Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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MARK - Chapter 11

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Mark 11

Supplemental Commentary:

Note.  Only those words and passages which have no parallel in the First Gospel are commented upon here.  For the rest the reader should consult the Commentary on the parallel passages in Matthew.


6.  Last Ministry in Jerusalem  11-13

11, 1-11:  Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.  Parallels in Matt. 21, 1-11; Luke 19, 29-44; John 12, 12-19.    10.  The cry of Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes is recorded by Mark alone.  No doubt most of the people meant this in the literal sense and were cheering for the re-establishment of David's temporal kingdom.    11.  See Commentary on Matt. 21, 17.

11, 12-14:  Jesus Curses a Fig Tree.  Parallel in Matt. 21, 18 f.

11, 15-26:  Cleansing of the Temple.    15-19.  Parallels in Matt. 21, 12-17 and Luke 19, 45-48; cf. also John 2, 13-17.    16.  Peculiar to Mark's account.  Apparently the people were accustomed to use the temple as an ordinary thoroughfare.    20-24.  Parallel in Matt. 21, 20-22; cf. also Matt. 17, 19 and Luke 17, 6.    25 f.  Cf. Matt. 6, 12.14 f; 18, 35.

11, 27-33:  The Authority of Jesus.  Parallels in Matt. 21, 23-27 and Luke 20, 1-8.    32.  Christ's enemies leave this sentence unfinished, for they hate to think of the consequences.

Confraternity Bible:

Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem  1 And when they drew near to Jerusalem and to Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 2 and said to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately on entering it you will find a colt tied, upon which no man has yet sat; loose it, and bring it.  3 And if anyone say to you, 'What are you doing?' you shall say that the Lord has need of it, and immediately he will send it here."

4 And they went their way and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they loosed it.  5 And some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, loosing the colt?"  6 But they answered them as Jesus had told them to do, and they let them go.

7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and threw their cloaks over it, and he sat upon it.  8 And many spread their cloaks upon the road, while others were cutting branches from the trees, and strewing them on the road.  9 And those who went before him, and those who followed, kept crying out, saying, 
10* "Hosanna! 

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

Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes! 

Hosanna in the highest!" 
11 And he went into Jerusalem, into the temple.  And when he had looked round upon all things, then, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree  12 And the next day, after they had left Bethany, he felt hungry.  13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he might find anything on it.  But when he came up to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs.  14* Then he spoke to it saying, "May no one ever eat fruit of thee henceforward forever."  And his disciples heard.

Cleansing of the Temple  15* And they came to Jerusalem.  And he entered the temple, and began to cast out those who were selling and buying in the temple; and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold the doves.  16 He would not allow anyone to carry a vessel through the temple.  17* And he began to teach, saying to them, "Is it written,
'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? 
But you have made it a den of thieves."

18 And the chief priests and the Scribes heard it, and they sought a way to destroy him; for they were afraid of him, because all the crowd were astonished at his teaching.  19 And when it was evening he went out of the city.

20 And as they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.  21 And Peter, remembering, said to him, "Rabbi, behold, the fig tree that thou didst curse is withered up."  22 But Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God.  23 Amen I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Arise, and hurl thyself into the sea,' and does not waver in his heart, but believes that whatever he says will be done, it shall be done for him.  24 Therefore I say to you, all things whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come to you.  25 And when you stand up to pray, forgive whatever you have against anyone, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your offenses.  26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you your offenses."

The Authority of Jesus  27 And they came back to Jerusalem.  And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the Scribes and the elders came to him, 28 and said to him, "By what authority dost thou do these things?" and, "Who gave thee this authority to do these things?"  29 But Jesus answered and said to them, "I also will ask you one question, and answer me; then I will tell you by what authority I do these things.  30 Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men?  Answer me."  31 But they began to argue among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?'  32 But if we say, 'From men'"---they feared the people; for all regarded John as really a prophet.  33 And they answered Jesus and said, "We do not know."  And Jesus answering, said to them, "Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things."


10: Ps. 117, 26.

14: The fig tree was a symbol of the Jewish nation which, though rich in foliage, bore no fruit.  Cf. Matt. 21, 18.

15: Selling and buying: had to do with the necessities of the temple worship; in themselves they were not evil, but they had taken on features which were entirely incompatible with the sacredness of the place.

17: Isa. 56, 7; Jer. 7, 11.