Mark Chapter Eleven
In that which follows (chap. 11) Jesus presents Himself to Jerusalem as King. His reception shews the extent to which the testimony He had rendered had acted on the hearts of the simple. God ordained therefore that it should take place. There is little difference between the narrative here and in Matthew. Only the kingdom is more simply presented as such: "The kingdom of our father David."
With what dignity, as the Judge of all things, Jesus now takes knowledge of all that was being done in the temple, and goes out without saying anything! The Lord had visited His temple, as also He had entered the city riding on the ass's colt, whereon never man sat. Israel is judged in the condemned fig-tree.  The glory of the Lord, of the house of Jehovah, is vindicated with authority-an authority which He claims, and which He exercises in His own Person. The scribes and chief priests draw back before the ascendency that His word had given Him over the people, and He goes out of the city without being molested, notwithstanding their malice. The next day He assures His disciples, who were astonished at seeing the fig-tree withered away, that whatsoever they asked in faith should be accomplished; but that they must act in grace, if they would enjoy this privilege. The scribes and priests and elders are confounded, and demand His authority. He addresses their conscience, but in such a manner as to demonstrate their incompetency to ask Him such a question, exposing at the same time their insincerity. They could not decide with respect to the baptism of John: by what right then could they subject Him to their questions respecting His own claims? They could not decide when the case was before them. On the other hand, they must either sanction His work by their reply, or lose their authority with the people by denying the baptism of John who had borne testimony to Christ. It was no longer a question of winning these men; but what an empty thing is the wisdom of man in the presence of God and His wisdom!
The change of dispensation has a more definite place in Matthew, and the sin which rejected the King. In Mark, it is more the service of Christ as the Prophet. Afterwards, as we have seen, He presents Himself as King. And, in both Gospels, we see that it is Jehovah who fills the office which He has deigned to undertake.
Consequently we find in Matthew more personal accusations, as in the parable of the two sons (chap. 21:28-32), and the detail of the change of dispensation in the parable of the marriage feast (chap. 22:1-14); neither of which is in Mark. In our Gospel, the unchangeable dignity of His Person, and the simple fact that the Prophet and King were rejected (rejection that led to Israel's judgment) are set before us by the Spirit of God. Otherwise it is the same general testimony we have reviewed in Matthew.
The Lord afterwards gives the substance of the whole law, as the principle of blessing between the creature and God, and that which formed the touchstone for the heart in the rejection of Christ. I say for the heart, because the trial was really there, although it was in the understanding that it appeared. Even when there were really orthodox principles (Christ being rejected), the heart that was not attached to His Person could not follow Him in the path to which His rejection led. The system of God's counsels which depended on that rejection was a difficulty. Those who were attached to His Person followed Him, and found themselves in it, without having well understood it beforehand. Thus the Lord gives the pith of the law-the whole law as essentially divine instruction-and the point at which the counsels of God are transplanted into the new scene, where they will be fulfilled apart from the wickedness or ill will of man. So that in these few verses (chap. 12:28-37) the law and the Son of David are presented, and the latter taking His place as Son of man-the Lord-at the right hand of God. This was the secret of all that was going on. The union of His body, the assembly, with Himself was all that remained behind. Only in Mark the Prophet recognises the moral condition, under the law, that tends towards entrance into the kingdom (v. 34). This scribe had the spirit of understanding.
The picture of the condition that would bring in judgment, which we find in Matthew 23, is not given here (see Synopsis about Matt. 23). It was not His subject. Jesus, still as the Prophet; warns His disciples morally; but the judgment of Israel, for rejecting the Son of David, is not here before His eyes in the same manner (that is to say, it is not the subject of which the Holy Ghost is here speaking). The real character of the scribes' devoutness is pointed out, and the disciples are warned against them. The Lord makes them feel also what it is that, in the eyes of God, gives true value to the offerings that were brought to the temple.
