Palm Sunday: Mark 11:11

This past Palm Sunday Dean Barham, the pulpit minister of the Woodmont Hills Family of God, challenged me to reflect more deeply about the function of Passion Week.

Using Mark 11:1-11 for his text, he recounted the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. What caught my attention in particular was his comment on Mark 11:11. While Jesus entered Jerusalem as the Messianic savior, when he visited the temple he just “looked around at everything” and went home. Dean raised an intriguing question:  what did Jesus see?

As we know, Jesus became a “testy guest” (to use Dean’s phrase) in Jerusalem that week. He questioned the authorities, scandalized the teachers, debated the Pharisees, announced the destruction of the temple, and “cleaned house” (another Deanism). In effect, he inspected the fruit of Jerusalem and found it wanting. Just as he ecountered the barren fig tree on his way into Jerusalem and cursed it, so also Jerusalem–despite its regal temple and courtyards, despite its air of religiousity, despite its learning in Scriptures–lacked God’s heart. They knew the Scriptures, but they did not know what “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” meant. There was no fruit, no mercy. Their temple was a “den of robbers”–a hiding place for sinners–rather than a place for prayer and devotion to God for the nations.

Only a few bright spots emerged in that final week. A widow gave all she had though others were only making a show of their wealth as they gave out of their abundance. Mary showed her devotion to Jesus by anointing his head with expensive oil. On the whole, however, Jerusalem–just like its temple–needed cleansing.

It gives me pause to mediate. When Jesus enters my heart, what does he see?

As I walk through Passion Week over the next few days, I will read the Compline Prayers for Holy Week and Easter as well as follow the Divine Hours of the week. These thoughts will guide my meditation as I search out my own heart.  Is my heart more like the squabbling and squawking teachers of the law or is it more like the selflessness of the widow and the devotion of the one who anointed Jesus?

6 Responses to “Palm Sunday: Mark 11:11”

  1.   rich constant Says:

    some happy stuff
    over 500 baptised at the church sunday my kids go to.
    also wed. night the youth number 2,000 up from 1500 about 5,6, months ago these kids are lighting up dark places.
    they are giving these kids leadership roles and they are tirelessly helping each other always comeing up with new ways doing what we call brainstorming and acting faithfully to the GLORY OF GOD IN CHRIST.


  2.   rich constant Says:

    remember i told you i wanted to pass out flyers to encourage people to attend my local COC and that needed the approveal of the elders.the congration has about 50 on sunday
    and room for about 600
    boy oh boy john mark
    there is a dispairity hear that for goodness sake shouldn’t be .

    something to think on
    rich in so. cal

  3.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Now that is something shout about and dance before Lord with joy and gratitude. May God bless them!

  4.   preacherman Says:

    It is so amazing to me in how the mood changes from one week to the next. How anxious they are to make him King one week and then the next week they are so ready to crucify Him. Sad. Your post John Mark is one of the best post that I have read on Palm Sunday. You do a fantastic job brother. Keep up the wonderful job you do with you blog. It is one of my favorites. I can’t wait til your next post. I hope and pray that you and your family have a blessed Resurrection Sunday.

  5.   Terrell Lee Says:

    We’re hosting a Good Friday meeting Friday night. It’s a first and we’re excited about it. Thanks for your reflections.

  6.   Gary Rockhopper Says:

    This page of your site ranks really well in google australia, just figured i’de drop in and say greetings from down under

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