Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
When the Lord Jesus went from Galilee to Judea, His intention was to go to Jerusalem in order to enter into His death and resurrection and also to bring His close followers with Him into His death and resurrection. Peter, John, and James represented all the intimate followers of the Lord. From the very beginning, these three followed the Lord closely. As we read the Gospel of Mark, we see that Peter, John, and James followed the Lord Jesus step by step. Eventually, the Lord brought them into His all-inclusive death. Of course, they did not actually suffer death with the Lord; nevertheless, they went through the process of His death. They saw how the Lord prepared Himself to die. They also saw how He prepared the environment for His death and even prepared His opposers, who put Him to death. Moreover, they saw how the Lord was arrested, judged according to Jewish law, and judged by the Roman governor according to Gentile law. They saw how He was mocked, persecuted, and led as a lamb to the slaughter. They saw how the Lord was put on the cross and how He remained there for six hours.
The Lord passed through death, and the disciples passed through death with Him. The only difference was that they did not actually suffer death. The Lord Himself personally suffered death, whereas the disciples passed through the process of death. Of course, they were not placed in the tomb nor did they go into Hades. However, we may say that the days between the Lord’s death and resurrection were a “tomb” to the disciples. We may also say that, in a sense, they passed through Hades. Then on the morning of the Lord’s resurrection, certain of the disciples discovered the empty tomb and learned that the crucified Jesus had been resurrected from among the dead.
We should not read the Gospel of Mark merely as a book of stories. Neither should we read this Gospel only to learn doctrine. On the contrary, as we read this Gospel, we need to see vision after vision. As we read the Gospel of Mark, we should have the sense that we are watching a heavenly television.
On the day of Pentecost the Spirit was poured out upon the one hundred twenty. Through death and resurrection, the very Slave-Savior revealed in Mark became the life-giving Spirit, who was poured out upon the disciples. This means that the Lord poured Himself out upon those who had seen the visions recorded in the Gospel of Mark. Through this outpouring of the Spirit, the one hundred twenty received the reality of all the visions they had seen.
I hope that these messages in the Life-study of Mark will help you to see the visions contained in this Gospel. Eventually, the resurrected Christ as the living Spirit will pour out Himself upon you to make whatever you see a reality to you. Then in reality you will be in the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Truly you will be enjoying Him as the entire, universal replacement.
In this message we shall go on to consider the last part of chapter eleven of Mark. Mark 11 describes events that took place during the last six days of the Lord’s earthly life. These six days were for the new creation. According to the book of Genesis, within a period of six days God completed the old creation. Then on the seventh day, the Sabbath, God rested. In a similar way, the Lord took six days to bring forth God’s new creation. After these six days had been completed, there was another Sabbath. The Lord was crucified on a Friday, and the next day was a Sabbath. From this we see that it took the Lord six days to complete the preparation and bring the new creation into being. In the six days that concluded with His death, the Lord did everything necessary to bring the new creation into existence for God. Then after these six days, He rested on the seventh day, the Sabbath. In these messages we are seeking to understand what took place during these six days.
On the first of these six days the Lord Jesus triumphantly entered into Jerusalem, riding on a colt. The people cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (v. 9). Here we see that the Lord received the approval of the people. After making such an entrance into Jerusalem, He entered into the temple “and having looked around at all things, the hour being already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve” (v. 11).
Returning to the city the next day, He cursed the fig tree and cleansed the temple. In order to be impressed with the seriousness of these matters, we may compare them to someone going into the capital city of a country, burning the flag, and then entering one of the main government buildings and causing a great disturbance. Certainly such deeds would be written about in the newspapers.
After cursing the fig tree, the symbol of the Jewish nation, the Lord entered into the temple and turned over the tables of the moneychangers. Because He had already received the approval of the people, no one dared to stop Him. At the time, all the leaders were silenced. However, they plotted secretly how to destroy the Lord Jesus.
According to 11:19, “When it became late, they went outside the city.” This took place on the evening of the second day. No doubt, that evening the disciples must have talked with one another about what the Lord had done in Jerusalem. Probably throughout the city of Jerusalem many were talking about what the Lord did in cleansing the temple.
On the morning of the third day, the disciples saw the fig tree withered from the roots (v. 20). Then they came again to Jerusalem. Verse 27 says, “As He walked in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to Him.” If the Lord had not received the approval of the people, He could not have walked in the temple in such a way. Instead, He would immediately have been arrested and put to death. But because He had been received by the people, He was free to walk about in the temple.
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