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Christ presenting Himself at Jerusalem as King
In that which follows (Mark 11) Jesus presents Himself to Jerusalem as King. His reception shows the extent to which the testimony He had rendered had acted on the hearts of the simple. God ordained therefore that it should take place. There is little difference between the narrative here and in Matthew. Only the kingdom is more simply presented as such: "The kingdom of our father David."
The Judge of all things; man's wisdom in the presence of God
With what dignity, as the Judge of all things, Jesus now takes
knowledge of all that was being done in the temple, and goes out
without saying anything! The Lord had visited His temple, as also
He had entered the city riding on the ass's colt, whereon never
man sat. Israel is judged in the condemned fig-tree.* The glory of
the Lord, of the house of Jehovah, is vindicated with authority — an authority which He claims, and which He exercises in His own
Person. The scribes and chief priests draw back before the
ascendency that His word had given Him over the people, and He
goes out of the city without being molested, notwithstanding their
malice. The next day He assures His disciples, who were astonished
at seeing the fig-tree withered away, that whatsoever they asked
in faith should be accomplished; but that they must act in grace,
if they would enjoy this privilege. The scribes and priests and
elders are confounded, and demand His authority. He addresses
their conscience, but in such a manner as to demonstrate their
incompetency to ask Him such a question, exposing at the same time
their insincerity. They could not decide with respect to the
baptism of John: by what right then could they subject Him to
their questions respecting His own claims? They could not decide
when the case was before them. On the other hand, they must either
sanction His work by their reply, or lose their authority with the
people by denying the baptism of John who had borne testimony to
Christ. It was no longer a question of winning these men; but
what an empty thing is the wisdom of man in the presence of God
and His wisdom!
Different characteristics of the gospels of Matthew and Mark as to the change of dispensation
The change of dispensation has a more definite place in Matthew, and the sin which rejected the King. In Mark, it is more the service of Christ as the Prophet. Afterwards, as we have seen, He presents Himself as King. And, in both Gospels, we see that it is Jehovah who fills the office which He has deigned to undertake.
Consequently we find in Matthew more personal accusations, as in the parable of the two sons (Matt. 21:28-32), and the detail of the change of dispensation in the parable of the marriage feast (Matt. 22:1-14); neither of which is in Mark. In our Gospel, the unchangeable dignity of His Person, and the simple fact that the Prophet and King were rejected (rejection that led to Israel's judgment) are set before us by the Spirit of God. Otherwise it is the same general testimony we have reviewed in Matthew.
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