Jesus Rides into Jerusalem

Open Your Bible

Mark 11:1-33, Psalm 118:25-26, Zechariah 9:9

The day our son was born, I was astonished.

The mere reality of birth was a surprise. One minute, there were four people in the room, and the next, there were five. He looked nothing like I’d expected, and his birth didn’t go anything like I’d planned. I was shocked by how immediately I felt the pride and protective instincts of a mother. The whole experience was unexpected, yet wonderful—astonishing.

Fast forward six years. I was at the grocery store when I heard the news that Sandy Hook Elementary had been attacked by a gunman. Children my own child’s age were terrorized, injured, even killed. When my son came home from school that afternoon he was fine—but I was not. I was not astonished that day; I was afraid, weeping into the night, praying for protection for my own son and comfort for those in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, whose lives would never be the same. 

Astonished and afraid. There’s a big difference, isn’t there? When I read Mark 11, I notice both of these reactions to Jesus upon His arrival in Jerusalem. Just after Jesus overturned the tables and chairs in the temple, the chief priests began “looking for a way to kill him. For they were afraid of him” (Mark 11:18). But the crowd? In that very same moment, they were “astonished by his teaching.” Later, the chief priests weren’t able to give an answer to Jesus’s question about John’s baptism. Why? Because “they were afraid of the crowd” (v.32).

This dichotomy appears often in Jesus’s ministry: the crowds were astonished and the religious leaders were almost always afraid. In Mark 1, when Jesus cleansed a man of an unclean spirit, the crowd was “astonished at his teaching because he was teaching them as one who had authority” (v.22). As we read about Jesus’s authority and those who hoped to explain it away, I wonder, How do I react when I encounter Jesus’s authority in my own life? 

Am I afraid? Does it compel me to hold tight to the things I love, afraid He’ll shake up my plans? Do I feel astonished at His power, like I was when meeting my son? Am I surprised and delighted by the way Jesus works in ways I don’t expect?

As we read Mark 11 today, let’s notice the authority with which Jesus rides into Jerusalem like the King that He is, and how He surveyed the temple quietly, then commanded the fig tree to wither. Let’s watch the unexpected, yet wonderful way Jesus cleanses His Father’s house and answers the chief priests as they attempt to usurp Him. 

Because Jesus is God’s Son and our King, His authority doesn’t have to make us afraid. We can simply watch, astonished by the King of kings, who has all authority in heaven and on earth. We can praise Him, saying, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mark 11:9).

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57 thoughts on "Jesus Rides into Jerusalem"

  1. Carla Burke says:

    WHY did you guys SKIP verse 26 of Mark 11?! I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you ladies and gentlemen who put this “She Reads Truth” Bible together go BACK AND REVISE IT, and CORRECT THE ERRORS!

  2. Brandy Deruso says:

    Lord thank you for your authority!

  3. Paula Strong says:

    I love the idea of him cleaning his Fathers house. This world needs some cleaning. I stay off Facebook as much as possible now just because I see how sinful our world has become. I am waiting expectantly.

  4. Kate Condran says:

    What a good comparison between being afraid and astonished…. I want to trust more and more how HE is at work in my life and respond with astonishment- not fear.

  5. Cara P says:

    Katie, prayers for you. I do my SRT study first thing in the morning too, very early. I prayed specifically for you today my friend.

  6. Sumire Arai says:

    How Love of him is… I believe to be people have to be hope,

  7. KJ Johnson says:

    Astonished and afraid- these works so sum up my feeling about the world which makes me realize that is where my focus is these days: I truly believe if and when my focus is on Christ setting my mind in him not the things of the world, the the things of the world grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. I too have a lot of anxiety but when I check myself am I watching the news and is my converts about the horrors or the world or am I listening to my Christian podcasts and encouraging other through these days? What is for most on my heart?

  8. Natasha R says:

    I love Mark 11:24-25 – Pray and believe. Then wait expectantly. While you’re waiting, forgive. Simple! Not at all easy, but simple.

  9. Laurie Crary says:

    Sweet Katie B… I will lift you in prayer, asking Jesus to calm your racing heart and mind. I also struggle with, actually battle anxiety. It is exhausting.

