Mark Chapter 11 Part 1

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Shalom, and welcome to [foreign language 00:00:06], a Hebrew phrase which means you shall love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch, shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at loveisrael.org. That’s one word, loveisrael.org. Now, here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.

Dr. Baruch:

We read in the scriptures, be anxious for nothing. That’s good advice. In other words, trust the Lord in all things and he will manifest to you his faithfulness. But even though it says be not anxious, it doesn’t mean not to be excited. We should be excited people, that God has given us the opportunity to serve him. A great example of being excited to serve God is found in the life of Messiah [Shaw 00:01:16]. Now it’s easy to be excited for those blessings, for those good things that we’ll receive, but someone who relies upon God, who believes in him, who has a strong faith in the promises of God in the age to come, that person will also be excited to serve God, even in the difficult, painful things that God may lead you to do. As I said, we see a perfect example of that today.

Dr. Baruch:

Take out your Bible and look with me to the book of Mark and chapter 11, the book of Mark and chapter 11. Now, we left off last week with Messiah making his journey from the Galilee to Jerusalem, and he came to Jericho and I hope that you’ll recall that he enters into Jericho and here’s the unique thing. He immediately exits and continues on up to Jerusalem. Now, why that is significant is this. Most people, as we talked about, they would take at least a day or two to rest. It’s been a long journey of approximately 50 miles for him and now that last part of the journey is all uphill. So common sense would tell us rest. That’s what people did. But you’re sure he did not. He entered into Jericho and immediately continued on. Why? To show us his commitment, his desire, his passion to fulfill God’s will for his life.

Dr. Baruch:

Why? Because of his love for you and me. He understood a very important principle, and that is, as the Psalmist says. Actually, as in the book of Proverbs, it teaches that no man is an island. That means this. That what I do in my life is going to impact other people, and therefore, when I submit to God, when obey him, it’s not only going to bring about a blessing for me in this life and especially in the life to come, but it’s also going to impact others. So if you understand the basic truth of the Torah, which is [foreign language 00:03:34], love your neighbor as yourself. If you understand that principle, then you’re going to be desiring to submit to God, to obey him, to do his will because you, in doing so, will be blessing others. Let’s begin Mark, chapter 11 and verse one.

Dr. Baruch:

Now he’s departed from Jericho, and it says in verse one, “And when they drew near to Jerusalem,” but literally they have not entered, they’re only near. They’re at what location? Well, two specific locations are given. Betfagi and also Bethany or in Hebrew, [foreign language 00:04:16], and that’s important and we’ll talk about that towards the end of our study. But what we know about these two locations, and the scripture tells us as well in verse one, that they are on the Mount of Olives. Now, the Mountain of Olives are important in the scripture. For example, one of the places we read about the Mount of Olives is in the book of Zechariah and chapter 14. Now, for this section today in Mark chapter 11, the book of Zechariah is going to be very important because he alludes to it now, but he’s going to be very, very specific about it in a few minutes.

Dr. Baruch:

And that is to say that the book of Zechariah is on the mind of Messiah because in the book of Zechariah, chapter 14, it speaks about the fact that Messiah is going to come to Jerusalem, but he’s going to come first to the Mount of Olives and then make his way down that mountain and enter in to Jerusalem. We have kind of a foretaste of that in this passage today. Now, what’s interesting to note is this. Even though the Christian scholars and the Jewish scholars see that this 14th chapter, the first segment of that 14th chapter, relates to Messiah’s return. What’s important to realize is that it does not speak about the Messiah. What it actually speaks to is God himself, using that sacred name of God, that [foreign language 00:05:54], that sacred four-letter name of God, doesn’t say Messiah, but everyone understands it’s Messiah who’s going to fulfill that. I believe that is a good hint to the identity of Messiah as God incarnate, the eternal son of God.

Dr. Baruch:

So he comes here on the Mount of Olives. You know, that’s how to refer to in the scripture, but the rabbis called it by another name, [foreign language 00:06:22]. The anointed mountain or the mountain of anointing. Now, why is that important? Well, we know something. Olives were used to get their oil for the purpose of anointing and that word, anointing, is inherently related to Messiah. So it’s called the anointing mountain, but it could also be understood as the mountain related to the anointed one or Messiah. So it shouldn’t be surprising to us when he comes to Jerusalem for that final time to fulfill his father’s will for his life to be a blessing to us, to provide redemption for you and me, that he comes to the very place where Zachariah tells us salvation is going to be manifested and that is the Mount of olives.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, what else do we know about this location? Well, keep reading. Once again, verse one. “And when they came near to Jerusalem to Betfagi and Bethany towards the Mount of olives, he sent two of his disciples.” Now, that’s not the first time that we’ve come in contact with two of Messiah’s disciples. In the previous chapter, two disciples were mentioned, Yaacov and Yochanan, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Now, we don’t know what two disciples he were speaking to here, but here’s the key. The sons of Zebedee, James and John, they wanted to be great and Messiah told them how to be great and that was to become a servant. Now he’s giving them an assignment, two of the disciples, an assignment. A very simple assignment. One that may not seem to be so important from a human standpoint, but when we understand the scripture, it is vital.

