Chapter 36

Jesus at Jerusalem
Mark 11:1-11 (ESV)

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1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. 5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” 11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

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Mark 11:1-7
Preparation to enter Jerusalem

Jesus nears Jerusalem with His disciples. At Bethpage and Bethany, close to the Mount of Olives, He sends two to a nearby village to find and fetch a tethered colt. The colt has never been ridden. When challenged they reply as Jesus instructed, The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately. They are allowed to leave with the colt. They bring it to Jesus and throw their clothes on it. Jesus, the Master of creation, sits on the unbroken colt.

Mark 11:8-10
An enthusiastic reception

He rides the colt towards Jerusalem. Although Jesus came to be the Saviour from sin, the crowds expect a political or military leader to deliver them from Roman domination. Although His fame has spread, understanding is lacking of who He is and of His real mission to come to die to save sinners. Clothes and leafy branches are spread before Him, signifying submission to Him, their hoped for political deliverer. They cry out 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!

Ironically the crowds cry, ‘Hosanna’, means ‘save now’. Jesus has come to seek and to save the lost,[1] but not militarily. How sad that they are not asking to be saved from their sins and from Hell’s deserved eternal punishment. Jesus will soon hang nailed to a cross, punished as sin-bearer and substitute, but that is nowhere in their thinking. They are completely unaware that He will rise from the dead, and will ‘save now’ anyone repenting and coming to Him. Their ignorant shouts of Hosanna! are superficial and temporary. Soon Jesus will die in Jerusalem, to where He now travels. The enthusiastic cries of Hosanna! will then turn to cruel and crude baying for His blood, as the snarling cry of the angry mob will become Crucify Him![2]

Mark 11:11
Jesus enters Jerusalem and surveys the temple

Jesus enters Jerusalem. He goes into the temple, God’s house. He surveys everything in it. Soon, He will return to purify it by ejecting those who are misusing it. He now looks around to see for Himself what has been happening. How wise to check the situation personally before acting! Doubtless the temple also reminds Jesus of the holiness and splendour of His Father God and how He should be approached and worshipped.

It is now late. He returns with His disciples to Bethany. Jerusalem will see Him again, to live His last days on earth.

The first ten chapters of Mark’s Gospel cover three years of Jesus’ life. The last six chapters focus on His last eight crucial days. They cover His rejection, crucifixion and resurrection, and how they affect those trusting Him.

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[1]   .  Luke 19:10.
[2]   .  Mark 15:13-14.

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Questions on Chapter 36
Mark 11:1-11 Jesus at Jerusalem.

A. What do you notice about the sovereignty of our Lord Jesus Christ? What shows He is in control?   Mark 11:1-6

B. ‘Hosanna’ means ‘save now’?  What do you think the crowd means by that? Why did they later cry ‘Crucify Him’? Mark 11:9-10   Mark 15:13-14   1 Peter 3:18

C. What does Jesus do when He goes to the temple? How important is it to be properly informed before you act on an important issue?   Mark 11:11   Mark 11:15-19