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Mark  ◦   Chapter 11

1As they came to Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples ahead,2instructing them, "Go to the next village; and as you enter, you will find a colt tied there, which has never been ridden. Bring it to me.3If anyone questions what you are doing, tell them, 'The Lord needs to borrow it and will have it returned shortly.' "

4They went to the next village and found a colt in the street, tied to a doorway. As they were untying it,5a group of people nearby asked, "What are you doing with that colt?"6They gave the answer Jesus provided, and the people let them go.7Then they brought the colt to Jesus, put their coats on it, and he sat upon it.8As he rode upon the colt, many people laid their coats on the road before him, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.9The people all around them shouted, "Salvation has come! Praise him who comes with the character of God!10Praise the coming kingdom of David! Salvation in the fullest!"

11Jesus entered Jerusalem, went to the temple, looked around, and took a careful note of everything, but it was late, so he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

12The next day, they were leaving Bethany and Jesus was hungry.13In the distance, he spotted a fig tree in leaf, and since figs typically appear when the tree is in full leaf, he went out to get some fruit. But when he got to the tree, there was nothing on it but leaves. It was not quite the season for figs, yet the tree had leaves, suggesting it was fruitful.14So he said to the tree, "No one will ever eat fruit from you again;" and his disciples heard him say this.

15When he arrived at Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple and began driving out all those who were buying and selling and thus misrepresenting God and his healing plan. He turned over the tables of the currency exchangers and the stands of those selling doves,16and he would not allow merchandise to be moved through the temple courts.17He directed their minds to the truth, saying, "Don't the Scriptures say: 'My house will be called a place of prayer for every nation'? But you have turned it into a 'house of extortion, a highway of robbery.'"

18The senior church leaders and the theologians who taught a legal religion heard what Jesus was doing, and began plotting how they could kill him. They were afraid of his growing popularity and influence with the people, because the whole crowd was amazed with the truths he taught.

19Near sunset, Jesus and his disciples left the city.

20The next morning, as they were traveling, they spotted the fig tree dried up and dead.21Peter, remembering what Jesus had said, looked to Jesus and proclaimed, "Look Master! The fig tree you cursed has died!"

22Jesus said: "Trust in God.23And the simple truth is, you won't need the Temple Mount to anchor your faith, as you will be able to say to the Mount ‘Go and fall into the sea!‘ and if you don’t doubt in your heart but genuinely trust God, then it will be so.24Understand clearly what I am telling you: If you ask God for help, and trust him to provide it, you will receive answers to your requests.25And when you are talking with God, if you hold resentment, bitterness, or anything against anyone, don't harden your heart but forgive them, so you may experience the forgiveness of your sin from your Father in heaven.26For if you refuse to forgive, you close your heart to the forgiveness of your Father in heaven."

27Again they entered Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking through the temple grounds, the senior church pastors, elders, and the theology professors, who teach a legal theology came to challenge him.28"What gives you the right to what you are doing? By whose authority do you do this?" they demanded.

29Jesus calmly answered, "I will ask you one simple question. If you answer my question, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things.30You remember John. Tell me: was his baptism ordained of heaven, or merely from human origin?"

31They huddled together to strategize, saying to each other, "If we admit John's baptism was ordained of heaven, he will ask, 'Then why don't you believe him and support me?'32But if we say it is from human origin, the people will reject us because they believe John was really a spokesman from God."

33So they answered Jesus noncommittally, "We don't know." Jesus replied, "Since you won't answer my question, then I will not tell you by what authority I am doing these things."