  10. Claire B says:

    Oh, Curchmouse, I am in total agreement with you. We are loosing things we will never get back. Christians must stand firm on their foundation.

  11. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    Praying for you Katie. May you know the peace that can only come from Jesus.

  12. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    Yes Churchmouse! Your words hit home with me. Thank you for sharing your heart and your vulnerableness.

  13. Addy says:

    The question of whether we react in astonishment or fear of Gods power and authority in our lives is such a challenging one. I’m sure at times I have reacted in both ways. Last week when I joined the SRT I was astonished by how God was using scripture to talk to me, maybe I was also a little afraid, what he would uncover over time. But just like we read a few days ago, I’ve already been saved and Jesus speaks with so much compassion!

  14. Jennifer Anapol says:

    Katie, I pray you have an amazing time with your daughter this weekend. I pray for God’s peace and strength to go before you. Also, know you don’t have to enough, since our God is more than enough. I remember that first year of motherhood, it can be so hard. Know that it will get easier and things will get better. I hope you’re finding help for your postpartum depression.

  15. Mercy says:

    Thank you all for the revelations on the Fig Tree story. I was always wondering. It is such a parable isn’t it. A tree with full leaves looks healthy, but its fruit is the ultimate purpose of the fig tree. Jesus is the Vine, and the branches connected to Him will bear fruits. This also reveals a spiritual death that renders the tree barren. May we bear good fruits for God’s Kingdom by connecting to Jesus daily for spiritual nutrients, not just a display of pretentious mass green foliage.

    @Churchmouse, praying for your anxiety. You describe it so well the heartbreaking issues of our days. Truly nothing is new under the sun and nothing can surprise our God. He has seen it all. And I believe He always has a rescue plan for us. Remember how Noah’s family was picked out before the flood. Lot was warned and spared in the utter destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The plagues came down in Egypt but all the Israelites in the same land got spared. The evil agenda may look like they prosper right now in the land, but God’s rescue plans are there because HE IS FAITHFUL to his children. May the joy of the Lord be your strength, may He guard your heart with courage and peace each day. You are so sweet. Be blessed!

  16. Nicola says:

    ‘Prayer is the mightiest of all weapons that created natures can wield’ Martin Luther

  17. Dorothy says:

    Two things stood out from today’s devotion for me. The first was Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgives you your wrongdoing.” This verse reminds me of my sister because she doesn’t blame my niece’s boyfriend for the accident that killed my niece even though he was drunk. She says she can’t blame him because she used to drive drunk. The second thing that stood out to me is when Raechel says “Because Jesus is God’s Son and our King, His authority doesn’t have to make us afraid.” Those words just wowed me.
    Have a great weekend sisters and be blessed.

  18. Cindy Hanna says:

    I too wondered about this incident. Here are a couple of explanations I have found. Bottom line there is no definite answer. But these might help process your thoughts.
    1. Jesus’s sovereignty. Present & active in creation, Christ was given the power to hold “All things together”, he has the right of a king to pass judgment on his creation (fig tree).
    2. Jesus knew that this would become a future teachable moment needed for his disciples on the power of prayer.
    3. A Professor (now deceased) named Kelso who taught on Palestine noted: “in that in that particular area there are many varieties of fig trees – but one variety was highly prized because it bore fruit “out of season“. A sure indication of fruit for this variety was that it would be fully leafed.”
    Kelso hypothesis: If that was the case then this tree was guilty of a false & misleading display.

  19. Denise N says:

    @churchmouse…..thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have been thinking along those same lines a lot lately. Never have I had to deal with anxiety but I can feel it creepy up often. We must trust in Jesus. I worry about my 4 grandsons and how this world will be when they become adults, even teenagers. It’s frightening to think about, but God has a plan for them and He loves them more than I ever could.

  20. Heather O’Malley says:

    Katie, I’ll be praying for you this weekend, that you will have special bonding time with your sweet girl, and your time with God would be extra special.

  21. Sheryl Gunderson says:

    Praying for you this weekend, Katie B.

