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International Bible Lessons Commentary

The Uniform Sunday School Bible Lessons Series

L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.
Teaching the Truth in Love

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English Standard Version

Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11
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Mark 11:1-11
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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

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Mark 11:1-11

International Bible Lesson

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Mark 11:10—NRSV).

When the King Brings Peace

When the King Brings Peace
(Large Print)

When the King Brings Peace
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Class Preparation Guide for
1 Corinthians
15:1-11, 20-22

Bible Study

A Psalm
A Prayer

Thru the Bible
Thirty Weeks

March 29, 2015

International Bible Lessons Commentary
Mark 11:1-11
New Revised Standard Version
L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, March 29, 2015, is from Mark 11:1-11Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary below. Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further (available in the left-hand columm of this page in easy-print format) discusses the questions below to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. You may want to read to your class the International Bible Lesson (available below this commentary and in the left-hand columm of this page in easy-print format). Easy-print Bible Lesson Commentaries, Crossword Puzzles, Word Search Puzzles, and True and False Tests for Bible Lesson review are also (in the left-hand side of this page). You may also find the International Bible Lesson Forum helpful, especially when combined with Google translate.

Some teachers have asked for a handout they could give to students at the close of class so students could prepare for the next class meeting. This new handout for Sunday, April 5, 2015 is the: Class Preparation Guide for 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 20-22.

International Bible Lesson Commentary
Mark 11:1-11

(Mark 11:1) When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples

According to Old Testament Law, for testimony to be accepted in a trial, there must be two or more witnesses. The Bible contains sufficient witnesses for us to believe what the Bible says, especially about God’s acts and words in history. Even in our courts today we usually accept the testimony of two or more witnesses, not just one. Remember, however, that many in Old Testament times, and even in Jesus’ day, rightly believed that they would be held accountable by God if they lied or gave a false witness. Perhaps for these reasons, Jesus sent two disciples to borrow the colt He needed for Palm Sunday.

(Mark 11:2) and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it.

In the form of a prophecy, Jesus told His disciples exactly what to expect after they entered the village, and He also told them what they were to do after His prophecy came true. Before Jesus was born, God told people through prophets what to expect when He was born. Jesus has told us what to expect when He comes again. Fulfilled prophecy gives good evidence of God’s nature and power as described in the Bible. Perhaps the person who owned the colt had a heavenly dream or vision or visit by an angel that told him what would happen the next day and what he was to do. If he had, he might have told others what he was doing and why he tied the never before ridden colt where he did. He provided the colt in order to fulfill an Old Testament prophecy. The events that day would convince him and Jesus’ disciples that God was involved in the events.

(Mark 11:3) If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’”

Jesus told these two disciples what they would see, where they would see it, and what to say when they were questioned. Perhaps the owner and bystanders knew from their dream or vision that the Lord Jesus would be the One to ride his colt. We see here that Jesus sometimes needs us to do things by choices (His choice and ours in how we want to respond to Him), because He had the power to acquire a colt in many ways without resorting to borrowing one through His disciples efforts. Though He could have done this by Himself, Jesus chose a way that could build up people’s faith in God the Father and in Himself.

(Mark 11:4) They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it,

The colt was tied where the owner or keeper of the colt could observe what was happening or might happen to the colt. Mark recorded specifically what happened. A colt that had never before been ridden might not be easy to ride for the first time – but as the Creator of everything, Jesus had no problem doing so.

(Mark 11:5) some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”

The disciples are not identified by name, and the bystanders are not identified by name or title. Their question and the response they received from the disciples indicated, perhaps, what they expected to hear for some reason. Perhaps they were also concerned about how a colt that had never been ridden could be handled by strangers coming to get it to take it away. Perhaps they recognized that these two were Jesus’ disciples. Mark did not write everything we might like to know.

(Mark 11:6) They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it.

These two disciples obeyed Jesus explicitly. Perhaps He selected them for their demonstrated faithful obedience in the past. The response of the disciples to the bystanders’ question satisfied the bystanders, though perhaps neither they nor the disciples understood why the Lord needed the colt in order to fulfill Old Testament prophecy. The disciples would learn this later, and perhaps also the bystanders.

(Mark 11:7) Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.

After the colt was taken to Jesus, the two disciples threw their cloaks (outer garments) on the colt for Jesus to sit on (similar to a saddle blanket, but without the saddle). The colt never having been ridden and having been tied probably had no saddle and had never been saddled. Jesus tamed the colt immediately, even as He could calm a storm or cast out demons and bring peace to troubled souls.

