Mark 11: 25“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”
Forgiveness; it’s a difficult but basic step for us. Indeed, many books have been written about the subject. But notice the Lord says if WE “have anything against anyone”. If we can remove ourselves from the situation and realize that the offense is not really against US, but against God’s law, it will result in that clearer conscience that allows us to approach the Father in prayer.
The Triumphal Entry
1As they approached* Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, He sent* two of His disciples, 2and said* to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. 3“If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ you say, ‘The Lord has need of it’; and immediately he will send it back here.” 4They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied* it. 5Some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. 7They brought* the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. 8And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. 9Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting:
BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;
10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David;
Hosanna in the highest!”
11Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.
12On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. 13Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening.
Jesus Drives Money Changers from the Temple
15Then they came* to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves; 16and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. 17And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS’? But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” 18The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.
19When evening came, they would go out of the city.
20As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21Being reminded, Peter said* to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” 22And Jesus answered* saying to them, “Have faith in God. 23“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. 25“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”
Jesus’ Authority Questioned
27They came* again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came* to Him, 28and began saying to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do these things?” 29And Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30“Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? Answer Me.” 31They began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 32“But shall we say, ‘From men’?”—they were afraid of the people, for everyone considered John to have been a real prophet. 33Answering Jesus, they said*, “We do not know.” And Jesus said* to them, “Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Parable of the Vine-growers
1And He began to speak to them in parables: “A man PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT, AND DUG A VAT UNDER THE WINE PRESS AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 2“At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. 3“They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4“Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. 5“And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others. 6“He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7“But those vine-growers said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ 8“They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9“What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. 10“Have you not even read this Scripture:
‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone;
11 THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD,
AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES’?”
12They were seeking to seize Him, and yet they feared the people, for they understood that He spoke the parable against them. And so they left Him and went away.
Jesus Answers the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes
13Then they sent* some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14They came* and said* to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15“Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16They brought one. And He said* to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.
18Some Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection) came* to Jesus, and began questioning Him, saying, 19“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN’S BROTHER DIES and leaves behind a wife AND LEAVES NO CHILD, HIS BROTHER SHOULD MARRY THE WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER. 20“There were seven brothers; and the first took a wife, and died leaving no children. 21“The second one married her, and died leaving behind no children; and the third likewise; 22and so all seven left no children. Last of all the woman died also. 23“In the resurrection, when they rise again, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had married her.” 24Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God? 25“For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26“But regarding the fact that the dead rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, and the God of Jacob’? 27“He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken.”
28One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 30AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ 31“The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM; 33AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.
35And Jesus began to say, as He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36“David himself said in the Holy Spirit,
‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,
“SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET.”’
37“David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; so in what sense is He his son?” And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him.
38In His teaching He was saying: “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, 39and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, 40who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.”
The Widow’s Mite
41And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. 42A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security
1 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
3 For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8 Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.