Mark 11-12: Jerusalem and the King who Comes1

11.1 And as they drew near Jerusalem in the vicinity of Bethany and Bethphage, close by the Mount of Olives, he dispatched two of his disciples, 2 telling them, "Go into the village directly before you; just as you enter it you'll find a colt tied up-one that nobody has ever mounted. Untie it and fetch it here. 3 And if anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing that?' say, "The master needs it," and the fellow will send you right back here." 4 And they went off and found a colt tied up outside a doorway in the street and started untying it. 5 And some of the men standing there said to them, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" 6 So they answered just as Jesus had told them to do and the fellows allowed them to proceed. 7 So the two of them brought the colt to Jesus and put their robes over it. 8 And many people spread their robes on the road, while others cut down branches from the fields and spread them on the road. 9 Then those in the lead and those who were following kept crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming realm of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!"2 11 And he entered into Jerusalem and went into the temple, and when he had looked about at everything, since the hour was already late, 3 he left the city and went to Bethany along with the Twelve.

12 And on the next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry. 13 And when he saw from a distance a fig tree in leaf, he approached to see if he would find anything on it, but when he got there he found nothing on it but leaves (it wasn't yet the time for figs).4 14 In reaction he said to the tree, "May nobody ever again eat fruit from you !" And his disciples were listening as he said it.

15 Then they entered into Jerusalem. And when he entered the precinct of the temple, he set about driving out those who were selling and buying things within the temple precinct, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those who were selling doves, 16 nor would he allow anyone to carry equipment through the temple precinct. 17 And he explained what he was doing, telling people, "Doesn't scripture say, 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?' But you people have made it a den of thieves!"5 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard about it and began seeking some means of doing away with him, because they were afraid of him, since the whole throng was in awe of his teaching.6

19 And when it got late, Jesus and his disciples left the city. 20 And in the morning they passed by the fig tree and saw that it had withered from its very roots. 21 Peter called attention to it, "Rabbi, look!" he said, "The fig tree that you cursed has withered."7 22 And in response Jesus told them, "Keep trusting God!8 23 I'm telling you the truth: if anyone says to the hill here, "Rise up and plunge into the sea!" without some hesitation within but confident that his bidding will happen, it will happen for him. 24 And so I tell you: whatever you pray for and request, be confident that you've got it, and it will be yours! 25 And whenever you stand to pray, dismiss any grievance that you have against anyone, and your father in heaven will forgive you your wrongs."

27 Then they entered into Jerusalem again, and as he walked in the temple precinct, the scribes and elders came to him 28 and questioned him, "What authority have you for these actions? Who specifically authorized you to act thus?" 29 Then Jesus said to them, "I'll put one question to you: if you'll give me an answer, I'll tell you what authority I have for these actions: 30 Did John's baptism come from heaven or from human beings? What's your answer?" 31 Then they talked it through with each other, "If we say, 'It came from heaven,' then he'll say, 'Why didn't you believe him?' 32 But if we say, 'It came from human beings '" They were really fearful of the throng, for everyone believed that John was a prophet. 33 Finally, in reply to Jesus they said, "We don't know"; whereupon Jesus told them, "Neither am I telling you what authority I have for these actions."9

12:1 Then he began talking to them in allegorical language: "A man planted a vineyard;10 he walled it around and dug a trough for treading grapes and built a tower; then he gave it over to tenant-farmers and went away. 2 Then in season he sent a servant to the tenant-farmers to get some fruit of the vineyard from them; the tenant-farmers seized him, flogged him and sent him back empty-handed. 4 Then again he sent another servant to them; this one too they roughed up and treated with contempt. 5 Then he sent yet another, and that one they killed; they mistreated several others as well, flogging some and killing others. 6 Now he still had one beloved son; he sent him to them last of all, thinking, "They'll treat my son with some respect." 7 But those tenant-farmers told each other, "This one's the heir; come on, let's kill him and the property will be ours!" 8 So they took and killed him and chucked him outside of the vineyard. 9 What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do? He'll come and get rid of those tenant-farmers and give the vineyard to others. 10 Surely you've read this text from scripture, 11 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing and it is marvelous to our eyes!'" 12 Then they were intent upon arresting him, but they were afraid of the throng: they realized he had told this parable regarding themselves; so at this point they left him and went away.11

13 Then they sent to him a delegation of Pharisees and of Herodians in order to snare him in argument.12 14 They came and said to him, "Teacher, we know that you are truthful and completely free of bias-you aren't partial to anyone but rather you teach God's way truthfully; tell us then, is it allowable to pay tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay it or not?" 15 But he saw through their hypocrisy and said to them, "Why are you putting me to the test? Fetch a denarius and show it to me." 16 So they brought one, and he asked them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this on the coin?" "It is Caesar's," they said. 17 Then Jesus told them, "What belongs to Caesar you should give back to Caesar, and what belongs to God you should give back to God."13 And they were astounded at him.14

18 Then Sadducees approached him (they're the ones who claim that there's no resurrection)15 and put to him a question: 19 "Teacher, Moses laid down for us the law that if anyone's brother dies childless and leaves a surviving wife, then his brother should take the wife and get a child for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers; the first of them took a wife and died childless; 21 then the second brother took her and he also died without leaving a child, and the third did likewise. 22 Then all seven failed to produce offspring; finally the wife too died. 23 Now just whose wife will she be in the resurrection? All seven, after all, had her as a wife."16 24 Then Jesus said to them, "Isn't it the case that you're confused because you don't know either the scriptures or God's power?17 You see, when people rise from the dead, they don't marry nor are they given in marriage; rather, they're like angels in heaven.18 26 But as for the resurrection of the dead, haven't you read in the book of Moses how God told him at the burning bush "I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob"? 27 He is not the God of the dead but of the living;19 you are quite confused."

28 One of the scribes had heard them arguing and had seen that Jesus had given them good answers,20 and now he put the question to him: "Which one of all the commandments is the most imporant?" 29 Jesus replied, "The most important one is, 'Hear, Israel, God our Lord is one, 30 and you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your intelligence and with all your strength.' 31 The next in importance is this, 'You are to love your neighbor as you do yourself.' There is no other commandment more important than these."21 32 Then the scribe replied, "Well-said, teacher; you've said in very truth that He is one and there is no other apart from him; 33 and to love him with all one's heart and with all one's understanding and with all one's srength and to love one's neighbor as one loves oneself makes trivial all burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 Then as Jesus saw that the man had replied sensibly, he told him, "You're not far away from the reign of God."22 Thereafter nobody dared to put any more questions to him.

35 In response to that Jesus continued to teach in the temple precinct, and he said, "How can the scribes claim that the Messiah is David's son? 36 David himself, when inspired by the Holy Spirit, said, "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit on my right until I have put down all your enemies.' Now, since David himself refers to the Messiah as "Lord," how can the Messiah be David's son?"23 And as he soke, the sizable crowd continued to hear him gladly.

38 In the course of his teaching, he said, "Watch out for the scribes who like strutting in robes and theatrical embraces when they meet in public places 39 and front-row seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, 40 - they are the ones who gobble up the estates of widows and offer long prayers for show; all the greater is the condemnation they will get."24

41 Then he sat down facing the offering box and observed how the throng was putting money into it Several rich men were putting lots of money in; 42 Then one poor widow came and put in two tiny bits of small change, a pittance. 43 Then he beckoned to his disciples and told them, "Take it from me, this poor widow has put in more than all the rest who dropped money in the offering box. 44 Everyone else, you see, put in a little of their superabundance; she, on the other hand, put in everything of what little she had, her entire livelihood."25

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