About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 11
11 begins the entry of Jesus and His followers into Jerusalem. We learn from John that this
was the Sunday before Jesus’ death.
They come to the
verses 2 to 4 Jesus sends two of his disciples into the next village to
get a colt. The colt would be
tied up and they’d need to tell the owner that the Lord needs it and
will return it.
this colt Matthew tells us something Mark doesn’t.
Matthew says that the two men would find a donkey and her colt.
Jesus told the two to bring both to Him according to Matthew.
Why, we may not know for sure, but it might be possible that Jesus
did not want to separate the donkey from her child.
scholars conclude that Jesus and the owner of the colt and donkey knew
each other. If this was not the case, Jesus might be accused of steeling
verses 4 through 6 we learn that the two men found the animals, untied
them and told the people standing by that the Lord needed them.
The people accepted their word and let them take the animals.
Jesus sat on the colt they put a couple of robes over the colt to make the
ride more comfortable for Him We
see this in verse 7. In verse
8 others take off their outer layer of clothing and put the clothes on the
ground for the colt to walk on. It
appears that they ran out of clothing so they also cut palm branches off
trees and laid them on the ground for a carpet.
All these jesters were jesters of respect and adoration for Jesus.
crowd that was growing larger and larger viewed Jesus as their Messiah and
they thought that once Jesus entered
this large crowd of people. We
learn from John that there were actually two crowds converging here.
One crowd was following Jesus after he raised Lazarus from the
dead, and another crowd was coming out of
crowd begins to shout. They shout by saying, “hosanna”.
“Hosanna” means “save us now”, or, “salvation is near”.
These people clearly thought that the salvation of
they are actually shouting is a reframe from what would be sung or said at
the Passover that would take place in a few days.
Thus they are relating Jesus to the Passover.
Once again, this crowd understands Jesus to be the Messiah, which
He was. They just didn’t
understand what the Messiah would actually do in
shout, “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”.
The Lord here is God, or Yahweh as He was known to the Jews.
This Jesus who was riding on the colt was greatly blessed by
continued by saying, “blessed is the coming
Christians believe that there will be a literal thousand years reign of
peace, where Jesus will rule with a rod of iron from Jerusalem. They believe
that is the
section ends with Jesus gong up to the
thing we should note here is that when Jesus entered the city and was
receiving all of this acclamation, He
accepted it for what it was. They
called Him the Messiah. He did
not dispute that, because that was true. But He didn’t stop to teach the
crowd that their idea of the Kingdom was wrong.
He let them alone in the error of their thinking.
verses 12 to 15 we have an interesting event.
“They” as Mark
says, meaning, Jesus and at least the Twelve left
the distance Jesus saw a fig tree full of leaves.
You must remember that it is early spring.
Most fig trees would not have had its leaves in full bloom.
But since these leaves were in full bloom it is logical to think
that there might be some fruit on it, even though it was too early for
fruit as Mark says. Fruit
would appear on fig trees in early June.
Jesus came close to the tree and saw no fruit He cursed it.
Many assume that this tree was on the side of the road and did not
belong to anyone in particular. Those people who believe this think that
Jesus wouldn’t curse a tree that belonged to someone.
Jesus cursed this tree so it would never bear fruit in the future.
don’t know if Jesus expected this tree to have fruit or not.
I’m not sure it matters. It
is quite possible that Jesus was using this event to say something to His
disciples that was more about the nation of
principle applied here to Jews also applies to Christians who are expected
to produce fruit. The problem
is that many Christians look like they have lots of fruit from a distance,
just as this tree did. But when you get closer to them you notice that
they have no fruit, but leaves only. Their
fruitfulness is one of show only, and when it comes right down to it they
have nothing to offer the Kingdom
verse 15 Jesus and the Twelve arrive at the
need to note that this is in fact the second record ed time that Jesus
overthrew the tables of commerce in the temple.
The other time is found in John 2.
These cannot be the same event.
If you study them carefully there are some differences.
And it makes no sense for John to write something that took place
at the end of Jesus’ ministry in the first part of his book, especially
since John was following some kind of loosely fit chronological order.
certain sector of the Evangelical church has promoted the idea in the past
that the building they use to hold their services is actually the “house
of God”, and because it is God’s house the building is sacred.
Because the building is sacred you can only do certain things
inside the building. This is
clearly not New Testament thinking. In
the New Testament age Christians, both individually and collectively is
the house of God. As Paul
says, “God does not dwell in buildings made of hands”. (Acts 17:24)
who hold to the idea that God still lives in buildings sometimes point out
this passage of Scripture. They
say that the temple was God‘s house and Jesus was upset because of what
was taking place in God’s house. They
are right in saying at this particular time that the temple in
quotes prophecies from Isa.
56:7 and Jer. 7:11 when He says that the temple should be a house of
prayer for all nations but thee Jews have turned it into a den of thieves.
People weren’t just making a mall of stores out of the temple but
they were not being honest in
their business dealings.
temple was to be a place of prayer, a place of communion between man and
God. And so should our bodies,
and our gatherings as Christians. Both
our bodies and our gathering together are called the
church building is no different than any other building.
The only thing that begins to make it different is when the people
of God come and gather inside its walls.
Other than that, it’s just a building and should be seen as that.
verse 18 we see that the teachers of the Law were now afraid.
