Contact: David Parham 940-322-4343

Website: Internet Bible Studies

Mark Menu

















Ball23A0.gif (3556 bytes)


Mark Chapter 11

Memory verses for this week:  Phil 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Introduction: We continue with our study of Mark this week as we cover Chapter 11.  In chapter 10, Jesus taught the true facts concerning divorce and how it was never God’s plan for a man and woman to divorce.  Jesus went on to point out how he loved the little children and told the disciples to allow them to come unto him.    He taught the rich young ruler that he did not really live perfectly under the law as his riches meant more to him than his service to God.  We closed with Christ again warning his disciples how that he would soon face death there in Jerusalem.


I.          The Triumphal Entry

Mark 11:1  And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,

Mark 11:2  And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.

Mark 11:3  And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

Bethany was a city on the east side of the Mount of Olives approximately 2 miles from Jerusalem.  Jesus sends two of his disciples to obtain a colt for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem that day.  The colt was a young animal that had never been rode.  The purpose of riding the colt into the city was to fulfill prophecy which was recorded in Zechariah 9:9.

Zec 9:9  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

If someone was to stop them, they were to say that the Lord hath need of him and they would let them have the animal.   By Jesus coming into Jerusalem on this colt, he proclaimed himself to be the long awaited Messiah.   This was His public presentation to the nation of Israel.   But rather than accepting Christ for who He was, the religious leaders of the people reject Him and condemn Him to death.  It is interesting to note that in the last few chapters that Jesus has been moving toward Jerusalem. While moving geographically to the city, He’s moving chronologically closer to His death. This is the last week of His earthly life. 

Mark 11:4  And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.

Mark 11:5  And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?

Mark 11:6  And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.

Mark 11:7  And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.

As expected, the two were questioned why they were taking the colt.   They told them what they were told to state,  and they let them go.   God had prepared the heart of the owner to allow the animal to be used.   They soon return with the colt.   Jesus mounts the colt and starts on his journey.   It says that the disciples cast their garments on the colt, and the Lord rides the animal into Jerusalem.

Mark 11:8  And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strowed them in the way.

Mark 11:9  And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:

Mark 11:10  Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

As Christ travels along the road to Jerusalem, it says many spread their garments in the way while others cut down branches from the trees and strowed them in the way.   And these both in front of the Lord and behind Him cry out “Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.  Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”  The word Hosanna means an exclamation of adoration.    We know the night Jesus was born there in Bethlehem we have record of the angels proclaiming the great event.  While they did not use this exact word, I know there was an exclamation of adoration.

Luke 2:8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Luke 2:9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

Luke 2:10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Luke 2:11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Luke 2:13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Luke 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Mark 11:11  And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

Jesus goes to the temple there in Jerusalem and looks around to see that all things are in place.   When the evening comes, he returns to Bethany with the twelve.

II.  The Barren Fig Tree

Mark 11:12  And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

Mark 11:13  And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

Mark 11:14  And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

On the following morning, as Jesus and the disciples leave Bethany, Jesus was hungry.   He comes upon this fig tree that had many leaves.   I know when I was growing up, some years we would have wonderful stalks of cotton, but in the end when it came time to harvest the crop, many times there would be few bolls on the stalks.  So a beautiful plant is not guarantee of fruit.   Jesus looks and expects to see some fruit, but finds no figs at all.   The time of figs was not yet… the bible says. When Jesus finds no figs on the tree, he causes a curse upon the plant.   He says that there would be no fruit ever on that tree.   When Jesus looks on us, does he see a pretty looking Christian, but no fruit in our lives?  I hope not.   If we want to be pleasing to the Lord, we will bring forth fruit.

Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Mat 7:17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Mat 7:18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Mat 7:19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Mat 7:20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.


III.  Jesus Purifies the Temple

Mark 11:15  And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

Mark 11:16  And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

Mark 11:17  And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

As people came to the temple, they had to have an animal to offer for their sacrifice.  The moneychangers had come up with a money making plan where the people didn’t have to bring an animal with them, but could buy one right there in the temple.  Jesus comes in and sees these people who were making a profit at the Lord’s house, and it stirred him up.  God designed the temple for the people, and it was to be a place of prayer, not a place of merchandise.  He turns over the tables and drives the moneychangers out of the temple.  It speaks of him taking a band of cords to do this in John’s account of the Gospel.

John 2:15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

John 2:16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

Many want to believe that you should never be upset as a Christian.   However, we should be upset with sin just like the Lord is.   We are just to not let things get carried away.  The bible says God is angry with the wicked everyday.  Sin should upset us too.  As Christians we should love the things God loves, and hate the things He hates.

