MARK 11:1-11

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- Today we find ourselves in Mark ch. 11. And as we have been following Jesus and His disciples over the last few months, we have seen Jesus and His disciples on this journey throughout the area of Israel.
- And at times it could seem that Jesus was randomly walking around the area of Israel with no plan or purpose, just looking to see who He would come in contact with.
- Yet as we start Chp. 11 , we are starting this new section of the book of Mark. From Chp. 11-16 we see Jesus enter His last week of His earthly ministry, what is know as passion week. It is the week that starts on the Sunday ( which we will look at today) , Palm Sunday, before the crucifixion of Jesus and goes to resurrection Sunday .
- This is what we will be looking at from here on out, both the last week of Jesus’ ministry on earth all the way until He is crucified and His resurrection.
- What we will begin to see as we look today is the reality that Jesus had a plan the entire time he was here on earth. The places He visited, the people He encounter were no accident or coincidence but they were perfectly ordained by God.
- There was always a plan and purpose in where Jesus went , when He went and what He did.
- The main purpose Jesus came to this earth was to fulfill God the Father’s plan in bringing salvation to man, even if it meant His own sacrifice.
- Now for the Jews in Israel during this time there were 3 specific feasts that men were required to go to Jerusalem to celebrate.
- The feast of Passover, The feast of pentacost, The feast of tabernacles
- So what we have seen in the last few chapters is Jesus and His disciples making their way on this pilgrimage from the area of Galilee all the way down until they come to Jerusalem here in chp.11, in order to celebrate the Passover.
- With this in mind , you can imagine the amount of people that would be gathering from all the surrounding areas in the City of Jerusalem during this week in order to celebrate the Passover.
- The belief is that Jesus and His disciples would not stay in the City of Jerusalem during this week but they would stay in the nearby City of Bethany which was a few miles to the East of The City. Every day Jesus and His disciples would walk from Bethany which was near the Mount of Olives, and would walk downhill to Jersualem and at the end of the night, they would go back up the hill of mount of Olives into Bethany
I. The King Prepares to Enter into Jerusalem (v.1-4)
A. The Road to Jerusalem (v. 1)
So we see that this travelling that Jesus and His disciples were making brought them here to the City of Bethphage and Bethany.
You remember that last week Jesus was in the City of Jericho which was to the East of Jerusalem. So if Jesus was coming from the East stopping at Jericho possibly for the purpose of meeting and bring healing to blind Bartimaeus. .... In the gospel of Luke 19 we see that Jesus also met a man by the name of Zacchaeus a tax collector who would come to faith in Jesus ....
Now as He continued to walk towards Jerusalem, He would come to the City of Bethany.
Here in the City of Bethany is where Martha, Mary and Lazarus lived. This was the house where we see a beautiful picture of worship to Jesus. In John 12:1-11, as Jesus was staying here at this house, we see Mary take a pound of very costly fragrance oil, and she poured out the oil at the feet of Jesus and she wiped it with her hair.
this must have been such an awesome sight as the scriptures tell us that the whole house was filled with the smell of this fragrance.
This would happen the night before the events we are going to look at today. Many believe this is where Jesus would stay the last week of His earthly ministry.
Bethany was some 2 miles away from Jerusalem on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. When you would go from Bethany towards Jerusalem , you would pass by the City of Bethphage.
See Pic
B. The Entrance of a King (v.2-3)
It’s from this area of Bethany that Jesus sends 2 of His disciples to go into the City of Jerusalem .
He tells them to go into the City and as soon as they enter in, they will find a colt, or a donkey.... and if anyone asks what they are doing, they are to say that the Lord has need of it. They are to bring this donkey to Jesus in Bethany.
Why the Donkey?
This sounds like a random thing to ask the disciples to do. Was this a trick, was He doing this just to mess with the disciples? NO. As we have already mentioned , there was always a purpose in the places Jesus came to, the things He said and the things He did.
