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OEB by section MARK 11:1

MARK 11:1–15:47 ©

The Last Days

The Last Days

11When they had almost reached Jerusalem, as far as Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent on two of his disciples. 2‘Go to the village facing you,’ he said, ‘and, as soon as you get there, you will find a foal tethered, which no one has ever ridden; untie it, and bring it. 3And, if anyone says to you “Why are you doing that?”, say “The Master wants it, and will be sure to send it back here at once.”’ 4The two disciples went, and, finding a foal tethered outside a door in the street, they untied it. 5Some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the foal?’ 6And the two disciples answered as Jesus had told them; and they allowed them to go. 7Then they brought the foal to Jesus, and, when they had laid their cloaks on it, he seated himself on it. 8Many of the people spread their cloaks on the road, while some strewed boughs which they had cut from the fields; 9and those who led the way, as well as those who followed, kept shouting, ‘God save him! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! 10Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! God save him from on high!’

11Jesus entered Jerusalem, and went into the Temple Courts; and, after looking round at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

12The next day, after they had left Bethany, Jesus became hungry; 13and, noticing a fig tree at a distance in leaf, he went to it to see if by any chance he could find something on it; but, on coming up to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14So, addressing the tree, he exclaimed, ‘May no one ever again eat of your fruit!’ And his disciples heard what he said.

15They came to Jerusalem. Jesus went into the Temple Courts, and began to drive out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers, and the seats of the pigeon-dealers, 16and would not allow anyone to carry anything across the Temple Courts. 17Then he began to teach. ‘Does not scripture say,’ he asked, ‘“My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations”? But you have made it a den of robbers.’ 18Now the chief priests and the teachers of the Law heard this and began to look for some way of putting Jesus to death; for they were afraid of him, since all the people were greatly impressed by his teaching. 19As soon as evening fell, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

20As they passed by early in the morning, they noticed that the fig tree was withered up from the roots. 21Then Peter recalled what had occurred. ‘Look, Rabbi,’ he exclaimed, ‘the fig tree which you doomed is withered up!’

22‘Have faith in God!’ replied Jesus. 23‘I tell you that if anyone should say to this hill “Be lifted up and hurled into the sea!”, without ever a doubt in his mind, but in the faith that what he says will be done, he would find that it would be. 24And therefore I say to you “Have faith that whatever you ask for in prayer is already granted you, and you will find that it will be.”

25‘And, whenever you stand up to pray, forgive any grievance that you have against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven also may forgive you your offences.’ 26[fn]Titleless Section Break

27They came to Jerusalem again. While Jesus was walking about in the Temple Courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the elders came up to him. 28‘What authority have you to do these things?’ they said. ‘Who gave you the authority to do them?’

29‘I will put one question to you,’ said Jesus. ‘Answer me that, and then I will tell you what authority I have to act as I do. 30It is about John’s baptism. Was it of divine or human origin? Answer me that.’ 31They began arguing together. ‘If we say “divine,” he will say “Why then didn’t you believe him?” 32Yet can we say “human”?’ They were afraid of the people, for everyone regarded John as undoubtedly a prophet. 33So their answer to Jesus was – ‘We do not know.’

‘Then I,’ replied Jesus, ‘refuse to tell you what authority I have to do these things.’

12Jesus began to speak to them in parables, ‘A man once planted a vineyard, put a fence round it, dug a wine-press, built a tower, and then let it out to tenants and went abroad. 2At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants, to receive from them a share of the produce of the grape harvest; 3but they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4A second time the owner sent a servant to them; this man, too, the tenants struck on the head, and insulted. 5He sent another, but him they killed; and so with many others – some they beat and some they killed. 6He had still one son, who was very dear to him; and him he sent to them last of all. “They will respect my son,” he said. 7But those tenants said to one another “Here is the heir! Come, let us kill him, and his inheritance will be ours.” 8So they seized him, and killed him, and threw his body outside the vineyard. 9What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and put the tenants to death, and he will let the vineyard to others.

10‘Have you never read this passage of scripture? – “The stone which the builders despised has now itself become the cornerstone; 11this cornerstone has come from the Lord, and is marvellous in our eyes.”’

