✅ Mark 11- even though it was been covered, I did some extra research so I can learn something new every time. Why were the palm branches used? Well, here is what I found out… If you read the post about the ‘400 Years of Silence’, (if you didn’t click here), the Maccabees overtook Antiochus, releasing them from his captivity. When they celebrated their independence from him, they used Palm Tree branches. As Jesus made his first pubic profession as king (riding in on a donkey) the crowd yells Hosanna! The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”. The people want to be saved from the Romans and be independent. They were ready for Jesus to once again make them a nation!
If you go back to the Luke account-it now makes sense WHY Jesus wept when they were quoting Psalm 118-Hosana. He knew that they thought he was coming as a King to bring them independence. So it says back in Luke 19:
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
- ✅Jesus comes to Jerusalem as King
- ✅ Fig Tree
- ✅ Jesus clears the temple
- ✅ Authority questioned
John 12-Jesus anointed in Bethany
So this is actually taking place at Simon’s house. Simon was a leper that Jesus healed. Can you imagine the dinner small talk “Dude, my skin was so rotten my fingers were falling off-and Jesus healed me” “Oh, yeah…well I was dead for days- so beat that!!” (I’m not right!)
You have to just take a moment to feel all the characters in this scene.
- Martha-her gift is serving
- Mary-the worshiper
- Judas-the greedy one
- Lazarus-the witness
- Simon (not mentioned in this book)-the testimony
- Crowds-indifferent, looking for entertainment
- The Jewish leaders-The unbelievers
Sounds like my house on a Friday night to be honest. I could write a lot about this passage but for today, I am going to let you sit with it. I really want to save time for the last verses.
✅ Jesus predicts his death
37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
Do you know where in the Bible this is quoting?? Flip to Isaiah 53:1 (I attached it here starting at 52:13)😢. Then a very difficult scripture is quoted. Jesus then quotes Isaiah 6
39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
40 “He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn—and I would heal them.”
41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
This is hard to chew on. Think of it this way: Do you remember back in Exodus the Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by the Lord? The Lord did this AFTER Pharoah had already made his choices. The Lord had a plan to free HIs people and to do what He needed to “debunk” all the false gods. Not 4 of them, not 6 of them…ALL 10 so that He could prove there was only ONE God. WELL, we have the same concept here. After 3 years of the most amazing teaching, healing, and fulfilling detailed prophecies, many still did not believe. We are DAYS away from the Cross. So now what??
For those that were invited, the door is now closed. He hardened their hearts. It is time. Jesus needs to be rejected by both Jew and Gentile. If the Jewish leaders suddenly believed, then Jesus would be dying just for them. If the Gentiles suddenly believed, then Jesus would be dying just for them. He came to die for all. So just like the Pharoah’s heart was hardened right at the end, so now are those that were invited to believe are “blinded” from seeing who He is. It is time now to be crucified for those that do believe, both Jews and Gentile.
If you glazed over this you missed something HUGE:44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
The Law of Moses makes it punishable by death to blaspheme the Lord’s name. Jesus is saying I AM not just Jesus, I AM God. Since they do not know this is true, they can convict Jesus of the death penalty, find him guilty in their “blinded eyes” BUT be innocent (sinless)of any accusation since HE IS GOD.
They don’t have to trick him anymore…they don’t have to try to find a way to arrest him. Jesus did it for them with this statement. He gave them the “arrest” statement and yet remained sinless doing it.
Jesus ends this teaching with a reminder that the 1st coming is not a time of judgment. (Although I think many don’t see that in the Cross, and choose to not come to it). However, when He returns, the 2nd coming, there will be a Judgement. You and I live in between the two time periods.
47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”