We have to consider what Jesus has been doing up until this point. He has been doing ministry, He has been healing people, doing miracles, teaching.... But until this time, He made it a point to tell both the disciples and those who followed Him, to keep silent for His time had not yet come. What He was talking about , was the main purpose of Him coming down to this earth.
the moment where Jesus would reveal Himself publically as God and the moment where He would die for the world. There was a specific time , a specific place, and specific way that Jesus would unfold these things according to God’s plan. Everything had to be exact. Here in Chapter 11, the time has come, He is at the place and now He needs to prepare to enter the right way. There was a purpose in all of this.
we will look at this a more in a bit.
II. The King Expresses His Authority (v. 4-6)
A. The Colt was where Jesus said it would be- all knowing.
The 2 disciples go down the hill and enter the City of Jerusalem and as soon as they enter the City, they find a donkey that has never been ridden tied just as Jesus said. And as they loosen the donkey , some must have asked what they were doing, possibly the owners of the donkey.... And they respond just as Jesus told them. The Lord has need of it.
i wondered as i was reading this, how did they know that this was the exact donkey? How did they know that this donkey had never been ridden? The truth is we don’t know, but something must have been obvious to the disciples , or they picked the first donkey they saw and said lets get out of here.
i want us to put ourselves in what is happening for a moment. Jesus is telling 2 of the disciples to go into the City and to randomly find a donkey, not any donkey , but a donkey that has not been ridden and to bring it to Jesus.
Now as the story plays out we see that things worked out..... but what do you think the disciples must have thought when they were told this.
We don’t know if Jesus knew the owners of the donkey and had this all worked out before hand, or if He just knew that this would happen because He is all knowing....
the reality in our story is that Jesus had a greater knowledge and understanding of how the situation would play out. The disciples were not asked to know, or they were not asked to give their opinion on what they thought..... They were simply asked to go.
Jesus would show His Authority by knowing beforehand what would take place.. He would later show His authority as both Messiah and King.
in v. 4 there are 2 specific words that i want us to focus on. “WENT” & “FOUND”
- we see that the 2 disciples “went” & “found” . Interesting that Jesus made promises to the disciples before they were sent of what would happen and what they would find…..
- These things that would happen and the things they would find would have a direct connection with what they were being called to do…. To go and bring the colt to Jesus.
- in other words it was in the going and obeying the words of Jesus that they would find the miraculous and would see the works of God. It was in the obedience that they were able to see the wonderful authority and sovereignty of God working in their lives. It was in the obedience that they found what was required to fulfill God’s calling on their lives.
- if you think about it, how crazy must this command sounded. They are being told to go and obey, to go where they cannot see, to find what they are not sure is there and to bring what they don’t have.
- what was required above all is the first step of obedience to God’s very words….. to go….
-God would reveal everything in time after the first step was taken. They didn’t know how they would find this donkey, where it would be, how the people would react, what they were supposed to do…. All they knew is that they were told to go. God would meet their obedience by bringing His plan to pass in their lives.
What is God asking me to do today? He may be asking me to go and to do. To be a part of something, to help out in an event, to reach out to a friend, to be more friendly, to say sorry and ask for forgiveness.....
- He is asking you to be obedient to His word even if we don’t know all of the details, even if we don’t know how it will work out. God is saying to us to go and obey what He is calling us to do and HE will meet us in our obedience and will work out His plan for our lives.
III. The King Enters Jerusalem (v.7-11)
the 2 disciples bring the donkey to Jesus and they threw their clothes on the donkey so that Jesus could sit on it. They didn’t use a saddle but just threw their clothes on it.
Then Jesus begins to ride this donkey down the slope from Bethany to Jerusalem through the Mount of Olives.
See the Pic
Now there are a few things that begin to happen as Jesus is making His way down with apostles. Remember that the area would be crowded because of everyone arriving during this time for the Passover feast in a few days. The nearby Cities would be crowded and people would travel daily into the City of Jerusalem.
