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Mark-Lesson 16

  • Thomas Klock Harvest Ministries
  • 2007 21 Sep
Mark-Lesson 16

Lesson 16

The Son of Man Is Presented

Mark 11:1–33


Knowing the Scriptures

Studies in Mark’s Gospel


Last time’s lesson was entitled Transition and Servanthood, for it was the transition between Jesus’ ministry and the hour that had awaited Him since the day He was born to the virgin Mary.  As Jesus and the crowds around Him journeyed toward Jerusalem, He took the disciples aside and predicted in graphic detail the sufferings He would face there.  Yet this seemed to not even sink in, for the next moment we saw James and John asking to become Jesus’ number two men in the Kingdom!  They clearly all were expecting the militant, conquering Messiah, not one who would suffer and die.  Jesus then told them about what it means to be a true servant, and that even He, the Son of Man, came not to be served but to serve, and especially to give His life as a ransom for us to rescue us out of our slavery to sin and death.  Mark 10 concluded with the story of the healing of a blind beggar, Bartimaeus.  This man put His faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of David, and was rewarded for his faith by having both his physical and spiritual eyes opened.  Lastly, we took a look at three other things occurring at the time that Mark chose not to include, for he was focusing on the journey to Jerusalem.  These were the conversion and transformation of the wee little man Zacchaeus, the important Kingdom parable of the ten minas, and the most dramatic of all, raising Lazarus from the dead. 


In this final part of the Gospel of Mark, we are focusing on the last week of the earthly life of Jesus, the Son of Man.  Here is a brief outline of what we’ll be studying the rest of this Bible Fellowship season:


Mark 11:  The Son of Man Presented

Mark 12:  The Son of Man Tested

Mark 13:  The Son of Man Returning

Mark 14:  The Son of Man Arrested

Mark 15:  The Son of Man Crucified

Mark 16:  The Son of Man Resurrected                       


DAY ONE: The Son of Man Enters Jerusalem

Please carefully read Mark 11:1-11 and answer the following questions.


1.   In the first section of Mark 11 we are looking at the triumphal entry of Jesus.  However, this is more of the presentation of the Son of Man to the world as the Messiah.  There is no more Messianic secret, but Jesus presents himself openly.  What unusual thing did Jesus ask of a couple of His disciples, and what transpired after this (verses 1-6)?


NOTE: The importance of the triumphal entry is indicated by the fact that this is only the second time that all four Gospels include the same event.[i]

2.  As Jesus rode the colt, what began to happen, and what was the reaction of the crowd (verses 7-10)?


3. The shouts of the crowd and their reaction to Jesus coming into Jerusalem may or may not have shown that they understood who He really was. Pilgrims to this feast were typically welcomed by the crowds already there, so it is unlikely that the whole crowd recognized the significance of Jesus’ entry.[ii]  The shouts and songs that they proclaimed come from the Psalms and were typically sung by pilgrims going up to Jerusalem, in particular of the Psalms of ascents, Psalms 113-118.  The word hosanna means "oh save now," and later on became used as a shout of praise like hallelujah.[iii] Read Psalm 118:19-28 and record how this amazingly not only speaks of going up to the Temple but of what Jesus really had accomplished.

4.  It was close to the end of the day by the time Jesus entered into Jerusalem.  In fact, if Jesus had walked in one day the distance from Jericho to Jerusalem, He and His disciples would have gone 21 miles uphill![iv] What was all that Jesus was able to do that evening (verse 11)?


Scripture Memory:  This week we will be memorizing Mark 11:24.  Review the passage several times throughout the day each day this week, and by the end of the week, you should have it memorized completely.


Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.   Mark 11:24, nkjv


DAY TWO:  The Son of Man Purifies the Temple

Please carefully read Mark 11:12-18 and answer the following questions.


