THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Mark: Jesus, The Perfect Servant Of God
Part III: The Perfect Sacrifice Of Jesus, The Perfect Servant Of God, Mark 11:1-15:47
D. Learning To Revere Christ For His Biblical Credentials As Messiah And Purifying God
A. Mark's Gospel was written by John Mark who was rebounding from having abandoned Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13) due to Mark's lapse in following the Lord over some difficulty.
B. That failure arose in part out of a failure for Mark to see his accountability to Christ as his Messiah and God, the very credentials Israel's religious rulers had refused to accept.
C. Mark 11:27-33 in view of Malachi 3:1-2 reveals Jesus' Messianic and divine credentials that Israel's religious rulers tragically refused to accept, reminding us to heed our Messiah and God in great accountability to Him:
II. Learning To Revere Christ For His Biblical Credentials As Messiah And Purifying God, Mark 11:27-33.
A. When Jesus returned to Jerusalem after having cleansed the temple the previous day (Mark 11:27a; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, p. 1421), the chief priests, scribes and elders, members of the Sanhedrin who guarded "Israel's religious life" (B. K. C., N. T., p. 159), approached Him as He walked in the temple, Mark 11:27b.
B. They asked Jesus (1) about the nature of His authority, what were His credentials (Ibid.), and (2) Who had authorized Him to purge the temple as He had done the previous day, Ibid.; Mark 11:28. They viewed Jesus as just a human being, not the Messiah from God or the Son of God Who had any authority to do what He did.
C. Of note, Malachi 3:1-2 had predicted what had occurred at the temple and by what parties under His authority:
1. First, God had predicted He would send His messenger to prepare the way before Him, and that messenger was Messiah's Forerunner, John the Baptist, Mal. 3:1a; Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Mal. 3:1 with Matthew 11:7-10.
2. Second, God had predicted that the "Lord, Master" ('adon, Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 975; B. D. B., A Heb.-Eng. Lex. of the O. T., p. 10-11) whom Israel sought, the Messenger of the Covenant, the Messiah, would then suddenly come to His temple, Malachi 3:1b; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1583; Ibid., Ryrie.
3. Third, this Messiah and "Lord, Master" would come with purifying judgment life a refiner's fire, so Malachi asked who would be able to "contain, endure" (kul, Ibid., B. D. B., p. 465) so as to "hold one's ground" ('amad, Ibid., p. 763-765), or withstand His judgment when He appeared at the temple, Mal. 3:2.
4. This refining work ultimately occurs at Christ's Second Coming (Ibid., B. K. C., O. T.), but if Jesus is that "Lord, Master," Israel's leaders should have known He would cleanse the temple in great anger as He had!
D. Thus, Jesus sought to point the religious leaders to Malachi 3:1-2, so He replied to their questions by asking them of the ministry of the Messiah's forerunner, of the ministry of John the Baptizer, whether it was from heaven and thus of God as true or whether it was of men and thus false, Mark 11:29-30. This "counterquestion" from Jesus, "a common Rabbinic debating technique (cf. 10:2-3), made His answer to them depend on their answer to Him," Ibid., Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament.
E. The religious leaders were completely cornered by this reply from Jesus as explained in Mark 11:31-32:
1. If they answered that John's ministry was from God, Jesus would have asked why they did not believe him, Mark 11:31, for John had testified he heard the voice of God the Father at Jesus' baptism claiming of Him, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," Mark 1:11 with John 1:30-34, and John 1:34 shows John clarified Jesus was the "Son of God" (v. 34), a term for equality with the Father, John 5:18. Saying John's ministry was of God would force these leaders to admit that Jesus was Messiah and God!
2. However, if they replied that John's ministry was of men and thus false, they knew they would discredit themselves before the people, for all of the people believed John was a true prophet of God, Mark 11:32.
F. Accordingly, not wanting to accept Jesus as Messiah and God while simultaneously protecting their own credibility before the observing crowd, Israel's religious rulers refused to give Jesus an answer, Mark 11:33a. Jesus then refused to explain His authority in cleansing the temple (Mark 11:33b), for rejecting Him and His forerunner was to reject their roles in fulfilling Malachi 3:1-2, a rejection of God's Word itself!
Lesson: Jesus is the Messiah and "Lord, Master," or God Incarnate Who came after His forerunner in John the Baptist in fulfillment of Malachi 3:1-2 who had every right to cleanse the temple as Malachi 3:1-2 had foretold.
Application: (1) May we accept the full credentials of John the Baptizer as the Messiah's forerunner and Jesus as the Messiah and God, (2) and may we heed Him as our "Lord" lest He severely discipline even us for sin!