Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
The blind man, the donkey and the fig tree
March 28, 2021

The blind man, the donkey and the fig tree

March 28, 2021

Mark 11:1-11

New International Version

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 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. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”

4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

“Hosanna![a]”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

11 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.

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Background

Mark brought Jesus’ mission to a geographic climax. All of Jesus’ teaching for the last three chapters has pointed in this direction, especially with the poignant third passion prediction (10:33), which for the first time explicitly equated Jerusalem with the place of betrayal and death.

Not only is Jerusalem seen as the geographic climax to the story, but in this location Jesus emphasized public proclamation and confrontation with the Jewish leaders. Correspondingly, the healing miracles that played such a prominent part in His earlier ministry cease all together. The only miracle-like event in the remainder of Mark is the cursing of the fig tree (11:12–14, 20–21).

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” (11:1–2). From the passage’s language, it is unclear if Mark wanted his readers to understand Jesus’ words as those of a carefully orchestrated plan or knowledge arising from a supernatural source. Jesus did more than foretell the general events before they happen; He specifically rehearsed conversations with His disciples to avoid interference from others. “If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly’ ” (11:3). When the disciples were questioned about taking the colt, they answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go (11:6).[1]

Notes from Point 1

Point 2 

Notes from Point 2

Point 3

Notes from Point 3

Summary

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[1] David Smith, Mark: A Commentary for Bible Students (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007), 209–210.

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