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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Mark's Gospel

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Frameworks: Mark's Gospel chapter 11


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)




v.1-7    Jesus Prepares to come to Jerusalem

v.8-11   Jesus is welcomed into the city as king

v.12-14 Jesus Curses a Fig Tree

v.15-19 Jesus Clears the Temple Courts

v.20-25 Jesus teaches on faith

v.26-33 The Authority of Jesus Questioned


v.1-7 Jesus Prepares to come to Jerusalem


v.1,2 (Jesus instructs disciples to find a colt) As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples,   saying to them,  “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.

v.3 (he paves the way) If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?' say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.'

v.4,5 (they go and it happens) They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”  

v.6 (they give Jesus' answer) They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.  

v.7 (they bring the colt) When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.  



v.8-11 Jesus is welcomed into the city as king


v.8 (the crowds lay out the road) Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.  

v.9,10 (they herald him as the expected king) Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

v.11 (Jesus enters Jerusalem, looks around and leaves) Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.



v.12-14 Jesus Curses a Fig Tree


v.12 (leaving their overnight stop Jesus is hungry) The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.  

v.13 (he sees a fruitless fig tree) Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.  

v.14 (he curses the tree) Then he said to the tree,  “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”  And his disciples heard him say it.



v.15-19 Jesus Clears the Temple Courts


v.15,16 (back in Jerusalem he clears out the temple courts) On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,   and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.  

v.17 (he cites Isaiah and Jeremiah) And as he taught them, he said,  “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? (Isa 56:7)   But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'” (Jer 7:11)

v.18 (the authorities are upset and plan to kill him) The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

v.19 (he leaves the city) When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.



v.20-25 Jesus teaches on faith


v.20 (next morning the fig tree is withered) In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.  

v.21 (Peter points it out) Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

v.22 (Jesus speaks of faith) “Have faith in God,”  Jesus answered.  

v.23 (he gives an example) “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.  

v.24 (he teaches how to pray) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  

v.25 (make sure you forgive people) And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”  


(Notes: the fig tree is used to illustrate the Jewish nation. The tree has done nothing wrong but is simply used as a prophetic illustration of what will happen to Israel in the days to come. On the matter of moving mountains, faith comes from hearing (Rom 10:17) so when you are sure you have heard God you will be able to perform miracles)



v.26-33 The Authority of Jesus Questioned


v.27 (back in Jerusalem Jesus is approached by the authorities) They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him.  

v.28 (they challenge his authority) “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

v.29 (Jesus poses a question) Jesus replied,  “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.  

v.30 (he asks about why John baptised) John's baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

v.31,32 (they realise their dilemma) They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,' he will ask, ‘Then why didn't you believe him?'  But if we say, ‘Of human origin' …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

v. 33 (they refuse so Jesus refuses) So they answered Jesus, “We don't know.” Jesus said,  “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”