Responding to a King - Mark 11:1-11

Have you ever been in a social situation where you didn’t know how to act? What to wear? What to say? What the rules of etiquette were? Share with your group.

Mark 1:1-11 (see textual notes)

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, 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 has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. 5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! 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!”

11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

  • V1 - Jesus entered Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Israelites had a well-known tradition that the Messiah would reveal himself to Israel by descending the Mount of Olives. Jesus is consciously entering Israel in a way that proclaims he is the messianic King. 
  • Vv 2-6 - Jesus told his disciples to enter Jerusalem and just “take” a colt. The punishment for stealing an animal in those days ranged from being fined 2x the worth of the animal to potentially losing one’s life. So Jesus was asking his disciples to do something that seemed very scary. The disciples and the owners of the colt responded in obedience. 
  • Vv 7-8 – Most people in ancient Israel only had one cloak; they wore it every day and used it as a blanket at night. So a cloak was super valuable. And yet, the disciples laid their cloaks on the donkey, so that Jesus the King wouldn’t touch an ordinary animal. And they laid their cloaks on the road (which were covered in mud and animal dung) so that not even Jesus’ donkey would touch the common ground. This shows a response of honor.
  • Vv 9-11 – The disciples and crowds cried out, “Hosanna (save us); blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (i.e., Jesus represents God), and waved palm branches (a form of celebration). In doing so, they showed a response of profession.

Jesus is the King of Israel who came to bring salvation to the world. And the only proper response to the King is obedience, honor, and profession.
  • In the text, we saw three ways people responded to Jesus the King: obedience, honor, and profession. In which of these three areas are you struggling to respond appropriately to Jesus? How is this explicitly manifesting in your life?
  • Why do you think you are struggling in this area? What beliefs about Jesus, yourself, or the world, might be underneath this struggle?
  • What cultural pressures might be contributing to this struggle?

  • Related to the struggle you shared earlier, name one specific way Jesus is calling you to respond to him in obedience, honor, or profession.
  • What will it take to respond to Jesus in this way? What specific beliefs about Jesus, yourself, others, or the world, need to change? 
  • What habits or behaviors need to change? What ambitions or pursuits need to change? What relationships need to change? Etc. 

The Kingdom of Christ is a place of flourishing. In what ways will responding to Jesus in these ways lead to your own flourishing and the flourishing of others?

Father, thank you for sending your Son into the world, Jesus the King, to seek and save the lost. Pour out your Spirit afresh into our hearts, that we might respond to Jesus in obedience, honor, and profession. We pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.