I’ve been slowly reading through the gospel of Mark over the last month or so and decided to start making a record of some of the things I am learning. If you read this I hope you are encouraged and that it spurs you on to study and love the word of God more.
Warning: these are just the observations of a simple man trying to read and apply God’s word to his own heart and life.
Opens with the triumphal entry. The crowds cry out:
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David;
Hosanna in the highest!”
I’ve heard the word Hosanna before but to be honest I’m really not very familiar with it so I went back to a post I wrote a few years ago and found this very helpful explanation from John Piper, “[In the OT] It used to mean, “Save, please!” But gradually, it came to mean, “Salvation! Salvation! Salvation has come!” It used to be what you would say when you fell off the diving board. But it came to be what you would say when you see the lifeguard coming to save you! It is the bubbling over of a heart that sees hope and joy and salvation on the way and can’t keep it in. So “Hosanna!” means, “Hooray for salvation! It’s coming! It’s here! Salvation! Salvation!”And “Hosanna to the Son of David!” means, “The Son of David is our salvation! Hooray for the king! Salvation belongs to the king!”And “Hosanna in the highest!” means, “Let all the angels in heaven join the song of praise. Salvation! Salvation! Let the highest heaven sing the song!” The word moved from plea to praise; from cry to confidence.”
Cursing of the fig tree. Apparently when a fig tree has leaves it also begins bearing fruit. Jesus finds a fig tree with leaves but no fruit. It has the appearance of health and fruit bearing but in reality it is not bearing any fruit so He curses it.
Application: don’t be like the fig tree having only an external appearance with no internal fruit bearing reality
He then goes into the temple and cleanses it. No doubt there is a connection between the fig tree and the temple practices. They have the appearance of worshiping God but no reality.
At the end of the chapter Jesus exposes the religious leaders by asking if John the Baptist was from heaven or from man. They decide to say “We do not know” because they fear the people. This answer still exposes them. If everyone considered John to be a real prophet (v32) and they didn’t recognize that, then how can they recognize if Jesus is from heaven or man? They have disqualified themselves.