Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,PART III. THE SERVANT IN JERUSALEM PRESENTED
AS KING AND REJECTED -- Chapters 11-13
1. The Servant enters Jerusalem. Mark 11:1-11
He presents Himself as the promised Son of David to the nation as written in the prophecy of Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9). As King the multitudes welcome Him. Hosanna (save now); 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.” They expected the promised Kingdom and they welcomed Him as Son of David with power to save. But He knew what it all meant. He is silent, according to Mark, but enters into the temple and looked around upon all things without uttering a word. There is nothing for Him there. He then left the city and returned to Bethany (meaning: house of affliction). When He comes the second time with Glory, He will be greeted by a remnant of His people and set up the Kingdom of David.
2. The Fig Tree Cursed. Mark 11:12-14
He was hungry. In all the enthusiasm no one had thought of His need. The rejection of the Servant-Son is evident in this. The fig tree is the emblem of the Jewish nation. He came looking for fruit and found none. “The fig tree was punished not for being without fruit, but for proclaiming by the voice of those leaves that it had fruit; not for being barren, but for being false; and this was the guilt of Israel, so much deeper than the guilt of the nations” (Trench).
3. The Cleansing of the Temple. Mark 11:15-19
Twice He cleansed the temple, in the beginning of His ministry (John 2:13-16) and at the close. Most likely the desecration of the house was worse at the end than in the beginning. The greed for money is the prominent feature in the defilement of the temple. The actions of the Lord brings out the Satanic hatred of the scribes and chief priests. He was hated as the Servant without a cause and hated unto death. Again He went out of the city.
4. The Withered Fig Tree and Instructions. Mark 11:20-26
The dried up fig tree is made the occasion to teach the disciples the power of faith in God. The fig tree typifies the religious condition of the people. The mountain, the nation as such, thinking themselves firmly established. But soon that mountain was to be removed and cast into the sea (the sea of nations). Faith was exercised by the Servant and He calls upon His own to have faith in God. Faith can remove every obstacle. For the disciples it meant the obstacle of that mountain, the nation. Mark 11:24 is precious and has the same meaning today as it had when the words were spoken. God ever answers faith. But that faith must be paired with forgiveness.
5. Again in Jerusalem. The Authority of the Servant Questioned and His Answer. Mark 11:27-33
Visiting the temple again He met His enemies, who questioned Him concerning His authority. His authority was completely established by the mighty works He had done. The omniscient One knew their hatred and asked them a question, which they did not dare to answer. He, the perfect Servant had zeal for God and for His house; they, the religious leaders, had only zeal for their own authority, This is still the mark of all ritualism.