Isaiah 45-46 Mark 11
In Mark 11, we see the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. This was the beginning of a series of events that would ultimately place Jesus on a cross. By now, Jesus has gained quite a following and this troubled the chief priests. When Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, he discovers his Father's temple has become a market place -"a den of thieves," he says, as he turns over the money changers' tables. Jesus never does what is expected. He comes riding in on a colt, rather than a powerful horse. He upsets the life in the temple and confronts the leaders in the temple. Is that not what he does today? He speaks to us in a meek, humble voice, upsets our status quo and confronts us in our sin. God does all this to perpetuate a relationship with His creation!
45 The Lord says this to Cyrus, his anointed,
whose right hand I have grasped
to subdue nations before him
and disarm[a] kings,
to open doors before him,
and even city gates will not be shut:
2 “I will go before you
and level the uneven places;[b]
I will shatter the bronze doors
and cut the iron bars in two.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness
and riches from secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord.
I am the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
4 I call you by your name,
for the sake my servant Jacob
and Israel my chosen one.
I give a name to you,
though you do not know me.
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;
there is no God but me.
I will strengthen[c] you,
though you do not know me,
6 so that all may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
that there is no one but me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I form light and create darkness,
I make success and create disaster;
I am the Lord, who does all these things.
8 “Heavens, sprinkle from above,
and let the skies shower righteousness.
Let the earth open up
so that salvation will sprout
and righteousness will spring up with it.
I, the Lord, have created it.
9 “Woe to the one who argues with his Maker—
one clay pot among many.[d]
Does clay say to the one forming it,
‘What are you making?’
Or does your work say,
‘He has no hands’?[e]
10 Woe to the one who says to his father,
‘What are you fathering?’
or to his mother,[f]
‘What are you giving birth to?’”
11 This is what the Lord,
the Holy One of Israel and its Maker, says:
“Ask me what is to happen to[g] my sons,
and instruct me about the work of my hands.
12 I made the earth,
and created humans on it.
It was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded everything in them.
13 I have stirred him up in righteousness,
and will level all roads for him.
He will rebuild my city,
and set my exiles free,
not for a price or a bribe,”
says the Lord of Armies.
God Alone is the Savior
14 This is what the Lord says:
“The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush
and the Sabeans, men of stature,
will come over to you
and will be yours;
they will follow you,
they will come over in chains
and bow down to you.
They will confess[h] to you,
‘God is indeed with you, and there is no other;
there is no other God.’”
15 Yes, you are a God who hides,
God of Israel, Savior.
16 All of them are put to shame, even humiliated;
the makers of idols go in humiliation together.
17 Israel will be saved by the Lord
with an everlasting salvation;
you will not be put to shame or humiliated
for all eternity.
18 For this is what the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens,
the God who formed the earth and made it,
the one who established it
(he did not create it to be a wasteland,
but formed it to be inhabited)—
he says, “I am the Lord,
and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
somewhere in a land of darkness.
I did not say to the descendants of Jacob:
Seek me in a wasteland.
I am the Lord, who speaks righteously,
who declares what is right.
20 “Come, gather together,
and approach, you fugitives of the nations.
Those who carry their wooden idols
and pray to a god who cannot save
have no knowledge.
21 Speak up and present your case[i]—
yes, let them consult each other.
Who predicted this long ago?
Who announced it from ancient times?
Was it not I, the Lord?
There is no other God but me,
a righteous God and Savior;
there is no one except me.
22 Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth.
For I am God,
and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn;
truth has gone from my mouth,
a word that will not be revoked:
Every knee will bow to me,
every tongue will swear allegiance.
24 It will be said about me, ‘Righteousness and strength
are found only in the Lord.’”
All who are enraged against him
will come to him and be put to shame.
25 All the descendants of Israel
will be justified and find glory through the Lord.
There is No one Like God
46 Bel crouches; Nebo cowers.
Idols depicting them are consigned to beasts and cattle.
The images you carry are loaded,
as a burden for the weary animal.
2 The gods cower; they crouch together;
they are not able to rescue the burden,
but they themselves go into captivity.
3 “Listen to me, house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been sustained from the womb,
carried along since birth.
4 I will be the same until your old age,
and I will bear you up when you turn gray.
I have made you, and I will carry you;
I will bear and rescue you.
5 “Who will you compare me or make me equal to?
Who will you measure me with,
so that we should be like each other?
6 Those who pour out their bags of gold
and weigh out silver on scales—
they hire a goldsmith and he makes it into a god.
Then they kneel and bow down to it.
7 They lift it to their shoulder and bear it along;
they set it in its place, and there it stands;
it does not budge from its place.
They cry out to it but it doesn’t answer;
it saves no one from his trouble.
8 “Remember this and be brave;[j]
take it to heart, you transgressors!
9 Remember what happened long ago,
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and no one is like me.
10 I declare the end from the beginning,
and from long ago what is not yet done,
saying: my plan will take place,
and I will do all my will.
11 I call a bird of prey[k] from the east,
a man for my purpose from a far country.
Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about.
I have planned it; I will also do it.
12 Listen to me, you hardhearted,
far removed from justice:
13 I am bringing my justice near;
it is not far away,
and my salvation will not delay.
I will put salvation in Zion,
my splendor in Israel.
The Triumphal Entry
11 When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’”
4 So they went and found a colt outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, 5 and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They answered them just as Jesus had said; so they let them go.
7 They brought the donkey to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their clothes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields.[a] 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted:
Blessed is he who comes
in the name of the Lord![b]
10 Blessed is the coming kingdom
of our father David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!
11 He went into Jerusalem and into the temple. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
The Barren Fig Tree Is Cursed
12 The next day when they went out from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to find out if there was anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And his disciples heard it.
Cleansing the Temple
15 They came to Jerusalem, and he went into the temple and began to throw out those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 16 and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. 17 He was teaching them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayerfor all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!”[c]
18 The chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to kill him. For they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was astonished by his teaching.
19 Whenever evening came, they would go out of the city.
The Barren Fig Tree Is Withered
20 Early in the morning, as they were passing by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
22 Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for—believe that you have received[d] it and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.”[e]
The Authority of Jesus Challenged
27 They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came 28 and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?”
29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was John’s baptismfrom heaven or of human origin? Answer me.”
31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’”—they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Christian Standard Bible. (2017). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.