Summary: Who Jesus is and how people responded to him

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MARK 11:1-12:44


Today we begin to look at the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. In chronological time, we are only a few days from his crucifixion. We learn more about Jesus and how people responded to him in these events than we do anywhere else.


Mk. 11:1-6 – “As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will

find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, Why are you doing this? tell him, The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, ‘What are you doing,

untying that colt?’ They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.”

At this point, Jesus begins to change how he does things. In every other recorded instance, Jesus either walked to where he wanted go or rode in a boat to cross water. At least in one instance, he even walked on the water.

Now he gives orders to two of his disciples to retrieve the colt of a donkey on which he would ride into Jerusalem. Jesus has specific purposes in mind. First, it’s a fulfillment of prophecy. Zech. 9:9 – “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Mark does not mention this prophecy because he is writing to a Gentile audience with no background in Old Testament prophecies.

Second, Jesus declares himself publicly to be the Messiah. In other instances, Jesus instructs his disciples to remain quiet about who he is. He now wants it made public.

We have two excellent examples of obedience in this event. First, the two disciples do what Jesus asks them to do without question. They simply do what Jesus requests. How often do we respond to what Jesus is asking us to do in simple obedience without fuss and without complaint?

The second example of obedience is found in the owners of the colt. Their simple obedience brought glory to God. If Jesus said today, “I have need of what you have,” would you let him have it? Would you be willing to surrender it like the owners of this donkey? Would you let him take it and use it for however long he needed it or would hold onto it because you might need it?

Mk. 11:7-10 – “When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people

spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead

and those who followed shouted, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the

coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!’”

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