Psa 7:11  God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.


Eph 4:26  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Eph 4:27  Neither give place to the devil.


Eccl 5:6  Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?


Isaiah 29:13: “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.

Mark 11:18  And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

Mark 11:19  And when even was come, he went out of the city.

Mark 11:20  And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

Mark 11:21  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

As soon as the scribes and chief priests heard about what Christ did in running the money changers out of the temple, they sought a way to destroy Jesus.  Most likely they were making money off of these people also, and Christ was messing up their arrangement.   God’s ways and man’s ways are far, far apart.   Jesus was such a great teacher that the people were astonished at his doctrine.  I think it is worthy to note that even though the religious leaders sought to destroy him, they still feared him.   Jesus had great power, and only a fool would not recognize that He was no ordinary man.  Even Nicodemus, a priest himself, knew Jesus was a great teacher come from God.

John 3:1  There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

John 3:2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Peter notices that the fig tree that Christ had cursed had withered away.   We are totally dependent on God in our Christian lives.  Jesus takes this opportunity to teach the disciples about faith and prayer.

IV.  The Lesson on Faith

Mark 11:22  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

Mark 11:23  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Using the fig tree as an illustration, Jesus gives his disciples a lesson on faith.   He began by telling them that they need to have faith in God.   Nothing seems to move God like a person who has total faith in Him.   We have a lot of great promises in God’s Word, but this one here in verse 23 is one of the greatest.   If we really believe God, He tells us that we can literally move mountains.   Do you have a mountain of troubles?  Trust God.. He will see you through.   Got a mountain of financial trouble?   Jesus will see you through it all.   The key is to believe and doubt not in our heart.

J. Vernon McGee said this about prayer.

It’s interesting that this discourse on the prayer of faith grew out of Peter’s calling attention to the blighted fig tree. You see, the first step in prayer must be faith in God. The writer to the Hebrews stated this same principle: “But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6).

If you don’t believe in God, friend, then the skeptic is certainly correct when he says that prayer is a madman talking to himself. Having faith in God is the first step.  [i]

Mark 11:24  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 11:25  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Mark 11:26  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Jesus tells us in verse 24 to pray and believe, and whatever we desire, we will receive them.  Will God really do this for us?  He sure will.  If we don’t see results, it is due to our lack of faith.   God NEVER fails, and what He promises He performs.   We are given an important prerequisite in verse 25.   We are to forgive others who have trespassed against us if we expect God to forgive us.   Many want God to forgive them of their sins, but hold bitter resentment against a brother or a sister in the Lord.  God expects us to be loving and forgiving people.  An unforgiving spirit can cause a fatal roadblock in our prayer life.

Mat 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Mat 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

V.       Jesus’ Authority Questioned

Mark 11:27  And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

Mark 11:28  And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

It was the chief priests, scribes, and elders who questioned the Lord’s authority.   The common people were much more accepting than the religious leaders were.   They first ask him by what authority did he cleanse the temple.   Jesus answers them with a question of His own.

Mark 11:29  And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

Mark 11:30  The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

Mark 11:31  And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?

Mark 11:32  But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

Mark 11:33  And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Jesus calls their attention to the baptism of John the Baptist.  Was this baptism from heaven or from men?  If these who questioned his authority could accurately answer this question, they would answer their own question.  This put these men in a tight situation.  If they answered from heaven, then Christ would ask them why they did not obey what John taught.  If they said of men, then they would face the wrath of the people for they knew John was a prophet indeed.  They answered in a very ‘politically correct’ answer.  They said we cannot tell.   Jesus responds “Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.”   They might have thought themselves pretty smart in their answer, but they were no match to the omniscient God to whom they spoke.  If you think that Jesus was not being straight on with these folk, you have to realize their motives and lack of belief.  

J. Vernon McGee spoke some great comments on this verse.

They had to wiggle out of answering the question of Jesus by claiming ignorance. It might be argued that this did not afford Jesus a sufficient ground for not answering their question. My friend, they were not seeking an answer. They were trying to trap Him. They had no intention of following His teaching if He had told them. He does not answer them because He is not falling into their trap. This, to me, is one of the great proofs of His deity—the way He handled His enemies.

Remember that when men and women came to our Lord with sincere questions as sincere seekers, they received a sincere and genuine answer to their inquiries.  [ii]


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.


Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


e-mail at:



Practice Random Acts of Kindness.  Each act spreads, and many will be blessed.


[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.