We see that many people along this road began to lay down their clothes on the road and others cut palm branches and laid them on the ground for Jesus to ride over. This is where Palm Sunday comes from.
as Jesus and the crowds were moving towards Jerusalem, the people were crying out..... Hosanna! which means “save now” .
The Holy Spirit must have been working in the people and must have opened their eyes to see for the first time who Jesus was, the Son of God.
- The gospel of Luke tells us that not everyone was happy about what was happening. We are told that some of the Pharisees that were in the crowd told Jesus to tell the followers of Jesus to stop praising Him….. and Jesus makes an awesome statement….. if these should keep silent, even the rocks will cry out. Luke 19:35-40
The True Purpose in All the Specifics
we have to look a little deeper to get the full picture of what was happening here. Remember how i said that there was always a purpose and plan that Jesus was walking in.
One of the main reasons why Jesus would tell the disciples His time had not yet come, one of the reasons why He had to be here at a certain time, one of the reasons why Jesus would have to enter Jerusalem a certain way.... was to fulfill prophesy.
Prophesy’s are specific things that God spoke in advance through His prophets to His people of what He would do or what would happen. There are hundreds of Prophecies written about the Messiah hundreds of years before Jesus came.
Jesus fulfilled some 300 prophecies from the old testament just on His earthly ministry. This is one of the reasons we can trust the bible because of the accuracy of the prophecies.
we are going to look at 3 main prophecies that Jesus fulfilled here alone this day, which is why things had to be exact.
First Prophesy Fulfilled
Zechariah 9:9 NKJV
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah prophesied this some 500 years before Jesus would come into Jerusalem. He wrote that the King, the Messiah would come in a humble way riding on a donkey.
You see that here Jesus is declaring Himself to be both King and God in this entrance. The Jews would know this prophecy, which is why some of the religious leaders would be upset.
Matthew 21:4–5 NKJV
All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
2. Second Prophecy Fulfilled
As the people sang out Hosanna ( or save now) and blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, Ps. 118 was being fulfilled.
Psalm 118:21–26 NKJV
I will praise You, For You have answered me, And have become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
There are a group of psalms that are called the “Hallel Psalms” which are Ps. 113-118.
These ps. were read or sang at different times during the passover meal. To this day many of these are still read in Jewish homes during passover. But these psalms are a reminder of the deliverance from Egypt by God.
So it is interesting that while the people would be used to singing out the deliverance from Egypt, God would use this in speaking about complete salvation from our sins and Jesus being the one who would bring salvation. Think of the picture as they are singing this entering Jerusalem.
3. Third Prophecy Fulfilled
This might be the most important craziest prophecy fulfilled this day.
Daniel 9:25 NKJV
“Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
Daniel wrote this hundreds of years before this day. He wrote this while in babylonian captivity . Israel and Judah have been conquered and taken captive. The temple and the city had been destroyed.
Daniel is writing and saying that from the time that the babylonian King gives the order to start rebuilding the city of Jerusalem until the Messiah walks into the City of Jersualem will be 7 weeks and 62 weeks. This is talking about 7 year periods, so 7 years X 69 Years = 483 years.
Daniel is saying that from the time the king gives the command to rebuild Jeusalem unit the King comes into the Jerusalem , it will be 483 years ...... or 173,880 days
here is where is gets crazy. A theologian did the math and using the babylonian calander of 360 years of the time of Daniel, the command was given by King Cyrus to Ezra to rebuild the temple in 538BC .
From 538 bc - 173,880 days.... it takes us to this day when Jesus is entering Jerusalem , April 6, 33 AD. This prophecy was fulfilled to the day. This is why Jesus would say my time has not yet come.....
there had to be a specific time, a specific way and specific place to declare His authority , declare that HE was both King and Messiah. All these things had to line up, and the fact that they did, gives us confidence in the bible , in the word of God.
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