  22. Laurie Eckes says:

    @churchmouse I am so with you and how you feel. I feel so fortunate that I have a Pastor who preaches on current events and how it relates to biblical teaching such as the things you wrote. God always has the last say!

  23. Traci Gendron says:

    Joanna after reading your comment I looked up the shooting in Dunblane. Am I correct that you still can have a handgun? I feel that people in the US would be accepting of that law. I see no reason someone needs an assault rife, but to do significant harm. I’m fearful every time we have a shooting. I live in Colorado and the are happening more and more here. I’m always looking around me to see if someone looks suspicious. I know I need to pray and trust that God will keep me safe, but me fear overtakes me.

  24. Stacy Smith says:

    I highly suggest some of you listen to the latest Jamie Ivey podcast – maybe it will help you to remember that Christ’s authority is not the same as mans. Just a thought as I read through some of these comments and what it truly means to be a Christ follower.

  25. Erica Askren says:

    I want to know the same thing @LeAnn! I even wrote that as a note in my Bible.

  26. Cheryl Read says:

    Katie, thank you for sharing.
    Praying for Gods peace and strength to be felt right now.

  27. Jane K says:

    @Churchmouse, thank you so much for sharing your personal struggles this morning with us. I, too, have been having anxiety and trouble sleeping because of it for all the same reasons you mentioned. I’ve been memorizing scripture, spending more time in the Word, and trying to keep my eyes on Jesus instead of the troubles of this world. My hope is in Jesus and I know He is in control. @Katie B I am praying for you this weekend and for your husband’s travels. May God give you His perfect peace and rest as you draw close to Him.

  28. Charlsie says:

    You are a few steps ahead of me, Deb! I’m just now feeling that call and am asking God for boldness to step out of my current position. Your faith has inspired me this morning!

  29. Deb Ireland says:

    I quit my job earlier this year because I feel that God is calling me to something else. But now I am feeling nervous about it and fearful. I needed the reminder to live in faith and not fear. I am faithful God will do great things as I try to follow Him.

  30. Deb Ireland says:

    I love that song!

  31. Maura says:

    Hosannah in the highest!! Praise be to Jesus King of Kong’s, Prince of Peace, Almighty God. So much to be thankful for. He made a way for our redemption. The fig tree like the pharisees has a false front a lack of fruit. Lord Jesus, help my faith to bring you glory to produce fruit that brings praise to your Holy name. You are so worthy Lord Jesus. Sisters may our shouts of praise echo across the canyons and valleys we find in the life for He is faithful and full of grace and love.

  32. Lauren Barr says:

    Not sure if this YouTube video will come up but as I was reading through the comments this morning “man of your word” by Maverick City came into my head and I loved this video this morning to start off worshipping.

    @erb thanks for sharing what your mom said!

  33. Leah Rachow says:

    If you google “cursing the fig tree,” the gospel coalition has a really good explanation!

  34. C C says:


  35. AnneLyn P says:

    Praying for you, Katie B.

  36. Ana Lundin says:

    Praying for safety for your husband in his travels and peace for you!

  37. JRay says:

    Joanna, when the next “gestapo” come for you and you family because you are christian you will wish your government hadn’t stepped in and you had some way to defend yourselves. “People who give up liberty for security deserve neither” Benjamin Franklin.

  38. Ashleigh Horner says:

    Thank you, Jill, for that information. I had wondered about the fig tree as it seemed out of place in this passage. It now seems to fit with the false ways the religious leaders were conducting the temple.

  39. Jessica Perteet says:

    Oh how I am familiar with the weight of a mama’s heart! I have 5 babies from age 11 down to 2 and I still struggle with it. Even went to counseling about it. Praying for you this weekend!

  40. Jill Lee says:

    Fig trees produce fruit before they produce leaves, so one would expect abundant fruit on a tree with a lot of leaves. There are also varieties that produce fruit at different times of the year, making it all the more reasonable to expect fruit on a leafy tree out of season. Since a tree with leaves should have fruit, but this one did not, it was a parable of believers who look righteous but don’t produce the fruit of righteousness.