Dr. Baruch:

Now another thing that we need to understand about the nature and the work of Messiah is this, that everything he did, and I want to emphasize, everything he did was uniquely and inherently related to the scripture. He did this so that this verse would be fulfilled. He did something else for another verse that it might be fulfilled, and he did that so that the reader of the gospels could look and understand who he was, what he was going to do, what he has done, and what are the internal implications of that for you and for me and for the entire creation. So in this passage of scripture, he gives a commandment to two disciples. Now, as we’ve talked about many times, that number two and all numbers are important, they have a significance, and it may be the two in this case because we see it in Matthew’s account of the same passage in regard to his final week in Jerusalem.

Dr. Baruch:

That number two appears in Matthew 26 and Matthew 27 numerous times, and it’s to show two oftentimes may show a dichotomy, two different opinions. And we have the opinion that is why Messiah came into Jerusalem. He knew why he came. To lay down his life, to be that Passover sacrifice, to earn for us redemption. But the dichotomy is this, that the disciples, they didn’t see that. They had another view and that’s going to become very clear to us in a few minutes. So look again, he comes to this location and he gives a command. He commands two of his disciples that they should do something. Look on to verse two. “And he says to them, “Go into the village, which is before you, and immediately upon entering into it, you will find something.” And what’s that? He says a donkey.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, not just any donkey. This word is used for a very, very young donkey. Now here’s what’s interesting because he speaks about this young donkey, perhaps only a few months or close to a year. What does it say about him? That he has been tied. Now, if this was in the Greek imperfect, it wouldn’t be a problem. It would simply mean that he was tied in that location in the past, we don’t know how long in the past, and he remained there up until a given point of time when these two disciples came and loosened him and brought him, as we’ll see, to Messiah. But this verse, having been tied, it’s very interesting. It is in the perfect, not imperfect, but perfect. And the imperfect, when we talk about justification, more often than not in the scripture, that word justification is in the perfect. Why? It’s something that happens in the past. It’s true in the present and it extends on into the future.

Dr. Baruch:

So it speaks about a long time, sometimes an eternal time. So it makes no sense. It’s odd that he would use this perfect tense to speak about a young, a very young donkey having been tied at this location. I mean, a young donkey, he’s not going to be there a long time. He’s very young. So why? To emphasize that this donkey and what he relates to has eternal consequences. Now, let’s look again at verse two. “And he says to them, “Go into the village which is before you, and immediately when you enter into it, you shall find a young donkey, having been bound, which no man has ever set upon.” Now, what’s the significance of that? No man has ever set upon him? Well, when something is set apart for a specific purpose, we’ll use a word in Hebrew, [foreign language 00:12:36], which means sanctified.

Dr. Baruch:

It has a holy purpose. It cannot be used. When it has a holy purpose, it cannot be used for anything else. So once again, the fact that no one has ever set upon this donkey is significant. He has been set apart for a purpose, a holy purpose. And what is that? Well, this word for donkey appears where else? In the book of Zechariah. Remember in this passage, Zechariah’s emphasized and Zechariah chapter nine and verse nine, we find this verse. It says, “Greatly rejoice, O daughter of Zion.” Now, whenever we talk about the daughter of Zion, it has in time implications. It has kingdom implications to it. It says, “shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem.” Why? “Behold your King.” Now there is that connection from a Jewish mindset between the term King and Messiah. So if you say your king comes, you could say, Messiah comes. Your king comes unto you, and notice here’s two words. Righteous, and what? Another word. Righteous, and if we look very closely, the word [foreign language 00:13:54], which means save, in the sense of salvation.

Dr. Baruch:

So there’s two words that are used and the translations are hard to get this from. But the two words that are used point to Messiah as what? Righteous and related to salvation. That’s why he’s come. He’s come to fulfill righteousness so that salvation can be manifested. How is he going to do that? Well, if you know this passage well, you’re going to also know that the rabbis have written a great deal about it. Now, how Judaism looks at scripture is very different than how you and I should look at scripture. Why do I say that? Because in Judaism, when looking at the prophets, they have different scenarios. They will say, “You know, it talks about the coming of Messiah riding a donkey, but in Daniel, it talks about Messiah coming in the clouds of heaven.” So there’s two scenarios. He may come on a donkey or he may come in the clouds. So today Judaism says this whole idea of Messiah coming in a lowly manner, calling his people to repentance, that’s been canceled out.