12After this his enemies were eager to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd; for they saw that it was at them that he had aimed the parable. So they left him alone, and went away.Titleless Section Break

13Afterwards they sent to Jesus some of the Pharisees and Herodians, to set a trap for him in the course of conversation. 14These men came to him and said, ‘Teacher, we know that you are an honest man, and are not afraid of anyone, for you pay no regard to a person’s position, but teach the way of God honestly; are we right in paying taxes to the Emperor, or not? 15Should we pay, or should we not pay?’ Knowing their hypocrisy, Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you testing me? Bring me a coin to look at.’ 16And, when they had brought it, he asked, ‘Whose head and title are these?’

‘The Emperor’s,’ they said; 17and Jesus replied, ‘Pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and to God what belongs to God.’ And they were amazed at him.

18Next came some Sadducees – the men who maintain that there is no resurrection. Their question was this – 19‘Teacher, in our scriptures Moses decreed that, should a man’s brother die, leaving a widow but no child, the man should take the widow as his wife, and raise up a family for his brother. 20There were once seven brothers. The eldest married, but died and left no family; 21and the second married his widow, and died without family; and so did the third. 22All the seven died and left no family. The woman herself died last of all. 23At the resurrection whose wife will she be, all seven brothers having had her as their wife?’

24‘Is not the reason of your mistake,’ answered Jesus, ‘your ignorance of the scriptures and of the power of God? 25When people rise from the dead, there is no marrying or being married; but they are as angels in heaven.

26‘As to the dead, and the fact that they rise, have you never read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the Bush, how God spoke to him saying – “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? 27He is not God of dead people, but of living. You are greatly mistaken.’

28Then came up one of the teachers of the Law who had heard their discussions. Knowing that Jesus had answered them wisely, he asked him this question, ‘Which commandment is the most important of all?’

29‘The most important,’ answered Jesus, ‘is – “Hear, Israel; the Lord our God is the one Lord; 30and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” 31The second is this – “You must love your neighbour as you love yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’

32‘Wisely answered, teacher!’ exclaimed the teacher of the Law. ‘It is true, as you say, that there is one God, and that there is no other besides him; 33and to love him with all one’s heart, and with all one’s understanding, and with all one’s strength, and to love one’s neighbour as one loves oneself is far beyond all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’ 34Seeing that he had answered with discernment, Jesus said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’

After that no one ventured to question him further.

35While Jesus was teaching in the Temple Courts, he asked, ‘How is it that the teachers of the Law say that the Christ is to be David’s son? 36David said himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – “The Lord said to my lord: Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies beneath your feet.” 37David himself calls him “lord,” how comes it, then, that he is to be his son?’

The mass of the people listened to Jesus with delight. 38In the course of his teaching, Jesus said, ‘See that you are on your guard against the teachers of the Law, who delight to walk about in long robes, and to be greeted in the streets with respect, 39and to have the best seats in the synagogues, and places of honour at dinner. 40They are the men who rob widows of their homes, and make a pretence of saying long prayers. Their sentence will be all the heavier.’

41Then Jesus sat down opposite the chests for the Temple offerings, and watched how the people put money into them. Many rich people were putting in large sums; 42but one poor widow came and put in two small coins, worth very little. 43Then, calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you that this poor widow has put in more than all the others who were putting money into the chests; 44for everyone else put in something from what he had to spare, while she, in her need, put in all she had – everything that she had to live on.’

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13As Jesus was walking out of the Temple Courts, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Teacher, look what fine stones and buildings these are!’

2‘Do you see these great buildings?’ asked Jesus. ‘Not a single stone will be left here on another, which will not be thrown down.’

3When Jesus had sat down on the Mount of Olives, facing the Temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew questioned him privately, 4‘Tell us when this will be, and what will be the sign when all this is drawing to its close.’

5Then Jesus began, ‘See that no one leads you astray. 6Many will take my name, and come saying “I am He”, and will lead many astray.

7‘And, when you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; such things must occur; but the end is not yet. 8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This will be but the beginning of the birth-pangs.

9‘See to yourselves! They will betray you to courts of law; and you will be taken to synagogues and beaten; and you will be brought up before governors and kings for my sake, so that you can bear witness before them. 10But the good news must first be proclaimed to every nation. 11Whenever they betray you and hand you over for trial, do not be anxious beforehand as to what you will say, but say whatever is given you at the moment; for it will not be you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; and children will turn against their parents, and cause them to be put to death; 13and you will be hated by everyone because of me. Yet the person who endures to the end will be saved.

