In this study we go through Mark 11 section-by-section. Note that these accounts are not always in chronological order, but are sometimes written in an order that specifically discusses a few different points that are intimately connected, as tangential as they may seem. In this chapter the events that are discussed are:
- Yeshua riding a donkey
- Yeshua withers a fig tree
- Yeshua spends all day at the Temple
- Yeshua further discusses the lesson of the withered tree
- Yeshua’s authority is directly questioned in His own Father’s house
When most of us think of a donkey we may think of Balak & Balaam’s escapades. Let’s pave the way to consider another donkey circumstance that is much more closely related to Yeshua’s ride than the trappings of Balak & Balaam: Yeshua’s crucifixion is soon coming. He announced that He will be murdered before they head into Jerusalem (pretty much the only place on earth self preservation dictated not to go). His crucifixion is the second time in Scripture that you see the world outright confessing that He is, or ought to be king. You could say that the crucifixion “anointed” him to really and truly be The King of everything. The King’s name is literally “Salvation (Yeshua)” and His work from the cross is the fulcrum in the mechanism that provides the leverage He needs that might save. Jesus, compared to His God given name, is nearly meaningless. “Yeshua” was chosen for Him before time began and is the one name that has been diligently dialed in with incredible depth of meaning. We could travel the name rabbit trail for a while. The point here is that being a leader is not for the purpose of leveraging things to benefit the physical comforts of the leader, but to leverage things to benefit the right people at the right times even if it means sacrificing. Comparing and contrasting the way Yeshua handled God given leadership with the way Saul handled God given leadership displays this point in artistic fashion. The story as a whole also points to our responsibility as servants of a leader, whether the man is the true leader or not.
The parallels between the opportunities יהוה placed before Saul and Yeshua are on purpose. The accounts being parallel is highlighted in that Saul also rode a donkey towards being made king. Although, Saul did not literally ride a donkey like Yeshua did. In fact, Saul did not even realize that he was going to be anointed. יהוה used donkeys to get Saul to where he needed to be for his anointing none-the-less. Saul was looking for his father’s donkeys, which brought him to Samuel, who anointed him king, which changed the course of that Benjamites life forever. That tall studly man man.
Before we move to the next point, let’s ask: where did Yeshua ride to, and what happened there? He rode to Jerusalem. On the way there, “leafy branches” (lulav) were used to pave the way for Him. The leafy branches and garments were laid on the way through corporate praise and worship. When he got to the Temple, it was “already late”, which I assume means it was beyond twilight, and He went into the Temple to “look at all things.” Curious. After that they all headed to Bethany.
The next day they pass by the fig tree, which was allowed to whither quickly because it did not produce fruit at His command (even though it was not the season for it to be producing fruit). The fig tree was a living lesson to the words He spoke regarding bearing fruit: “Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.” The warnings associated with not bearing fruit was a theme that Yeshua taught frequently and unchangingly. It is a warning to us. It was a warning to His disciples.
Next, the rulers of the Temple ought to have been regarding the Temple as a sacred place. Yeshua knew their sin, the severity of it, and it’s effect. He knew how poorly they had failed at fulfilling their responsibilities. He went into the Temple and violently cleaned house. When the scribes and chief priests were called thieves, they did not repent, but pride continued in them and they decided it best to try to destroy the person who just called them out. They feared Him though. Yeshua was not ill equipped to deliver a harsh but necessary message. Notice here two things overlooked when most people consider Yeshua’s character in making life choices: He withered a tree for not doing what He said even though what He said was unlikely, and He violently thwarted people’s poor treatment of His Father’s house.
Next, the fig tree that He cursed was noticed and asked about. Yeshua did not answer telling them parables of fruit and trees as He already had, but of mountains! He tells them that if they believe, and tell a mountain to be cast into the sea, so it will be. He follows this up with a seemingly tangential point, but spiritually it is not tangential at all: If you do not forgive others their trespasses, The Father will not forgive you your trespasses. Those lessons are connected because the ideas there are tied together like this: doing The Father’s work (producing fruit) from a clean vessel (a vessel with unforgiveness is dirty and not doing The Father’s work properly) is the only way to do His work best.
Lastly, Yeshua shows us an example of somebody who does bear fruit. His bearing fruit is in stark contrast to the sections in this chapter dedicated to warning people of what happens when behavior is allowed to be rooted in pride like the leaders of the Temple. John the baptist did bear fruit and did fulfill his purpose. He fulfilled his purpose so much that the spiritual strength surrounding John’s life is very strong. The leaders asked Yeshua a scheming question. Yeshua prepared the way for the right answer. Truth is powerful and ought to be handled with care, with skill, and with wisdom. Yeshua showed care in handling the truth He was made responsible for by making the way straight for the truth first, giving the leaders the opportunity to show they were ready for the right answer: “John’s baptism, was it from men or Elohim?” The people would not answer Him with the truth of the matter. In fact, they would not answer Him at all. They were not ready to handle the truth and Yeshua did not spill the beans.
Contrast now John’s life, and the way the Father used Him, with the way Yeshua used him. Do you see that Yeshua noted how The Father used John to pave the way for mercy, truth, mishpat, and then Yeshua made use of John in the exact same way? How beautiful. What an example. Our Master is a delectable delight to serve. Taste and see that יהוה is indeed good. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. We all could benefit from dancin’ to His groove in our heart.
In this study You learned that Yeshua had Mark pen His scroll in such a way that the driving out of the Temple’s filth was surrounded by His withering a fig tree. He expanded on that teaching instead of just repeating what He had already taught them. You learned that the whip of cords event and it’s lessons are intimately connected to the lessons that can be compared and contrasted to His riding a donkey into Jerusalem. Finally, you learned that when we sacrifice our own wants and needs (John’s life is obviously one of sacrifice) to fulfill Yeshua’s, He then will use our works to help Him in performing His duties of mercy and mishpat for the sake of The Kingdom: bearing fruit.
Tune in for a new article and video posted every Friday at midnight. This season’s 13 week series ends in the middle of January.
Does Gleaning The Scriptures fill you in a way that is different than that of the common religious organizations you have meandered across? We hope so. Our goal is to show you truth that God is sharing with us directly. If you feel lead consider contributing. All contributions are appreciated.
Would you like to hear a sermon? Check out GTS on YouTube. Smash the like button, subscribe to the channel and become more deeply involved with GTS. Our Youtube channel was designed to be demonetized and is demonetized so a big way to help out is to interact with the videos to tell YouTube’s program that GTS is worthwhile and likeable content.
Remember, the best things in life are free and you being here, sharing in the knowledge of the truth is profit.
Shalom, in The Savior