  41. Taylor says:

    Such a timely devotion in my life. MY plan was to get a job in Philadelphia, but the Lord provided one job and one job only in Delaware for me. His calling was clear and while it was the exact opposite of where I wanted to start my career, I trust the Lord has me here for a reason and will use me in ways I will only be able to understand in a few months from now. Lord help me to respond to your movement in my life with astonishment and open hands rather than fear and closed fists. You have my best in mind! Thank you Jesus

  42. Penny M says:

    My understanding is He curses it because it is trying to appear to be something it is not. Like the priests of the temple.

  43. Penny M says:

    Mark 11:24 touched me this morning. “…whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it..” God is always working on our behalf even it looks differently than we see it initially.

  44. Deanna says:

    @Darcie – Fellow Ohioan, power went out here, as well. We had a small tree fall across the driveway, so at 6:30AM I was dragging it out of the way to get my daughter to the bus stop!

    Just yesterday she and I talked about anger and how to deal with it. I shared Jesus in the temple, and his anger at the moneychangers, and why it was righteous and well-placed.

  45. Miriam says:

    Jesus is both the man that takes children and infants in his arms with compassion and love and then drives out the money makers in the temple because of His holiness and justice. He is both equally and balanced in perfection. The world-and even the religious people- so easily focus on one attribute of His character and forget who is He completely.

  46. Sherry says:

    “As we read about Jesus’s authority and those who hoped to explain it away, I wonder, How do I react when I encounter Jesus’s authority in my own life?”
    These words spoke to me this morning. Am I afraid? Am I astonished? Help me God to react with astonishment, acceptance and love as I watch you work in my life and the lives of those around me.

  47. LeAnn Schmitt says:

    I’ve never understood the fig tree incident. It says it wasn’t the season for figs to be ripe so why does Jesus curse the tree?

  48. Ashli V says:

    I must admit that I fall into the “afraid” category all too often.

    What should be a comfort and security for me–His authority–is translated into a fear. A fear that He may “shake up my plans” as the author put it so well. I thrive on predictability, security, and stability. This craving for something to put my trust in is a deep soul-ache. At the very root, it’s a hunger for Christ. He is the only one I can fully out my trust in without fail. He has not yet let me down, nor will He ever.
    Time and time again He has “shaken up my plans” throughout the seasons of my life, but time and time again as I look back, I can see His fingerprints all over every detail. It’s truly incredible. Our plans are not His plans, and THANK GOODNESS for it! Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness Help me to continue to put my trust in You, and to change my fear into fascination. Amen.

  49. Heidi says:

    The Pharisees had the answer but they didn’t like it- didn’t WANT it to be the answer because it wasn’t the answer they had been shaping their lives in anticipation for. They were for religious propriety, not a humble Savior from “back woods” Nazareth. They missed it. They refused to open their minds to the picture God was painting because they had painted their own and demanded God bow to THEIR plan.
    I get very very judgmental about the Pharisees, but get me in the right situation/circumstances and I do the exact same thing.
    “I have a plan, God. How dare you attempt to interrupt. I appreciate you bending to MY will now, thank you very much.”
    If His own blameless, loving, precious boy had to WILLFULLY suffer – INNOCENTLY – at the hands of hateful people, who on earth am I to question and fight the hard plans He allows for me.
    We are here to bring Glory to the name of our God. Whatever task placed on us by HIM, He will equip and grace us to do it well. After all, it is HIS name that is at stake…

    “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  50. Churchmouse says:

    I have a newly diagnosed anxiety disorder, gratefully well controlled with medication. When I hear of tragic events my heart beats a little faster. I use the tools I’ve been taught to calm myself. I pray. While tragic events make me anxious it is the more subtle evils that truly concern me. It’s a society that calls evil good and good evil. It’s the cancel culture of eliminating and suppressing diverse speech and thought. It’s the ridicule and dismissiveness towards those who hold Christian values. It’s ideology rather than facts that are being promoted in some schools. It’s selective tolerance of certain people groups and attempts to silence and minimize others. Just as the Pharisees held power to sway the masses and even ignore their own rules I see the same thing happening here. There is nothing new under the sun. The Pharisees found a way to accomplish their goal: silence, permanently, this rabble rouser Jesus. The evil that lies within the hearts of men is what troubles me. It’s the disguising and deception of evil that causes me concern. I look at my sweet innocent grandchildren and wonder what the future will be for them. BUT GOD. He has a plan and a purpose that no one can thwart. His promises are true. And so I pray for our grandchildren to know Jesus and follow Him all the days of their lives. I pray for revival. I pray for Christians to stand firm in faith and obedience to the Word of God. I trust Jesus, that He has overcome the world.