(Mark 11:8) Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.

Jesus received what many moderns would call today the “red carpet treatment” or “ticker tape parade” as He entered Jerusalem. Movie stars, brides, and royalty often enjoy the honor of not walking on common ground; but instead, on valuable material that no one else has walked on or no commoner is honored to walk on. This treatment was spontaneously given to Jesus as a King, who came in the name of the Lord, who came to bring peace, for He came riding on a colt and not a warhorse or workhorse.

(Mark 11:9) Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Jesus received His welcome as a hero might be honored today. Jesus was honored for Who He represented to the crowds at that time: Jesus was “God sent!” They knew His words and teachings, and though most did not know that He was the Son of God, they knew He was coming in the name of the Lord and not in the name of a conquering Roman emperor to oppress them. Many probably thought He was coming as a leader or Messiah (as they expected Him to come) in order to prepare them to overthrow their Roman oppressors by force.

(Mark 11:10) Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

The crowds also knew that Jesus represented in some way the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom and the defeat of their enemies. If Jesus were the Messiah, as they expected or suspected, they had high expectations that He would save them as King David had saved them from their enemies in the past. Their political expectations of Jesus would be shattered in the days ahead when the religious leaders arranged for Jesus to be murdered on a cross. Jesus came for a more important reason than what they expected: He came to save His people from their sins and give them eternal life.

(Mark 11:11) Then 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.

Mark did not record everything that Jesus did on Palm Sunday and afterwards. We do not know why Mark omitted some things that Matthew, Luke and John included. Mark did write the essentials of Jesus entering the temple after He entered Jerusalem. We have the record that all twelve disciples were with Him at this time; they all left Jerusalem together, and all of them went to Bethany. Luke wrote that he used many different sources to compile his gospel; whereas, Mark was one of the first gospels, if not the first gospel to be written.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. Why do you think God wants us to do some things that He could easily do all by Himself?

2. What are some of the things that God expects us to do?

3. What qualities do you think God considers in a person prior to asking them to do something as important as borrowing a colt for Jesus?

4. What qualities do you think an employer considers before hiring a worker? What different qualities might a church consider in a person before ordaining them as an elder or hiring them as a minister? How do these qualities differ?

5. How can you tell whether or not someone is coming in the name of the Lord?

Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson below.

When the King Brings Peace

International Bible Lesson
Mark 11:1-11
Sunday, March 29, 2015
L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

“Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:10—KJV).

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Mark 11:10—NRSV).

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on what has become known as Palm Sunday, He proclaimed that He was the long-expected Messiah, the one who would reign forever as a descendant of King David, Israel’s most famous king. The Jews expected Jesus to defeat the Romans as King David had defeated the Philistines and all of the other enemies that surrounded them. They expected Jesus to bring them the peace and prosperity that they had known under the reign of King David; after all, Jesus had fed more than 5,000 people at one time using a little boy’s scant lunch. However, Jesus came for the first time to accomplish a far more important task for the whole world, which included Jews, Romans, and everyone else for centuries to come. Jesus came to accomplish a divine mission that would result in eternal life for all who would believe in Him. Because God loves the world, Jesus came to suffer in the place of all those who deserve God’s just punishment; so God could be merciful and just at the same time when as King of the universe He forgives sinners and rebels; so God could win the love of repentant sinners, who would love to obey Him forevermore. Jesus entered Jerusalem so He could die a sacrificial death on Good Friday and rise from the dead on Easter Sunday. Jesus accomplished more in a week than anyone expected, and our world is a better place because many people have learned to love one another as God has loved us. When Jesus returns someday, the whole world will live in peace and prosperity of under the dominion of King Jesus. – L.G. Parkhurst Jr.

Some teachers have asked for a handout they could give to students at the close of class so students could prepare for the next class meeting. This new handout for Sunday, April 5, 2015 is the: Class Preparation Guide for 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 20-22.

— E-mail: : You may be reprint or reproduce this International Bible Lesson for not-for-profit use. More Uniform Bible Lessons are available at Read the verse by verse International Bible Lessons Commentary at:  See the recommended study and worship resources at


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The Bibles used in the
International Bible Lessons and Sunday School Commentary:

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission, All rights reserved. Noted as ESV.

New American Standard Bible, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Noted as NASB.

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Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Noted as NIV.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Noted as NRSV.

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