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Mark 11

New International Version

1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 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. 3 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.'' 4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, 'What are you doing, untying that colt?' 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, 'Hosanna!' 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!' 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!' 'Hosanna in the highest heaven!' 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, 'May no one ever eat fruit from you again.' And his disciples heard him say it. 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, 'Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'' 18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. 19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. 20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, 'Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!' 22 Have faith in God,' Jesus answered. 23 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.' 26 27 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28 By what authority are you doing these things?' they asked. 'And who gave you authority to do this?' 29 Jesus replied, 'I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30 John's baptism--was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!' 31 They discussed it among themselves and said, 'If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' 32 But if we say, 'Of human origin' . . . ' (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.) 33 So they answered Jesus, 'We don't know.' Jesus said, 'Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.'
English Standard Version

1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. 5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” 11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. 12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. 15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. 19 And when evening came they went out of the city. 20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” 26 27 And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, 28 and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” 31 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
King James Version

1 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. 12 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. 15 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. 17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye 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 was astonished at his doctrine. 19 And when even was come, he went out of the city. 20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. 22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he sa 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. 27 And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, 28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? 29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. 31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? 32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.
New American Standard Bible

1 As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples, 2 and said to them, 'Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. 3 'If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' you say, 'The Lord has need of it'; and immediately he will send it back here.' 4 They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it. 5 Some of the bystanders were saying to them, 'What are you doing, untying the colt?' 6 They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. 7 They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. 8 And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. 9 Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: 'Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!' 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late. 12 On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. 13 Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, 'May no one ever eat fruit from you again!' And His disciples were listening. 15 Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; 16 and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. 17 And He began to teach and say to them, 'Is it not written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS '? But you have made it a ROBBERS' DEN.' 18 The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening came, they would go out of the city. 20 As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Being reminded, Peter said to Him, 'Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.' 22 And Jesus answered saying to them, 'Have faith in God. 23 'Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 'Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. 25 'Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26 'But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.' 27 They came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to Him, 28 and began saying to Him, 'By what authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do these things?' 29 And Jesus said to them, 'I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 'Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? Answer Me.' 31 They began reasoning among themselves, saying, 'If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say, 'Then why did you not believe him?' 32 'But shall we say, 'From men '?'-- they were afraid of the people, for everyone considered John to have been a real prophet. 33 Answering Jesus, they said, 'We do not know.' And Jesus said to them, 'Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.'
New Living Translation

1 As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2 'Go into that village over there,' he told them. 'As soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks, 'What are you doing?' just say, 'The Lord needs it and will return it soon.'' 4 The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside the front door. 5 As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, 'What are you doing, untying that colt?' 6 They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it, and he sat on it. 8 Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, 'Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD! 10 Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!' 11 So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples. 12 The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. 14 Then Jesus said to the tree, 'May no one ever eat your fruit again!' And the disciples heard him say it. 15 When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 16 and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. 17 He said to them, 'The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves.' 18 When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so amazed at his teaching. 19 That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city. 20 The next morning as they passed by the fig tree he had cursed, the disciples noticed it had withered from the roots up. 21 Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed, 'Look, Rabbi! The fig tree you cursed has withered and died!' 22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, 'Have faith in God. 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, 'May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours. 25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.' 26 27 Again they entered Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking through the Temple area, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. 28 They demanded, 'By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right to do them?' 29 'I'll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,' Jesus replied. 30 'Did John's authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human? Answer me!' 31 They talked it over among themselves. 'If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn't believe John. 32 But do we dare say it was merely human?' For they were afraid of what the people would do, because everyone believed that John was a prophet. 33 So they finally replied, 'We don't know.' And Jesus responded, 'Then I won't tell you by what authority I do these things.'
Christian Standard Bible