14‘As soon, however, as you see “the Foul Desecration” standing where it ought not’ (the reader must consider what this means) ‘then those of you who are in Judea must take refuge in the mountains; 15and a person on the house-top must not go down, or go in to get anything out of their house: 16nor must one who is on their farm turn back to get their cloak. 17And alas for pregnant women, and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18Pray, too, that this may not occur in winter. 19For those days will be a time of distress, the like of which has not occurred from the beginning of God’s creation until now – and never will again. 20And, had not the Lord put a limit to those days, not a single soul would escape; but, for the sake of God’s own chosen people, he did limit them.

21‘And at that time if anyone should say to you “Look, here is the Christ!” “Look, there he is!”, do not believe it; 22for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and display signs and marvels, to lead astray, were it possible, even God’s people. 23But see that you are on your guard! I have told you all this beforehand.

24‘In those days, after that time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give her light, 25the stars will be falling from the heavens, and the forces that are in the heavens will be convulsed. 26Then will be seen the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory; 27and then he will send the angels, and gather his people from the four winds, from one end of the world to the other.

28‘Learn the lesson taught by the fig tree. As soon as its branches are full of sap, and it is bursting into leaf, you know that summer is near. 29And so may you, as soon as you see these things happening, know that he is at your doors. 30I tell you that even the present generation will not pass away, until all these things have taken place. 31The heavens and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

32‘But about that day, or the hour, no one knows – not even the angels in heaven, not even the Son – but only the Father.

33‘See that you are on the watch; for you do not know when the time will be. 34It is like a man going on a journey, who leaves his home, puts his servants in charge – each having their special duty – and orders the porter to watch. 35Therefore watch, for you cannot be sure when the Master of the house is coming – whether in the evening, at midnight, at daybreak, or in the morning – 36otherwise he might come suddenly and find you asleep. 37And what I say to you I say to all – Watch!’

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14It was now two days before the Festival of the Passover and the unleavened bread. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law were looking for an opportunity to arrest Jesus by stealth, and to put him to death; 2for they said, ‘Not during the Festival, or the people may riot.’

3When Jesus was still at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, while he was sitting at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of choice spikenard perfume of great value. She broke the jar, and poured the perfume on his head. 4Some of those who were present said to one another indignantly, ‘Why has the perfume been wasted like this? 5This perfume could have been sold for more than a year’s wages, and the money given to the poor.’

6‘Leave her alone,’ said Jesus, as they began to find fault with her, ‘why are you troubling her? This is a beautiful deed that she has done for me. 7You always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you will not always have me. 8She has done what she could; she has perfumed my body beforehand for my burial. 9And I tell you, wherever, in the whole world, the good news is proclaimed, what this woman has done will be told in memory of her.’

10After this, Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests, to betray Jesus to them. 11They were glad to hear what he said, and promised to pay him. So he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.Titleless Section Break

12On the first day of the Festival of the unleavened bread, when it was customary to kill the Passover lambs, his disciples said to Jesus, ‘Where do you wish us to go and make preparations for your eating the Passover?’ 13Jesus sent forward two of his disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the city, and there a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him; 14and, wherever he goes in, say to the owner of the house “The teacher says – Where is my room where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?” 15He will himself show you a large upstairs room, set out ready; and there make preparations for us.’ 16So the disciples set out and went into the city, and found everything just as Jesus had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

17In the evening he went there with the Twelve, 18and when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, ‘I tell you that one of you is going to betray me – one who is eating with me.’ 19They were grieved at this, and began to say to him, one after another, ‘Can it be I?’

20‘It is one of you Twelve,’ said Jesus, ‘the one who is dipping his bread beside me into the dish. 21True, the Son of Man must go, as scripture says of him, yet alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is being betrayed! For that man it would be better never to have been born!’

22While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and, after saying the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ 23Then he took a cup, and, after saying the thanksgiving, gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24‘This is my covenant-blood,’ he said, ‘which is poured out on behalf of many. 25I tell you that I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I will drink it new in the kingdom of God.’

26They then sang a hymn, and went out up the Mount of Olives, 27presently Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will fall away; for scripture says – “I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” 28Yet, after I have risen, I will go before you into Galilee.’