The Passion Week

This week we begin our look at Jesus’ suffering and also the events that transpired during this last week of His earthly ministry.  Sometimes the timing of the events is confusing, and even controversial.  James A. Brooks helps us understand the events of this week and clarify for us some of the ways that Mark used these events in his gospel:

Mark’s Gospel has sometimes been described as a passion narrative with a lengthy introduction. Such a description is, of course, an exaggeration. Mark had other purposes for his Gospel, but the passion was of overriding importance. Approximately 38 percent of the Gospel is devoted to the week of the passion (chaps. 11–16) and 20 percent to the day of Jesus’ death (chaps. 14–15). Everything in chaps. 11–16 takes place in or very near Jerusalem. In Mark’s thinking, Galilee was the place of the revelation of Jesus as the Son of Man and Son of God, but Jerusalem was the place of opposition to and condemnation of Jesus.  Unlike the previous part of the Gospel, the passion narrative is characterized by specific time references. At its beginning the events are set forth as having taken place on three distinct days: 11:1–11, 12–19, 20ff. No indication is given in 11:27–13:37 of where the third day ended. The next indication of time is in 14:1, which states that when the Passover was “two days away” the authorities conspired further against Jesus. The following day preparation was made for the Passover meal (14:12), and it was eaten that evening (14:17). The crucifixion took place the next morning (15:1, 25) and the death and burial that afternoon (15:33, 42). The day of the crucifixion was the day of preparation for the Sabbath (15:42), i.e., Friday. The resurrection took place on the day after the Sabbath (16:1), i.e., Sunday.

Apparently Mark placed the entry into Jerusalem on Sunday, the cursing of the fig tree and the clearing of the temple on Monday, the observation of the withered fig tree on Tuesday, the final conspiracy against Jesus and the anointing in Bethany on Wednesday (but see the comments on 14:1), the preparation for the Passover on Thursday, the Passover meal and arrest on Thursday evening, the trials and crucifixion and burial on Friday, and the resurrection on Sunday. The time of the disputes in the temple and the eschatological discourse is uncertain, perhaps Tuesday, perhaps Wednesday.[v]


1.  What unusual event began the day for Jesus according to verses 12-14?


2.  We will return to this unusual “cursing” later on, but it does have an important significance.  It is also interesting that the name of the village of Bethphage literally means “the house of unripe figs;” Bethany means “the house of figs.”[vi] What did Jesus do when He saw the unusual activity going on in the Temple area, and how did He react to this (verses 15, 16)?


3. How did Jesus admonish those in the Temple, and how did the religious leaders react to this (verses 17, 18)?

4. There were three types of money in Palestine in New Testament times: imperial money (Roman), provincial money (Greek), and local money (Jewish). Money changers provided the required Jewish coinage for the annual half-shekel temple tax (Exodus 30:12-16) required of all male Jews 20 years of age and up. This was in exchange for their Greek and Roman currency, which was considered idolatrous.  Although this seems like a noble idea, there was a lot of extortion and fraud that led to Jesus’ anger on top of everything else. Another problem was that people loaded with merchandise were taking a shortcut through this area, making it a thoroughfare from one part of the city to another.  The biggest reason for Jesus’ outrage was this blatant disregard for the temple area specifically set apart for Gentile use.[vii] Larry Hurtado well said, “Outwardly, the Temple was an impressive institution, suggesting great devotion to God. Jesus’ inspection of the Temple indicated that it was a hollow show, and that the priestly leadership was far more interested in revenue from the merchants than reverence for God.”[viii] 

So the major sin that was being committed was keeping Gentiles from seeking and knowing God.  An almost paranoia had flooded the minds and hearts of the Jews since they had returned from Babylon, and it seemed that they were trying to keep out everyone except themselves.  What was their mandate though from God from the very beginning according to Genesis 22:18, and in the Great Commission how did Jesus call His disciples back to this very task (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)?

Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.


Therefore I say to you, ______________________ things you ask when you pray, ______________________ that you receive them, and you __________ have them.     

                                                                                                        Mark 11:24, nkjv


DAY THREE: The Son of Man Teaches on Faith

Please carefully read Mark 11:19-23 and answer the following questions.


1.  As Jesus went home to Bethany for the night, He left behind a confused Jerusalem.  Religious leaders were afraid of Him, the people were astonished at Him, and no doubt His disciples wondered what was going to be happening the next day.  What happened as they headed back toward Jerusalem according to verses 20, 21?


2.  Peter looked at the fig tree and thought it was cursed; however, Jesus is going to use this as a symbol and a teaching device to instruct His men.  How did Jesus take this event and turn it into a teaching about faith (verses 22, 23)?