Dr. Baruch:

That’s not the scenario that’s going to be. He’s going to come because Israel merits and if Israel merits, he won’t come in a lowly fashion, he’ll come in a heavenly fashion. So there’s different views. Well, what we believe is that all scripture, I want to emphasize that, all scripture must be fulfilled. So Messiah’s first time, he comes in this manner, calling the people to repentance, calling to people to humble themselves as he gives a sign of humility. Not coming in on this great white horse, a white stallion, but coming in on a very young donkey. So in this passage, let’s look again, Zechariah chapter nine, I’ll just read it. “Your King comes to you and he is righteous, connected to righteousness and connected to salvation. He is lowly,” and here it is, “or humble and he’s riding upon a donkey, upon a young donkey, the son of a female donkey.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now, what I want you to see here is that in the last part it says, and he is what? Well, humbled or lowly, however your Bible translates it. But it’s the Hebrew word. [foreign language 00:16:28]. Just like the town [Betani 00:16:30]. We say in English, Bethany, but it’s Betani, house of affliction. And we’re going to see that that town becomes very important in a few minutes. Let’s go back up to the passage of scripture. He says, “Go, you’ll find that this young donkey who has been bound, which no man has ever ridden upon it.” He says, “You’ll find him there. What do you do? He says, “Loosen him and bring him.” Verse three. “And if anyone should say …” Now, this is important. Why? You’re going to see that everything that happens Messiah anticipates. Why? Well, the only one that knows the future is God.

Dr. Baruch:

And it’s to emphasize the omniscience of Messiah, and that relates to his identity, God with us. Verse three. “And if anyone should say to you, “Why are you doing this?” You are to say, “The Lord, he has need of him and immediately he will send him back here.” So Messiah is just going to use this donkey for a moment. The point here is that he knew that there’s going to be people there because this donkey has significance. Now, let me give you an illustration of what I think is happening here. Many people knew because of prophetic truth, that the time of Messiah was near. They knew in one sense that Messiah was a deliver. They were in oppression on Rome. There was a messianic hope and perhaps this donkey was well-known. They knew Messiah was going to come to the Mount of Olives and someone had tied him outside to the door in a very strategic location.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, that makes me think of something. I used to live in the city of Safed and in Hasidic Judaism, there’s a belief. Now, we know that there’s a connection between Messiah and the Galilee. If you look and we’ve studied it, in the prophecy of Isaiah, we know that place in the Galilee is just not any place, but it’s between the region of Naphtali and Zebulun along the sea of Galilee. That place a city was built called Capernaum. That’s the location, but Hasidic Judaism, they see that passage and they choose the city of Safed. And many years ago in the old city of Safed, there was a woman and she used to put out every Friday night a meal for the Messiah, believing that on some Shabbat, he would come. So she wanted to be ready.

Dr. Baruch:

People knew of this belief that she had, what she was doing. It was well known. And perhaps as well, people knew about this donkey. They knew this prophecy. Therefore, when someone came to take this donkey, they asked, “Why are you taking this?” They knew that this donkey was placed there for who? [foreign language 00:19:34]. Therefore, when they would say, “The Lord has need of him,” they knew what they were talking about. Verse four. And these two disciples, it says, “And they went and they found this young donkey having been tied to the door outside.” Where? On one of the main passage ways, one of the main roads, the roads that would lead from that city to Jerusalem. “And they loosened him,” and what happens? Just like Messiah said, verse five. “And some who were standing there said to them, “For why are you doing this? For what are you loosening this donkey?”

Dr. Baruch:

