After stating 4 times that He would be killed, but would rise again on the 3rd day, so that He might ‘give His life as a ransom for many’; that purpose immediately begins to play out with what has come to be called the Passion Week. More than 1/3 of Mark’s Gospel account focus’ on this one-week period.
Chapter 11 has 4 parts. It’s Sunday, and Jesus makes His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem before the Passover with verses 1 thru 11. With verses 12 thru 19, we have Monday, and Jesus curses a barren fig tree, and proceeds to clear the Temple Court of the Gentiles of all the merchants there. Beginning with 11:20, we are at Tuesday; this will last right thru 14:11. It was a very full day! It starts with the Disciples noticing the fig tree that Jesus had cursed only the day before, and He uses the occasion to teach them of faith and prayer. The chapter ends when He arrives back in Jerusalem and the Jewish leaders challenge Him concerning His authority; a question He does not answer, for they should have known, but refused to believe… hence, they are ‘the barren fig tree,’ about to be cursed!
Chapter 12 is of 6 parts. Jesus speaks to these same leaders with the Parable of the Tenants, explaining why they will be cursed, and what will become of them with verses 1 thru 12. It won’t be pretty! In it, He alludes to the #5, Gospel with verses 7 and 8. He is then questioned concerning the payment of Roman taxes in verses 13 thru 17. Some then try to trip Him up concerning marriage at the resurrection, and Jesus crafts an argument with them that revolves around the tense of just one verb in Exodus 3:6! It is the Word of God! From verses 28 thru 34 we learn of the 2 Greatest Commandments. Please don’t misunderstand. This does not, and cannot, save. You cannot save yourself by doing these the best that you can! Jesus then makes a case for His deity from Psalm 110:1, and closes the chapter with the account of a widow, who by faith in God, gave all she had to Him, trusting Him to care for her, since she did not have enough to meet her own needs.
Chapter 13, like Matthew 24, is of Christ’s Return at the end of the age. It will be a most difficult time prior to His Coming. And, as for when it will take place, no one can know for certain; but return, He will, to establish His glorious #10, Kingdom! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell