Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion ClassNew Testament: Mark 11:1–16:20Week 5, Page 2
is a Hebrew word that means, “O Lord, save us.” It’s a call to the Lord,the King, to reign and prosper while protecting his people. v)The entire episode is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah:
KJV Zechariah 9:9–10NRSV Zechariah 9:9–10
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout,O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy Kingcometh unto thee: he is just, and havingsalvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass,and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!Lo, your king comes to you;triumphant and victorious is he,humble and riding on a donkey,on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
And I will cut off the chariot fromEphraim, and the horse from Jerusalem,and the battle bow shall be cut off: and heshall speak peace unto the heathen: andhis dominion shall be from sea even to sea,and from the river even to the ends of theearth.
He will cut off the chariot from Ephraimand the warhorse from Jerusalem;and the battle-bow shall be cut off,and he shall command peace to thenations;his dominion shall be from sea to sea,and from the River
to the ends of theearth.
(1)This is a song celebrating the arrival of the king in Jerusalem (cf. Psalm 72). Thechoice of the mount—a donkey instead of a war-horse—indicates he has peacefulintentions.(2)The verse 10 anticipates a peaceful kingdom that covers the entire earth,something that was not fulfilled at this time (although the multitude who came tosee Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem certainly expected it to).c)Clearly the people who came to honor Jesus as he entered the city saw him as theMessiah and successor to the throne of David, and expected him to fulfill Old Testamentprophecies by overthrowing the Roman occupation and establishing an independentnation of Israel.i)But Jesus wasn’t here to save his people militarily—he came to save them spiritually,something even his own disciples didn’t understand until after his resurrection.
In the three days between his entry into Jerusalem and the Last Supper, Jesus taught andhad interactions with other people. We’re going to cover most these events over the courseof our study of all four gospels. In this lesson, we’ll cover three stories:a)
. The cursing of the fig tree.i)I mentioned this story back in lesson 3 as an example of the “passionate Jesus” of Mark. On the surface Jesus’ actions seem harsh and arbitrary, but what he didactually has a symbolic meaning:
(1)The prophet Jeremiah frequently used figs and fig trees to symbolize the peopleof Israel.
He compared the corrupt and disobedient people of Judah to a fig treethat grew no figs (Jeremiah 8:13).
The phrase “riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” is a Hebrew parallelism; a single animal is meant here.Matthew (21:5–7) misunderstood this and assumed two animals were meant.
The reference is to the Euphrates River in northern Syria.
In addition to the direct meaning given here, Jesus also used the cursed fig tree as an object lesson in faith; see Mark 11:20–25 (verse 26 is not in the oldest and best Greek manuscripts; it’s probably a scribal addition based on Matthew 6:15).
See Jeremiah 5:17; 8:13; 24:1–10; 29:17.
© 2010, Mike ParkerFor personal use only. Not a Church publication.