“And they said to him just as [inaudible 00:20:19] had said, and they allowed them.” Verse seven. “And they brought this young donkey to [inaudible 00:20:26],” and what happens? “And they cast to him their garments and he set upon it. And many,” it says, “Many of them who stood there, they did something.” That is, they placed their garments before him. Now, why were they doing that? Well, this was a tradition for a king. Messiah, we’ve already talked about. Messiah relates to king. So here was their mindset. They were willing, ready, and responding to receive a king. So that’s what they did. They did something else. It also says, “And others.” They cut branches from trees. Now, why would they do that? Well, there was a tradition. We know that in the book of Leviticus, that we are commanded to go out and cut branches during the feast of Tabernacles.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, that is for a couple of purposes, but just in a summary, it is to be used to show one’s trust, one’s dependence upon God. That’s what the feast of Tabernacles is all about. [foreign language 00:21:37]. So they were saying two things. They were acknowledged him as king and they were also acknowledging their willingness to submit to depend upon him. And that’s all well and fine if they understood what he was going to do. Remember that number two. They had a different perspective, that dichotomy. They were looking for a king that would set them free from Roman oppression, rather than understanding what Zechariah was speaking about in Zechariah chapter nine, and that is calling the people to repentance, calling them to understand their spiritual condition.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, what else happens? Well, look at verse nine. There was those who went before him and those who went after and they cried out. Now, they cried out a great statement, an appropriate statement. But what happens sometimes is this. That we get so wrapped up in our traditions. We know how, according to tradition, we should respond, that sometimes we lose sight of that response. Meaning the significance of it. Now, what did they say? Well, look at it. They quoted from the book of Psalms in Psalm 118, part of what’s known as Hillel, a passage of Psalms that were said during festival times, especially on Passover. What did they say? Well, look at verse nine. They said, ” [foreign language 00:23:05].” Now, I realize that you may be more familiar with the term Hosanna, but Hosanna doesn’t mean anything. The Hebrew term [foreign language 00:23:15] means save us, please. That term [foreign language 00:23:19], although it can mean please, it’s a beseeching. It is a begging. It is a request. “Save us, we request.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now, what did they mean by that? Save us from our political and our financial oppression? Probably. They didn’t understand their spiritual condition, their need for a redemption. Look again, verse nine. “Save us,” or literally, ” [foreign language 00:23:45], save us, please. Blessed is one who comes in the name of the Lord.” Now, that is a reference, an all agree, to Messiah. So they were acknowledging that he’s Messiah, that he had a task, that he was going to do something, that he was going to bring up change about. But here again. Messiah was emphasizing that spiritual change, that inner change that he was coming to bring about, that he was going to enter into Jerusalem and lay down his life to achieve. The problem is they were emphasizing that physical change of a political transformation and an economic transformation rather than the spiritual truth. Verse 10, “Blessed is the one who comes. The kingdom of our father, David …” Here again, David, significant to Messiah.

Dr. Baruch:

But understand that there’s two terms that relate to Messiah. One is Messiah ben Yosef, a suffering, one Messiah ben David, that ruling king, which he’ll be when he returns. They were emphasizing in this passage, David, meaning we want the kingdom to be established now. And they did not realize the inability of that based upon their spiritual condition. They did not understand the significance of why he entered into Jerusalem on a donkey rather than when he returns riding this great white horse in the heavens. Verse 10 again. At the end they say, “Hoshana,” meaning Hosanna in the highest. Now, what happens is this. The term [foreign language 00:25:27], as I said, a request to be saved. It’s odd that it says Hosanna in the highest. They understand it as a praise rather than a request. It just shows how far removed they were from understanding the work of Messiah.

Dr. Baruch:

I believe today there’s many people who they want to receive him, they want to follow him, but they’re following after a view of Messiah that’s far removed from what God wants do in their life. Verse 11. “And he enters into Jerusalem into the temple.” Why is that important? Well, here again, from a Jewish mindset, when the temple is made in reference to, you know the first thing that should come into your mind? The altar. The most important place for a person is the altar. Because you say, “Well, I thought it was the holy of holies. You can’t connect to the holy of holies unless you do business first at the altar.” Altar is synonymous with what? Sacrifice, and that’s why it’s emphasized here. It says, “He enters into Jerusalem into the temple,” temple, sacrifice, and it relates to what he was going to do, die.

Dr. Baruch:

He looks around at all things, but because the hour was already late, he goes out and he returns to where we began. Where? Well, here it doesn’t say both towns, only one is mentioned. The reason why two were mentioned previously, but one at the end is to emphasize the significance of Betani, the place of affliction. It relates to why he came to Jerusalem. To become what? Afflicted in our behalf. Exactly what Zechariah says in Zechariah chapter nine, this one, behold who’s coming. He’s coming for the purpose of righteousness and salvation, but he is lowly, that word [inaudible 00:27:26], afflicted, and he’s riding on a donkey. All the symbols, all the scriptures pointed to what Messiah was going to do.

Dr. Baruch:

But when they said Hosannah in the highest, being just praise him in the highest regard, it shows that they did not understand why he had come. So finally it says, “He enters into Bethany,” with the what? With the 12. That is his disciples. His work is inherently related to his disciples, which I hope you and I are part of. Well, we’ll close with that until next week, and we continue on in the book of Mark and chapter 11.

Speaker 1:

Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of loveisrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, loveisrael.org. There you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, Dr. Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week, may the Lord bless you in our Messiah Yeshuam that is Jesus, as you walk with him, Shalom from Israel.

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