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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Mark 11

  1. Introduction
    1. READ: Joh 15:1-9 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
      1. Jesus has told us how to be disciples…in life, in marriage, with children…
      2. We saw that our relationship with Jesus needs our undivided attention – not focused on a checklist nor on other interests as primary in our lives.
      3. What we will see this morning is an interesting and yet important acting out of John 15 through Jesus’ actions.
      4. The heart of John 15 is that we bear fruit: (John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit;) – it is the reason we are here on earth…because it glorifies the Father!
        1. Isa 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him."
        2. 1Co 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
        3. 1Co 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
          ​​​​​​​======= Our lives fulfillment and joy and pleasure comes through glorifying God! =====
        4. Joh 10:10b I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
        5. Psa 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
        6. C.S. Lewis :: “In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”

Verses 1-11

  1. He’s Checking You Out
    1. Mar 11:1-11 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, 2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. 3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. 4 And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him. 5 And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? 6 And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. 8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. 11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
      1. 1Co 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
      2. 2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
      3. 1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
      4. Psa 33:18-22 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
      5. Joh 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Verses 12-14

  1. Are You Abiding in Christ?
    1. Mar 11:12-14 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: 13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. 14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
      1. When Jesus finds NO fruit…well, you see the response.
      2. John 15:2a, 6 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
      3. Are you connected with (abiding in) JESUS??
    2. ​​​​​​​Mat 7:13-14, 21-23 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

Verses 15-16

  1. Are You Bearing Fruit?
    1. Mar 11:15-16 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; 16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
      1. All the “STUFF” in our lives that would keep us from being fruit producers…Jesus wants to get remove from our lives!
      2. John 15:2b-3 every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
      3. The word “purge” comes from the Greek word that means “to cleanse”…but the derivation means to prune.
      4. It means if Jesus sees you’re bearing fruit for the Kingdom, He’s going to keep cutting the junk and hindrances out of our lives so that we can bear even MORE fruit!
      5. How does He “clean” us? …through His Word! à It transforms our minds and hearts.
      6. Psa 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
      7. Eph 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
      8. John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Verses 17-26

