Mark 11

Mark 11  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
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Christ presenting Himself at Jerusalem as King
In that which follows Jesus presents Himself to Jerusalem as King. His reception shows the extent to which the testimony He had rendered had acted on the hearts of the simple. God ordained, therefore, that it should take place. There is little difference between the narrative here and in Matthew. Only the kingdom is more simply presented as such: “The kingdom of our father David.”
The Judge of all things; man’s wisdom in the presence of God
With what dignity, as the Judge of all things, Jesus now takes knowledge of all that was being done in the temple and goes out without saying anything! The Lord had visited His temple, as also He had entered the city riding on the ass’s colt, whereon never man sat. Israel is judged in the condemned fig tree.1 The glory of the Lord, of the house of Jehovah, is vindicated with authority- an authority which He claims and which He exercises in His own Person. The scribes and chief priests draw back before the ascendancy that His word had given Him over the people, and He goes out of the city without being molested, notwithstanding their malice. The next day He assures His disciples, who were astonished at seeing the fig tree withered away, that whatsoever they asked in faith should be accomplished; but that they must act in grace, if they would enjoy this privilege. The scribes and priests and elders are confounded and demand His authority. He addresses their conscience, but in such a manner as to demonstrate their incompetency to ask Him such a question, exposing at the same time their insincerity. They could not decide with respect to the baptism of John: by what right then could they subject Him to their questions respecting His own claims? They could not decide when the case was before them. On the other hand, they must either sanction His work by their reply, or lose their authority with the people by denying the baptism of John who had borne testimony to Christ. It was no longer a question of winning these men; but what an empty thing is the wisdom of man in the presence of God and His wisdom!
(1. That is man under the old covenant, flesh under divine requirement, and no fruit to grow on it forever.)
Different characteristics of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark as to the change of dispensation
The change of dispensation has a more definite place in Matthew, and the sin which rejected the King. In Mark, it is more the service of Christ as the Prophet. Afterwards, as we have seen, He presents Himself as King. And, in both Gospels, we see that it is Jehovah who fills the office which He has deigned to undertake.
Consequently we find in Matthew more personal accusations, as in the parable of the two sons (ch. 21:28-32), and the detail of the change of dispensation in the parable of the marriage feast (ch. 22:1-14); neither of which is in Mark. In our Gospel, the unchangeable dignity of His Person, and the simple fact that the Prophet and King were rejected (rejection that led to Israel’s judgment) are set before us by the Spirit of God. Otherwise, it is the same general testimony we have reviewed in Matthew.