1 When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and told them, "Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.'" 4 So they went and found a colt outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, 5 and some of those standing there said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" 6 They answered them just as Jesus had said; so they let them go. 7 They brought the donkey to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their clothes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted: Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven! 11 He went into Jerusalem and into the temple. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. 12 The next day when they went out from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to find out if there was anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again!" And his disciples heard it. 15 They came to Jerusalem, and he went into the temple and began to throw out those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 16 and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. 17 He was teaching them: "Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!" 18 The chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to kill him. For they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was astonished by his teaching. 19 Whenever evening came, they would go out of the city. 20 Early in the morning, as they were passing by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Then Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered." 22 Jesus replied to them, "Have faith in God. 23 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for--believe that you have received it and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing." 26 27 They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came 28 and asked him, "By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?" 29 Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was John's baptism from heaven or of human origin? 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, 'Of human origin'"--they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." And Jesus said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things."

What does Mark 11 mean?

For the final time Jesus goes to Jerusalem, and He will not be ignored. His first three acts are disruptive; He asserts His authority (Mark 11:1–11), curses a fig tree—a symbol of Israel—(Mark 11:12–14, 20–25), and attacks the temple money-making industry (Mark 11:15–19). Once He has everyone's attention, He engages the religious leaders in a series of debates that reveal their conflation between godliness and nationalism and their rejection of the true worship of God (Mark 11:27–12:44).

Jesus has left Galilee and traveled to "the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan" (Mark 10:1), returning to the teaching ministry He had suspended in His home district (Mark 8:11–13). He probably kept the typical Galilean custom of avoiding Samaria by crossing the Jordan River south of the Sea of Galilee, going south through Decapolis to Perea (Matthew 19:1), and crossing west again near the northern edge of the Dead Sea, where the road went through Jericho (Mark 10:46) to Bethany and Bethphage (Mark 11:1), and eventually Jerusalem.

Jesus' first task is to display His identity as the Messiah and the King of the Jews by riding a donkey colt (Zechariah 9:9) down the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem. People who are going to Jerusalem, many of whom have heard that Jesus raised Lazarus, take leafy branches and their cloaks and lay them on the ground for Jesus to ride on. The crowd declares that He has come in the name of the Lord to return the kingdom of David. This event is referred to as His "triumphal entry" into the city. Jesus arrives at the temple late in the day, looks around the courtyard, and returns to Bethany (Mark 11:1–11).

Mark likes to pair related stories around a third event, and he does so again here. The morning after the triumphal entry, Jesus is headed back to Jerusalem and notices a fig tree has no fruit. Despite the fact it isn't the season for figs, such trees were supposed to produce small, edible buds in preparation for later fruits. This tree has no such buds—which means it provides no food now, and won't produce figs later. Jesus curses it, declaring no one will ever eat from it again. When He reaches the temple, He sees money-changers and bird merchants have set up shop in the temple courtyard, where the Gentiles are meant to worship God and pray. Jesus turns over their tables and stops the people from using the courtyard as a shortcut between Jerusalem proper and the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:12–19).

The next morning, as Jesus and the disciples again travel from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, the disciples realize the fig tree is withered and dead. The fig tree, Jerusalem, and the Jewish nation do not produce the fruit they were created for, so they must be judged (Mark 11:20–25).

When Jesus and the disciples arrive at the temple courtyard, the religious and civil leaders ask Him who gave Him the authority to chase out the vendors the day before. He counters by asking them if they believe John the Baptist was a God-ordained prophet. If they answer yes, they lose the people's respect by displaying their theological hypocrisy. If they answer no, they lose the people's respect by slandering John. This reinforces the leaders' resolve to destroy Jesus secretly, where the crowd cannot defend Him (Mark 11:27–33).

Throughout the rest of the Passion Week—the final few days prior to the crucifixion—Jesus will engage in many debates and teach many truths, not all of which are recorded in Mark 12—13. It is His last chance before the crucifixion to get people to think about worship as God designed it to be, and reject the worldly nationalist fervor. His words and actions remind us to keep our eyes on God, not the things God has blessed us with.