    1. Ruby Everett says:

      @Churchmouse, AMEN! Our world today is so dishearting ! We know that none of this takes God by surprise and He is in total control. That what we can stand on.BUF GOD!

  51. ERB says:

    Mark 11:21-25 “Then Peterd 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, 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 forgives you your wrongdoing.”

    These verses really STOOD out to me, especially verse 23 when it says DO NOT DOUBT

    …Yesterday I went to the dentist and was told that I needed to have a tooth pulled. Never great news to hear.. and I was concerned and upset about it, so I told my Mum (an amazing & humble woman of God) and you know what she said? “Emily, God can always make a new tooth grow to replace the tooth that needs to be pulled.” She said it so matter of factly. Like, if you just ask and BELIEVE, then it CAN be done!! I was so taken aback by her response that I quickly dismissed it, thinking to myself yes God could do that, but probably not for me. When reading these verses today I was convicted and immediately started asking God for forgiveness of my unbelief, and was honest in my prayer to Him, saying I know God that You have this power and ability, but I am having trouble BELIEVING it… I feel like Peter who started walking out on the water in FAITH but sank because of fear of the outcome… too often I start in belief and faith, but then end up sinking with human reasoning. Lord help me to STAY in FAITH and BELIEF …let me be quietly able to say to a “fig tree” dry up and without giving it a second thought know that it will be done!! Thank You Jesus for encouraging and cultivating this type of faith and belief in me and in Your body of believers. ❤️

  52. Angie says:

    Jesus entered riding, for He is King.
    On a donkey, the King came as a humble servant.
    A blend of the people’s coats and the Father’s creation, palm branches, laid out before Him, marked His path visually.
    He would follow His Father’s Will/path; to save the people He had been given.
    Jesus sees a fig tree, with leaves, so there should have been fruit-but, there was none; and Jesus cursed it.
    Jesus, (the King, who came in love as a servant, following His Father’s path, for the lives of the people,) cursed the beautiful tree because it was not what it appeared to be.
    Arriving at His Father’s temple He overturns tables and drives out those, who took advantage of the people who longed to obey.
    I don’t know if I am making this clear or not, but in my mind and heart it is crystal.
    King Jesus.
    Loves His Father and followed God’s will and plan.
    He loves the created – us.
    Through His sacrifice, opened the way for us to once again dwell with Him.
    He will not tolerate that which is false, which implies one thing but whose roots are evil, no matter its present appearance.
    Righteous. Holy. Just. King Jesus.
    Doesn’t that make you want to dance?
    Doesn’t that make you want to be a part of the parade and procession?
    Doesn’t that make you want to lay what you have before Him and shout, “Hosanna!”
    …I know, the fickle people’s actions will change in a week. I know,… they will crucify the same God they praised.
    But, today I will make the choice to live in the Hosanna. To worship Jesus Christ my King. I will praise Him for He has paid the penalty for my sin and I am His.
    Hosanna, He is Lord!

    1. Linda Gilbow says:

      This is beautiful!!!

  53. Darcie Bosshard says:

    Our electricity just went out from winds here in Ohio and it was so nice to read my She Read Truth daily reading and devotional in my lit phone here in the early morning darkness. God is so good.

  54. Joanna Craigie says:

    Here in the UK we remembered the anniversary of our school shooting incident 25 years ago in a Scottish town called Dunblane just last week. Every time I hear of such shootings in the US I can’t help but be concerned for everyone there as I know that there will be another and another. I don’t want to be judgmental but Dunblane was a one off for us – our government acted decisively and we do not fear such incidents.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to those who live in fear of gun or other violence daily.

  55. Kelly says:


    Blessed is he who comes

    in the name of the Lord!