 That is man under the old covenant, flesh under divine requirement, and no fruit to grow on it for ever.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Mark》
Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. (1-11) The barren fig-tree cursed, The temple cleansed. (12-18) Prayer in faith. (19-26) The priests and elders questioned concerning John the Baptist. (27-33)
Commentary on Mark 11:1-11
(Read Mark 11:1-11)
Christ's coming into Jerusalem thus remarkably, shows that he was not afraid of the power and malice of his enemies. This would encourage his disciples who were full of fear. Also, that he was not disquieted at the thoughts of his approaching sufferings. But all marked his humiliation; and these matters teach us not to mind high things, but to condescend to those of low estate. How ill it becomes Christians to take state, when Christ was so far from claiming it! They welcomed his person; Blessed is he that cometh, the "He that should come," so often promised, so long expected; he comes in the name of the Lord. Let him have our best affections; he is a blessed Saviour, and brings blessings to us, and blessed be He that sent him. Praises be to our God, who is in the highest heavens, over all, God blessed for ever.
Commentary on Mark 11:12-18
(Read Mark 11:12-18)
Christ looked to find some fruit, for the time of gathering figs, though it was near, was not yet come; but he found none. He made this fig-tree an example, not to the trees, but to the men of that generation. It was a figure of the doom upon the Jewish church, to which he came seeking fruit, but found none. Christ went to the temple, and began to reform the abuses in its courts, to show that when the Redeemer came to Zion, it was to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. The scribes and the chief priests sought, not how they might make their peace with him, but how they might destroy him. A desperate attempt, which they could not but fear was fighting against God.
Commentary on Mark 11:19-26
(Read Mark 11:19-26)
The disciples could not think why that fig-tree should so soon wither away; but all wither who reject Christ; it represented the state of the Jewish church. We should rest in no religion that does not make us fruitful in good works. Christ taught them from hence to pray in faith. It may be applied to that mighty faith with which all true Christians are endued, and which does wonders in spiritual things. It justifies us, and so removes mountains of guilt, never to rise up in judgment against us. It purifies the heart, and so removes mountains of corruption, and makes them plain before the grace of God. One great errand to the throne of grace is to pray for the pardon of our sins; and care about this ought to be our daily concern.
Commentary on Mark 11:27-33
(Read Mark 11:27-33)
Our Saviour shows how near akin his doctrine and baptism were to those of John; they had the same design and tendency, to bring in the gospel kingdom. These elders did not deserve to be taught; for it was plain that they contended not for truth, but victory: nor did he need to tell them; for the works he did, told them plainly he had authority from God; since no man could do the miracles which he did, unless God were with him.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Mark》
 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.
 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
 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.
For it was not a season of figs — It was net (as we say) a good year for figs; at least not for that early sort, which alone was ripe so soon in the spring. If we render the words, It was not the season of figs, that is, the time of gathering them in, it may mean, The season was not yet: and so (inclosing the words in a parenthesis, And coming to it, he found nothing but leaves) it may refer to the former part of the sentence, and may be considered as the reason of Christ's going to see whether there were any figs on this tree. Some who also read that clause in a parenthesis, translate the hollowing words, for where he was, it was the season of figs. And it is certain, this meaning of the words suits best with the great design of the parable, which was to reprove the Jewish Church for its unfruitfulness at that very season, when fruit might best be expected from them.
 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.
He suffered not that any should carry a vessel through the temple — So strong notions had our Lord, of even relative holiness! And of the regard due to those places (as well as times) that are peculiarly dedicated to God.
 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.
They feared him — That is, they were afraid to take him by violence, lest it should raise a tumult; because all the people was astonished at his teaching - Both at the excellence of his discourse, and at the majesty and authority with which he taught.
 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
Have faith in God — And who could find fault, if the Creator and Proprietor of all things were to destroy, by a single word of his mouth, a thousand of his inanimate creatures, were it only to imprint this important lesson more deeply on one immortal spirit?
 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.
When ye stand praying — Standing was their usual posture when they prayed.
Forgive — And on this condition, ye shall have whatever you ask, with. out wrath or doubting. Matthew 6:14.
 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,
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Mark》
Chapter 11. Clean the Temple
You Have Received
It Will Be Yours
I. Never Been Ridden
II. Not the Season for Figs
III. Authority from Heaven
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》