29‘Even if everyone else falls away,’ said Peter, ‘I will not.’

30‘I tell you,’ answered Jesus, ‘that you yourself today – yes, this very night – before the cock crows twice, will disown me three times.’ 31But Peter vehemently protested, ‘Even if I must die with you, I will never disown you!’ And they all said the same.Titleless Section Break

32Presently they came to a garden known as Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples ‘Sit down here while I pray.’ 33He took with him Peter, James, and John; and began to show signs of great dismay and deep distress of mind. 34‘I am sad at heart,’ he said, ‘sad even to death; wait here, and watch.’ 35Going on a little further, he threw himself on the ground, and began to pray that, if it were possible, he might be spared that hour. 36‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘all things are possible to you; take away this cup from me; yet, not what I will, but what you will.’

37Then he came and found the three apostles asleep. ‘Simon,’ he said to Peter, ‘are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch for one hour? 38Watch and pray,’ he said to them all, ‘so that you may not fall into temptation. True, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ 39Again he went away, and prayed in the same words; 40and coming back again he found them asleep, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to say to him.

41A third time he came, and said to them, ‘Sleep on now, and rest yourselves. Enough! My time has come. Look, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of wicked people. 42Up, and let us be going. Look! My betrayer is close at hand.’

43And just then, while he was still speaking, Judas, who was one of the Twelve, came up; and with him a crowd of people, with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the elders. 44Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them. ‘The man whom I kiss,’ he had said, ‘will be the one; arrest him and take him away safely.’ 45As soon as Judas came, he went up to Jesus at once, and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. 46Then the men seized Jesus, and arrested him.

47One of those who were standing by drew his sword, and struck at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear. 48But Jesus spoke up, and said to the men, ‘Have you come out, as if after a robber, with swords and clubs, to take me? 49I have been among you day after day in the Temple Courts teaching, and yet you did not arrest me; but this is in fulfilment of the scriptures.’ 50And all the apostles deserted him and fled. 51One young man did indeed follow him, wrapped only in a linen sheet. They tried to arrest him; 52but he left the sheet in their hands, and fled naked.Titleless Section Break

53Then they took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, elders, and the teachers of the Law assembled. 54Peter, who had followed Jesus at a distance into the courtyard of the high priest, was sitting there among the guards, warming himself at the blaze of the fire.

55Meanwhile the chief priest and the whole of the High Council were trying to get such evidence against Jesus as would warrant his being put to death, but they could not find any; 56for, though there were many who gave false evidence against him, yet their evidence did not agree. 57Presently some men stood up, and gave this false evidence against him – 58‘We ourselves heard him say “I will destroy this Temple made with hands, and in three days build another made without hands.”’ 59Yet not even on that point did their evidence agree.

60Then the high priest stood forward, and questioned Jesus. ‘Have you no answer to make?’ he asked. ‘What is this evidence which these men are giving against you?’ 61But Jesus remained silent, and made no answer.

A second time the high priest questioned him. ‘Are you,’ he asked, ‘the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’

62‘I am,’ replied Jesus, ‘and you will all see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the Almighty, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ 63At this the high priest tore his vestments. ‘Why do we want any more witnesses?’ he exclaimed. 64‘You heard his blasphemy? What is your verdict?’ They all condemned him, declaring that he deserved death.

65Some of those present began to spit at him, and to blindfold his eyes, and strike him, saying, as they did so, ‘Now play the prophet!’ and even the guards received him with blows.

66While Peter was in the courtyard down below, one of the high priest’s maidservants came up; 67and, seeing Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him, and exclaimed, ‘Why, you were with Jesus, the Nazarene!’ 68But Peter denied it. ‘I do not know or understand what you mean,’ he replied. Then he went out into the porch; 69and there the maidservant, on seeing him, began to say again to the bystanders, ‘This is one of them!’ 70But Peter again denied it.

Soon afterwards the bystanders again said to him, ‘You certainly are one of them; why you are a Galilean!’ 71But he said to them, ‘I swear that I do not know the man you are talking about! May God punish me if I am lying!’ 72At that moment, for the second time, a cock crowed; and Peter remembered the words that Jesus had said to him – “Before a cock has crowed twice, you will disown me three times”; and, as he thought of it, he began to weep.