They were so afraid that they seriously were thinking of a way to
kill Jesus. There fear was
based on the fact that this huge crowd now had their eyes on Jesus and
were beginning to hear his teaching, even though they did not understand
it. The crowd wanted Jesus to
rule them as their king, something that threatened the Jewish leadership.
They could not have this.
19 says that when evening came Jesus and the Twelve left the city.
Matt 21:17 says that they returned to Bethany. This was Monday evening.
know that Jesus spent Sunday and Monday nights at
morning comes which we see in verse 20.
Jesus and the Twelve proceed back into
verse 22 Peter points out this tree to the rest and reminded them what
Jesus had done to the tree just the day before.
verse 23 Jesus takes this opportunity to speak about faith.
Jesus had just dried up a fig tree, something that is not possible
with man but is with God. The disciples were amazed at this.
Jesus then tells them that they will be able to do such things too
if they’d only believe, that is, if they’d trust Him.
says that “if anyone says to this mountain”, meaning the Mount of
Olives, “throw yourself into the sea (the
24 is one of those verses that prosperity teachers use to promote their
“ultra faith” teaching, meaning, we can ask Jesus for anything and we
should get it based on our faith. If
we don’t get what we ask for it’s
because of a lack of faith. Is
this what Jesus is saying here? I
don’t think so.
says, “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it,
and it will be yours”. “Ultra faith” people simply think this verse
is saying that when you pray for something and really believe you’re
going to get it, you will get it. If
you don’t get it, you’re not believing enough.
Then they also take it one step further.
When you ask, if you don’t get the answer, act as if you got the
answer already. There’s some
obvious problems with this thinking. One
classic example is praying for good eye sight and then breaking your eye
glasses even though you still don’t see well.
Bible says much on this subject that you need to consider when thinking of
this verse. It says in many
places that we ask according to God’s will.
You just don’t ask for anything.
When the Bible speaks of asking in the name of Jesus,
it means that you ask as Jesus representatives.
This means our requests are to be in sink with the work we do in
Jesus says that when you ask, and we know that we ask according to His will and in His name, “we should believe that we have the answer”. We should look at the word believe. The Greek word “pistis” is translated as believe and faith in the New Testament. It simply means “to trust”, and in this context the trust is in Jesus.
thinking of the word trust we should understand that it is a word of
resignation. This means that
we just give our lives over to Jesus.
We trust Him with our lives and with our requests.
Trust is not something that we can get more of.
It’s not something we can strive real hard to attain more of.
simple point in what Jesus is saying here is that when we pray we just
trust Jesus for the answer. He
is the one that provides the answer. We
work together with Him in the things we request because we’ve given
ourselves to Him. Our relationship with Him will determine the nature of
thing to note here concerning the word believe is the Greek verb tense.
Jesus is not saying believe once and get the prayer answered as
hyper faith people suggest. They
say you pray once and if you have the faith your prayer is answered.
The verb tense says, “go on believing”.
This is a progressive believing, a trust that continues.
If you have to continue believing for something, it means you
didn’t get it when you first prayed, so a lack of faith is not even
relevant to the discussion.
ends this section by saying that when we stand in prayer believing, and if
we hold something against someone we need to forgive him. Why would Jesus
say such a thing in this context? I
think that Jesus is saying this because there are reasons why some of our
prayers don’t get answered and it has nothing to do with a lack of
faith. There’s other reasons
mentioned in the Bible why prayers don’t get answered.
The reason given here is due to unforgiveness towards someone.
going into detail here, I believe the New Testament teaches that when
someone repents of a sin, we are obligated to forgive him, or
in others words, cancel the sin so you no longer hold it against
him or he is no longer penalized for the sin.
I also believe that if a person does not repent of the sin, you
cannot cancel the sin. God
does not forgive without repentance, and neither should we.
This does not mean we don’t love the person.
We love him as if he never sinned in the first place.
We just can’t cancel his sin on behalf of God as His
is my thinking then that what Jesus means here is that if someone sins
against you, and if he repents, you must forgive him.
If you don’t forgive the offender then you might as well not
verse 27 Jesus and the Twelve are back at the
Jewish leadership ask Jesus by what authority He teaches and does what He
does. They probably were thinking about what took place the day before
when Jesus upset the money changers tables.
verses 29 and 30 Jesus answers
the question with a question. He
asks the Jews if John’s baptism was from God or man?
Jewish leaders knew where Jesus claimed to get His authority.
This was simply another attempt to try to trap Jesus, but He could
not be trapped. When it came to authority, both John and Jesus had the
same authority. If the Jews
recognized John, they would have to recognize Jesus because John spoke
about the coming of the Messiah who was Jesus.
Jesus’ question presents the Jewish leaders with a problem as seen in
verse 31. If they said
that John’s baptism was from God, then they should accept John as a true
prophet, something they refused to do.
They should then have to seriously consider Jesus’ claims,
something else they did not want to do, because it would undermine their
the other hand, if they said that John’s message was just from man, they
feared the huge crowd because at this moment of time the masses were
hysterical all for Jesus. The
Jewish leaders actually feared for their own lives.
chapter ends with the teachers of the Law saying nothing at all.
They figured saying nothing was the best way out of their dilemma.
We seen this before. When someone tries to trap Jesus, they in turn
get trapped themselves by Jesus. The
only way out is to walk away without saying a word.