3.  Dried up comes from a Greek word that is used here in the perfect tense, indicating that the tree was completely withered away and dead.  The problem with this tree was that it had borne leaves far before the normal time.  The second problem with it was that it should've been bearing little bits of fruits by this time if the leaves had grown so fully.  What an amazing symbol this is of the state of Judaism of the day.[ix]  Jesus wasn't just ticked off and decided to get rid of that tree because it didn't have anything for Him to eat.  Instead, He was going use it to make a very important point.


Symbolically, Jesus represents God “inspecting” His people Israel to see what kind of fruit their lives had born.  No fruit was found in them and a certain end was declared, which took place around 70 A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem, the beginning of the end of Judaism as they knew it in those days.  What are some ways that the Old Testament used the fig as a symbol for God's people Israel, and also sadly prophetic of this destruction?


Jeremiah 8:12-14

Hosea 9:10-12


4.  In using this as a teaching device, Jesus instructed His men to put their faith in God, and that as they trusted in Him He would do amazing things through them.  In Matthew 17:20 Jesus had told His men that if they had the faith as small as the size of a mustard seed that they could do great things like this.  Warren Wiersbe points out that to have faith in God means "constantly be trusting God; live in an attitude of dependence on Him."[x] This might make us think that our faith must be pretty small; I haven't moved around too many mountains lately, at least mountains that we can see.  Rather this is more of the emphasis that we will be able to see great things done as we trust in God and live in that attitude of depending on Him.  What are some ways that the following passages encourage us to have faith in God and see results?


Romans 4:19-22; 10:17

Hebrews 10:19-25; 11:1, 2

James 2:14-23


Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.


Therefore I say to you, ______________________ things you ask when you _____________, ______________________ that you receive them, and you __________ have them.   Mark 11:24, nkjv


DAY FOUR: The Son of Man Teaches on Prayer

Please carefully read Mark 11:24-26 and answer the following questions.


1.  What is the amazing promise and condition to obtaining that promise as we pray and trust Him by faith (verse 24)?


2.  The promise of verse 24 shows us that there are no limits to believers’ prayers.  As long as they are according to God's will and purpose, God will do great things as we partner with Him through prayer.  What do the following passages on prayer add?


Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:9, 10

James 1:5-8

1 John 3:22; 5:14, 15

Jude verses 20, 21


3.  There is also another condition to answered prayer that Jesus laid out here that may be difficult for some people to swallow.  What do we need to do in order to see effective, answered prayer (verses 25, 26)?


4.  We see by this passage that having an effective prayer life means having a forgiving spirit.  Some Bible students say that verse 26 is not in the original manuscripts, but nevertheless the principle stands.  It is interesting to note that verse 26 is the only place in the gospel of Mark that the word trespasses is used; this word means falling aside or departing from the path of truth and righteousness.[xi]  An unforgiving spirit blocks out our effective prayer life.  A broken connection between us and another person symbolizes the broken connection between us and God.  Jesus had addressed this in the Sermon on the Mount, something that Mark didn't record in full but related principles from throughout his gospel.  Read Matthew 6:5-15 and record some other ways Jesus addressed the issue of having the right heart and the right forgiveness in our prayer.


Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.


Therefore I say to you, ______________________ things you ask when you _____________, ______________________ that you ____________________ them, and you __________ have them.   Mark 11:24, nkjv


DAY FIVE: The Son of Man’s Authority is Questioned

Please carefully read Mark 11:27-33 and answer the following questions.


1.  The religious leaders had about enough of this.  The chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders comprised the Sanhedrin, which consisted of 70 members plus the presiding officer, the high priest; it was not the entire Sanhedrin that came, but a delegation from them.[xii]  As you may remember from an earlier lesson, the Pharisees oversaw the synagogues, and the realm of the Sadducees was the Temple.  As guardians of the Temple, and also trying to remain at peace with the Romans, these chief priests would see Jesus as a direct threat to their authority,[xiii] so they questioned His.  What did they ask Jesus in verse 28?


2.  Jesus used a counter question, which was a common Rabbinic debating technique, actually making His answer to them dependent on their answer to Him.[xiv]  How did Jesus reply to these men, no doubt in a way they never expected (verses 29, 30)?


