withered. Jesus told his disciples; all things are possible if you have faith in God. Also, he said “When you pray, forgive others, so that your Father also may forgive you". The mark of a forgiven believer is his willingness to forgive others. Jesus did not curse the tree because of quick temper. But used this occasion to give an object lesson to warn the hypocrisy of religious leaders of Israel. Jesus was symbolically foretelling of what God is going to do with the fruitless Israel and their temple in Jerusalem. The temple was meant to be a place of worship and not for corrupt business practices. Jesus cleansed the temple saying, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a den of robbers”. The temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. Christians are supposed to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Every branch that bears fruit will be cleansed to bear more fruit (John 15:2). The nation of Israel rejected Christ and became like the fruitless fig tree. Now God extends his kingdom to anyone who receives the gospel. It is important to strengthen our faith by meditating on the gospel on a regular basis to stand up for Christ.
The Authority of Jesus is challenged:
(Read: Mark 11:26-33)
By cleansing the temple, Jesus challenged the authority of the religious leaders. In response to Christ's bold action, they were eager to destroy him. They asked Jesus “By what authority are you doing these things?” Jesus exposed their hypocrisy by asking “The baptism of John the Baptist, was it from heaven or from men?” They were unable to answer him. Jesus refused to discuss the matter any further. Christ’s authority was clearly established throughout his ministry. His power and authority came from God. Like the religious leaders, we sometimes do not understand what God is doing in our lives. But God has His reason, and they are always good. He does all things for the sake of his glory and for our good (Romans 8:28). Submit your unanswered questions to God in faith. God does all things well.