St Mark 11 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Eleven: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/11?lang=eng

11 fig tree

Jesus’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem: Read Mark 11:1-11:

‘And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, 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. 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.”

‘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.

‘And certain of them that stood there said unto them,

“What do ye, loosing the colt?”

‘And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.

‘And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying,

“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.”

‘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 Cursed the Fig Tree: Read Mark 11:12-14.

The next morning, Jesus was hungry, and He saw a fig tree with leaves that appeared to have fruit; but when he reached it, he saw only leaves and no figs. It wasn’t time for the fruit to bear yet, but it looked like a tree that has fruit. Jesus cursed it for its hypocrisy. The elders, scribes, and Pharisees, as leaders of the people, made a pretense or a show of the law, but they also did not bear righteous fruit. “Wherefore by their fruits shall ye know them” (Matt 7:20).

No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever” (vs. 14).

Jesus Cleansed the Temple: Read Mark 11:15-18.

Jesus had just given a lesson on hypocrisy, and then He came to His Father’s house and found things contrary to the reverence and dignity the temple should hold. People were making the temple a place of merchandise, for profit. Knowing that there would be many traveling from afar to offer sacrifice, these people were selling the animals at exorbitant prices to gain profit from fellow worshipers. Of course, Jesus was not pleased.

‘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; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. 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.”

‘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’ (vs. 15-18).

Don’t we see the same pattern today? Many leaders would rather have people of integrity silenced rather than to have their evil craft exposed. They have their supporters and the media who spread false reports, calling evil good and good evil; and when persons of character speak up, they are mocked, taunted, ridiculed, and punished whenever possible. Any little thread of dirt will be energetically found, even if it is distorted, to bring evidence against someone with pure intent. If that same energy were put to mending evil ways, it would be a much better use.

‘And when even was come, he went out of the city’ (vs. 19).

Fig Tree was Found Dead Following Day: Read Mark 11:20-22:

‘And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him,

“Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.”

‘And Jesus answering saith unto them,

“Have faith in God.”’

Do we have faith that those things which are evil and set up to destroy will pass away? We should. God is all-powerful, and His ways are just and righteous, and His promises are sure.

Pray with Faith: Read Mark 11:21-26:

‘And Jesus answering saith unto them,

“Have faith in God. 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. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”’ (vs. 21-24).

When we are on the Lord’s errand, we should have faith that we can accomplish those things He desires us to do. And if it is necessary, and we are following His Spirit, we can ask for whatsoever is necessary to help us and protect us in His service.

“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. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (vs. 25-26).

To be forgiven, we must yield our hearts unto God. Our hearts can only be pure if we are seeking to be like Him. So to be forgiven, we must also forgive.

Jesus’s Authority Questioned: Read Mark 11:27-33.

It is interesting how men still think that they have more authority than God. The Supreme Court is truly not supreme. Only God is Supreme, and He has all power and all authority, and He has given all things unto His Son.

He who gave us agency and power to reason, has given us the ability to search out truth and to find Him through the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. But those who believe that they have great wisdom, through their many degrees and much speaking, often boast their self-sufficiency. They have outgrown religion and the need to worship some unknown being (who can be known to those who diligently seek Him, see Jeremiah 29:13). So their wisdom becomes foolishness. But to be learned is good if we hearken to God’s counsels (See 2 Nephi 9:28-29).

‘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, And say unto him,

“By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?”

‘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.

The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.” 

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 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” (vs. 27-33).

Do we question Jesus’s authority? Do we question the authority of His prophets? Do we question the authority of those called of God?

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