3.  The religious leaders had “no use for a meek Messiah,” John Phillips said, but “wanted rather a militant Messiah, one who would make Israel the hub of a new world empire, they were alarmed at the sudden appearing of Jesus of Nazareth in the recognizable role of Messiah.”[xv]  How did Jesus further complicate this for them and put them in a real predicament (verses 31, 32)?


4.  What was their lame response to Jesus’ question, and what was His classic response (verse 33)?


Scripture Memory:  Can you write out this week’s passage by memory here below?  Give it a try, and keep reviewing the passage several times throughout the day.


Mark 11:24:


DAY SIX: Following Christ


1.  The purpose of the Temple was to give the people a place to meet with God.  The religious leaders had turned it into a place to make money and keep people from God! As Warren Wiersbe well said, “The court of the Gentiles should have been a place for praying, but instead it was a place for preying and paying.”[xvi]  Matthew's Gospel tells us that Jesus profoundly wept as He approached the city:


O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!  See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!”  Matthew 23:37-39, nkjv


What Jesus would think if He visited the Temple of my life?  Would He find my life busy about His Kingdom’s work, or would it be cluttered, self-seeking, and no longer effective? Take some time to think through the state of your own Temple.  What would Jesus do if he came to inspect your Temple today?  Record your thoughts about this.  Don't be ashamed to share this with your group, but rather share it so you may pray for one another and all be blessed.  What action will you take to cleanse your Temple?


2.  Jesus was trying to teach His men and also us about the importance of having faith.  The Jews used an image of a mountain as a strong and immovable problem that is in our way. Perhaps there is some mountain of a problem that is keeping you from becoming all that you can.  You can’t see any way around it; you can only go up and over or dig your way through the mountain! Based on the things that you've been reading this week, what are some ways this might help you overcome the obstacles in your life blocking your way to spiritual progress?  Please share some of your thoughts here. Remember to put your problems in the right perspective:  A rock that you can hold in your hand is just a mountain that God has broken down to a manageable size!


3.  In this week’s study we've been learning about the connection between faith, forgiveness and prayer.  As you’ve been thinking through your own prayer life this week, where some of the things that you've been learning personally?  How would you rate how your personal prayer life has been coming along since the beginning of this year?  What are some new and different things that you can commit to doing with your prayer life the rest of this year?


Scripture Memory:  Hopefully you now can write out this week’s passage completely by memory.  Do so now, and keep on reviewing it so you will be ready to share it with others in your group time.


Mark 11:24:

[i] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2005), p. 1235.

[ii] Craig S.  Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, New Testament  (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 1993), p. 165.

[iii] Unless elsewhere noted, all Greek word/phrase translations are based on the following:  A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1932, 1933, 1997);  James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:  Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Electronic Edition (Ontario:  Woodside Bible Fellowship; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996); M.R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002); Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader (Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1984, 1997); and Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary:  New Testament, Electronic Edition (Chattanooga:  AMG Publishers, in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1992, 1993, 2000).

[iv] James A. Brooks, Mark.  In David S. Dockery ed., The New American Commentary, Vol. 23 (Nashville:  Broadman Press, 1991), p.  180.

[v] James A. Brooks, Mark, p. 180.

[vi] John D. Grassmick, Mark.  In John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications, 1983), p. 155.

[vii] John D. Grassmick, Mark, pp. 157-158; Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1 (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications, Inc., 1989), p. 151.

[viii] Larry W. Hurtado, Mark.  In W. Ward Gasque ed., New International Biblical Commentary, New Testament Volume 2 (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1983, 1989), p. 183.

[ix] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1, p. 150.

[x]Warren W. Wiersbe, p. 150.

[xi] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, p. 1239.

[xii] James A. Brooks, p. 187.

[xiii] Craig S.  Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, New Testament, p. 166.

[xiv] John D. Grassmick, Mark, p.159.

[xv] John Phillips, Exploring the Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publishers, 2004), p. 236.

[xvi] Warren W. Wiersbe, p. 151.



© 2006 by Harvest Christian Fellowship. All rights reserved. Written by Thomas Klock for Men’s Bible Fellowship, 2005-2006.





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