Mark, Jewish New Testament and comment David H. Stern

chapter 11
1. As they were approaching Yerushalayim, near Beit-Pagei and Beit-Anyah, by the Mount of Olives, Yeshua sent two of his talmidim
3. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it,’ and he will send it here right away.”
4. They went off and found a colt in the street tied in a doorway, and they untied it.
5. The bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”
6. They gave the answer Yeshua had told them to give, and they let them continue.
7. They brought the colt to Yeshua and threw their robes on it, and he sat on it.
8. Many people carpeted the road with their clothing, while others spread out green branches which they had cut in the fields.
9. Those who were ahead and those behind shouted, "Please! Deliver us!" (Psalm 118:25), "Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai!", (Psalm 118:26)
10. “Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our father David!” and, “You in the highest heaven! Please! Deliver us!" (Psalm 118:25)
See Mt 21:9N.

11. Yeshua entered Yerushalayim, went into the Temple courts and took a good look at everything; but since it was now late, he went out with the Twelve to Beit-Anyah.
12. The next day, as they came back from Beit-Anyah, he felt hungry.
13. Spotting in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came up to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it wasn’t fig season.
14. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And his talmidim heard what he said.
If Yeshua's (12-14, 20-24) cursing and drying up the fig tree had been a petulant reaction to disappointment because he couldn't satisfy his hunger, it would be unworthy of anyone, let alone the Messiah. But Yeshua is making a point by means of prophetic drama, acted-out parable (possibly Lk 13:6-9). Tanakh examples include Yirmiyahu, who bought and then broke a clay bottle (Jeremiah 19), and Yechezk'el, who made and then burned up a model of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 4-5); for a later New Testament instance see Ac 21:10-11.

Even out of season a fig tree in leaf — it must have been in leaf to be seen in the distance (v. 12) — holds forth the promise of fruit. The normal early season for figs in Israel is June, but the early unripe fruit (Song of Songs 2:13) begins to show itself even before the spring leaves appear on the branches, often before Passover.

We know that Yeshua expects God's people to put forth the fruit of righteousness, and that unproductive branches are thrown in ihe fire (Mt 7:16-20; 12:33; 13:4-9, 18-23; Yn 15:1-8). Thus the drying-up of the fig tree is an acted-out warning. In keeping with Proverbs 27:18 ("He who tends a fig tree will eat his fruit, and he who serves his master will be honored") Yeshua here is teaching his followers what it means to serve their master, God: i( means simply to have the kind of trust that comes from God (v. 22), and that they will wither away if they don't. Yeshua neither acts from pique nor performs arbitrary miracles like a magician; every one of his supernatural acts has spiritual significance.
Also see Mt 24:32N.

15. On reaching Yerushalayim, he entered the Temple courts and began driving out those who were carrying on business there, both the merchants and their customers. He also knocked over the desks of the money-changers, upset the benches of the pigeon-dealers,
See Mt 21:12N.

16. and refused to let anyone carry merchandise through the Temple courts.
17. Then, as he taught them, he said, “Isn’t it written in the Tanakh, My house will be called a house of prayer for all the Goyim. (Isaiah 56:7) But you have made it into a den of robbers" (Jeremiah 7:11)
18. The head cohanim and the Torah-teachers heard what he said and tried to find a way to do away with him; they were afraid of him, because the crowds were utterly taken by his teaching.
19. When evening came, they left the city.
20. In the morning, as the talmidim passed by, they saw the fig tree withered all the way to its roots.
21. Kefa remembered and said to Yeshua, “Rabbi! Look! The fig tree that you cursed has dried up!”
22. He responded, “Have the kind of trust that comes from God!
23. Yes! I tell you that whoever does not doubt in his heart but trusts that what he says will happen can say to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea!’ and it will be done for him.
24. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, trust that you are receiving it, and it will be yours.
25. And when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive your offenses.
Some manuscripts include verse 11:26: "But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your offenses."

27. They went back into Yerushalayim; and as he was walking in the Temple courts, there came to him the head cohanim, the Torah-teachers and the elders;
28. and they said to him, “What s’mikhah do you have that authorizes you to do these things? Who gave you this s’mikhah authorizing you to do them?”
S'mikhah ("ordination"). See Mt 21:23N.

29. Yeshua said to them, “I will ask you just one question: answer me, and I will tell you by what s’mikhah I do these things.
30. The immersion of Yochanan — was it from Heaven or from a human source? Answer me.”
31. They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From Heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’
32. But if we say, ‘From a human source, . . . ’” — they were afraid of the people, for they all regarded Yochanan as a genuine prophet.
33. So they answered Yeshua, “We don’t know.” “Then,” he replied, “I won’t tell you by what s’mikhah I do these things.”

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