  1. Will You Cry Out to Jesus?
    1. Mar 11:17-26 Then He taught, saying to them, "Is it not written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS' ? But you have made it a 'DEN OF THIEVES.'" 18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city. 20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away." 22 So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 25 "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."
      1. If we are walking in the middle of God’s will for our lives…we have the priviliege of asking what we will – the key is that walking in the middle of God’s will changes our heart to be like His and so what we ask will naturally be according to His desires!
      2. Joh 15:7-11 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. 11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
      3. Psa 66:16-20 Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul. 17 I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue. 18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. 19 But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!
      4. 1Jn 3:22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
      5. 1Jn 5:14-15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
  2. Will You Enter
    1. Will you enter into an abiding relationship with Jesus? …One that bears fruit according to His heart? What is keeping you back from glorifying your Lord Jesus? Ask Him today for His heart!
    2. B.M. Palmer in Theology of Prayer, tells of a woman who had spent the summer away from her children, and was quite anxious to get back to them. When she learned that all the rooms on a certain steamer were taken, she wept bitterly. Because she couldn't get a passage on any other ship, she was detained two weeks in NYC. But the sorrow of being delayed was turned into thanksgiving when, within a few days, she learned that the vessel that denied her passage was buried at the bottom of the Atlantic. She didn't see the "no" as a wonderful answer to prayer until the whole story unfolded.
    3. What would have happened if this woman had gotten what she prayed for? Did God know more than the woman? How does this support Mark 11:24?
    4. Today, we are going to be talking about prayer in relation to an “Abiding relationship with Christ” and how sin in our lives affects prayer.
    5. As we talk about prayer…we must remember that God sometimes answers in different ways than we expect or desire!
    6. Remembering that last week we paralleled John 15 with Mark 11…we look back at John 15:7 to begin our thoughts on prayer…
  3. How is YOUR Abiding Relationship with Jesus?
    1. Joh 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
      1. Abiding: it’s being so close to Jesus that you can’t see space between…it speaks to a level of comfort and understanding that only comes through time and relationship.
        1. For this reason shall a husband shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife: they are to become so close that they become one flesh in God’s eyes (and should be in each other’s eyes)
        2. Marriage is a picture of our relationship with Christ.
        3. An Abiding Relationship sees Jesus as:
          1. ​​​​​​​Our wisdom
          2. Our righteousness
          3. Our Sanctification
          4. Our Redemption
          5. Our strength
          6. Our help
          7. Our Hope
          8. Our “Friend”!
        4. Our faith must be in Him for every facet of our lives
          1. ​​​​​​​Pro 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
          2. We must trust Him enough to obey Him and not do things our way…to say we trust Him and then to operate in our own strength and understanding puts us in a position of distance from our Savior.
        5. If we are walking in the middle of God’s will for our lives…we have the priviliege of asking what we will – the key is that walking in the middle of God’s will changes our heart to be like His and so what we ask will naturally be according to His desires!
          1. ​​​​​​​Joh 15:7-10 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
          2. How do we know we are in an abiding relationship with Him…verse 10: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love”.
        6. This means that all that we are needs to be focused on Him…our finances, our time, our energy, our priorities, our hobbies, our job, how we treat our bodies, our vehicles, our… (fill in the blank).
  4. ​​​​​​​ Are YOU Praying in Faith?
    1. ​​​​​​​READ: Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
      1. Jesus is talking to His disciples – so, the same can apply to us if we are learners of Jesus…
      2. Pray and believe…as a learner of Jesus, can we really believe that God is a “Genie in a bottle?” …can we really believe that God wants us rich, care free and living in a mansion in good health?
      3. If God wants us healthy, weathly and wise…why didn’t the Apostles have that kind of life? Why did Paul teach that godliness with contentment is great gain and that one of the greatest achievements we can have in this life is to have fellowship with the sufferings of Christ.
      4. If this is God’s will for our lives…why did Peter warn us of the firey trials ahead, the persecution and the suffering that we would endure for righteousness sake? WHY?
        1. ​​​​​​​Rom 5:1-4 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
        2. The “name it – claim it” guys can’t just say, “I speak healing” …how do they know its God’s will?
      5. If God wants us healthy, weathly and wise…why didn’t the Apostles have that kind of life? Why did Paul teach that godliness with contentment is great gain and that one of the greatest achievements we can have in this life is to have fellowship with the sufferings of Christ.
      6. Asking “ANYTHING” and believing means as a disiciple of Christ that we will be seeking the Kingdom’s will and good pleasure and not our own.
        1. ​​​​​​​1Jn 5:14-15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
        2. Mat 6:9-10 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
        3. A problem arises when we hear “NO” from God…or we hear nothing. God will answer if we are in the right relationship – but the three standard answers are to wait, yes or no.
  5. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Is there Sin in YOUR Camp?
    1. ​​​​​​​Mar 11:17 Then He taught, saying to them, "Is it not written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS' ? But you have made it a 'DEN OF THIEVES.'"
      1. 1Co 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
      2. Is there unrepentant sin in our lives? It will hinder our prayer life!
        1. ​​​​​​​Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
        2. Psa 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
      3. Jesus keys in on one of the greatest hindrances to our prayers being effective…
    2. Mark 11:24-26 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 25 "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."
      1. (Lord’s Prayer) Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
      2. (Right after the Lord’s prayer Jesus states) Mat 6:14-15 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
      3. (Hand in glove with unforgiveness is bitterness) Eph 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
    3. Heb 12:14-15 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
      1. If husbands and wives don’t treat each other Biblically, bitterness can spring up!
        1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
        2. 1Pe 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
        3. …And their prayers are hindered!
  6. Conclusion
    1. ​​​​​​​So…I’m abiding, walking in holiness, not bitter – seeking His kingdom’s will and still my prayers aren’t answered – what now?
    2. Isa 55:6-11 Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
    3. Keep praying, keep trusting, keep loving, keep studying…God has a plan!
    4. Psa 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.
Copyright Statement
Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Mark 11". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/mark-11.html. 2017.