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15As soon as it was daylight, the chief priests, after holding a consultation with elders and teachers of the Law – that is to say, the whole High Council – put Jesus in chains, and took him away, and gave him up to Pilate. 2‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ asked Pilate. ‘It is true,’ replied Jesus. 3Then the chief priests brought a number of charges against him. 4So Pilate questioned Jesus again. ‘Have you no reply to make?’ he asked. ‘Listen, how many charges they are bringing against you.’ 5But Jesus still made no reply whatever; at which Pilate was astonished.

6Now, at the feast, Pilate used to grant the people the release of any one prisoner whom they might ask for. 7A man called Barabbas was in prison, with the rioters who had committed murder during a riot. 8So, when the crowd went up and began to ask Pilate to follow his usual custom, 9he answered, ‘Do you want me to release the “king of the Jews” for you?’ 10For he was aware that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had given Jesus up to him. 11But the chief priests incited the crowd to get Barabbas released instead. 12Pilate, however, spoke to them again, ‘What should I do then with the man whom you call the “king of the Jews”?’ 13Again they shouted, ‘Crucify him!’

14‘Why, what harm has he done?’ Pilate kept saying to them. But they shouted furiously, ‘Crucify him!’ 15And Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them, and, after scourging Jesus, gave him up to be crucified.

16The soldiers then took Jesus away into the courtyard – that is the Government house – and they called the whole garrison together. 17They dressed him in a purple robe, and, having twisted a crown of thorns, put it on him, 18and then began to salute him. ‘Long life to you, king of the Jews!’ they said. 19And they kept striking him on the head with a rod, spitting at him, and bowing to the ground before him – going down on their knees; 20and, when they had left off mocking him, they took off the purple robe, and put his own clothes on him.Titleless Section Break

21They led Jesus out to crucify him; and they compelled a passer-by, Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them to carry his cross.

22They brought Jesus to the place which was known as Golgotha – a name which means “place of a Skull.” 23There they offered him drugged wine; but Jesus refused it. 24Then they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots for them, to settle what each should take.

25It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26The words of the charge against him, written up over his head, read – “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 27And with him they crucified two robbers, one on the right, and the other on the left. 28[fn]

29The passers-by railed at him, shaking their heads, as they said, ‘Ah! You who would destroy the Temple and build one in three days, 30come down from the cross and save yourself!’ 31In the same way the chief priests, with the teachers of the Law, said to one another in mockery, 32‘He saved others, but he cannot save himself! Let the Christ, the “king of Israel,” come down from the cross now so that we can see it and believe.’ Even the men who had been crucified with Jesus insulted him.

33At midday, a darkness came over the whole country, lasting until three in the afternoon. 34And, at three, Jesus called out loudly, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?’ which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35Some of those standing round heard this, and said, ‘Listen! He is calling for Elijah!’ 36And a man ran, and, soaking a sponge in common wine, put it on the end of a rod, and offered it to him to drink, saying as he did so, ‘Wait and let us see if Elijah is coming to take him down.’ 37But Jesus, giving a loud cry, breathed his last. 38The Temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. 39The Roman officer, who was standing facing Jesus, on seeing the way in which he breathed his last, exclaimed, ‘This man must indeed have been God’s son!’Titleless Section Break

40There were some women also watching from a distance, among them being Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James the Little and of Joseph, and Salome – 41all of whom used to accompany Jesus when he was in Galilee, and give him support – besides many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

42The evening had already fallen, when, as it was the Preparation day – the day before the Sabbath – 43Joseph from Arimathea, a councillor of good position, who was himself living in expectation of the kingdom of God, came and ventured to go in to see Pilate, and to ask for the body of Jesus. 44But Pilate was surprised to hear that he had already died. So he sent for the officer, and asked if he were already dead; 45and, on learning from the officer that it was so, he gave the corpse to Joseph. 46Joseph, having bought a linen sheet, took Jesus down, and wound the sheet round him, and laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of the rock; and then rolled a stone up against the entrance of the tomb. 47Mary of Magdala and Mary, the mother of Joseph, were watching to see where he was laid.

11:26 Some later manuscripts add: But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your offences.

15:28 Some later manuscripts add: And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “He was counted among outlaws.”

MARK 11:1–15:47 ©