What is the Meaning of Mark 11.1-11 Palm Sunday 2021

“The Confused Crowd at the Triumphal Entry”

Mark 11

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Mark 11.1-11 Palm Sunday 2021

Mark 11. It’s very easy to be confused. I’ve been profoundly aware of this recently. I was reminded recently of something that happened in our family Bible time some years ago. Hudson, who gave me permission to use this illustration this morning, had a moment of confusion. We were reading in the book of Mark … verse 24…

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Mark 7:24 24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.

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So Jesus entered into a house and did not want anyone to know about it. What does that sound like to you? Hudson says, “Jesus broke into the house?” No, obviously Jesus did not break into the house. He was invited in and didn’t want anyone else to know.

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Hudson is well known for his analyses in our home.

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Another point of confusion was recently. First, you need to understand that in Canada we had to pay for our grocery bags. So Ruth would always take cloth bags to the grocery store. And we would use plastic grocery bags in our garbage cans.

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One day, Ruth and Paxton were in the grocery store going to the checkout line. And Paxton asks, “why are we putting our groceries in the garbage?”

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Confusion…

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In much more serious ways, people are confused today about the person of Jesus.

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Who do people say that Jesus is? Jesus himself asked this question.

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Today they are not answering “John the Baptist” or one of the prophets. They say that he is a good teacher or a wonderful example of morality.

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But to say that Jesus is simply a good teacher or an example of morality leaves out so much of Jesus’ life. How can Jesus be a good teacher or an example of morality and claim to be God, do all those miracles, let alone predict his own crucifixion and resurrection.

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He is either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. FILL OUT?

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Clearly His miracles and his predictions about His own life testify to us that He is the Lord. Further, how about all the prophecies in the OT about Him. How many prophecies did Jesus fulfill? Hundreds? Over 1k?

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And in the triumphal entry itself, Jesus has fulfilled some prophecies.

In these 11 verses of Mark 11, Jesus offers Himself as the Messianic king. And like people today, the crowd is confused.

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Triumphal Entry Described

The Prophecy: Divine Omniscience Proves His Power (1-7)

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Mark 11:1–7 1 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, 2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. 3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. 4 And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him. 5 And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? 6 And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.

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There are a number of prophecies we could point, just 2 both are in chapter 9 of their books…Zechariah 9 and Daniel 9.

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Prophecy Fulfilled (Zechariah 9, Daniel 9 )

Matthew, in his account of the triumphal entry, tells us of this prophecy that is fulfilled…

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Zechariah 9:9 9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

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Jesus is clearly testifying that he is the King, “thy King cometh unto thee… riding on a donkey.”

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In the ancient near East, if a king came to a city in peace, he would ride on a donkey. If he came riding on a warhorse, it was clear he was ready for battle.

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Remember…

John 3:17 17 … God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

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So Jesus has come in peace and he is, humbly. Zechariah said that he would come riding on a donkey “lowly.”

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There is no pomp and fanfare, no crown or jewels but Jesus has come humbly.

Matthew 11:29 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

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So Jesus fulfills Zechariah 9:9 in that He is the King of Israel and He came humble and in peace to Jerusalem riding on a donkey.

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Second prophecy that this passage fulfills is… And we will not get into the details…

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Daniel 9:24-27

In Daniel 9:24-27 Gabriel brought the prophecy of the Messiah to Daniel that answers the question, “When will the Messiah come and die?” And the short answer to that question as given in the text of Daniel 9:24-27 is 483 years after the King of Persia Artaxerxes issues a command to rebuild Jerusalem. And if you count 483 years after that decree as even secular historians would have to admit, you arrive at AD 33, the year of Jesus’ death. That’s like someone predicting in the year 1538 that some super specific even would happen this year. Or it’s like predicting in AD 1009 that in 1492 Columbus would sail the ocean blue.

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So, from Dan 9:24-27, if you do the math on the exact dating accounting for lunar years and the rest, it comes out to this day when Jesus is riding into Jerusalem.[1]

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TRANS: Now, not only do we have prophecy fulfilled in this passage, but we have Jesus’ divine omniscience demonstrated. Jesus is “all knowing” and we see this in the passage. Let’s look more closely now…

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Omniscience Demonstrated

Jesus obviously knew all the Scripture and the Old Testament prophecy of Zechariah 9 but what is fascinating is that he knows everything about this donkey!

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Notice He knows the…

  • Location of the donkey. It’s at the entrance of opposite village

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Mark 11:2 2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt

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We’re not sure about the two disciples Jesus is talking to nor which village He’s referring to but nevertheless, the donkey is not going to be in the middle of the village. You’ll find it as soon as you enter the village.

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He also knows…

  • It would be a colt.

It would not be an old donkey, but a colt, a young donkey.

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  • It would be tied

“tied”

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  • no one had ridden it.

“whereon never man sat”

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Why never sat on it Riding an unbroken donkey colt sounds like quite the endeavor. It’s difficult enough to ride a donkey let a lone one that’s unbroken. Sounds like a miracle to me!

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That Jesus could ride on a donkey colt that no had ever sat on it!

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ILL: Makes you wonder the backdrop to that story … I put a bug in kids’ ear and Hudson came up with this story… listen to this …

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“One day there was a man and a woman with one kid. Their kid was getting older, which meant they needed to carry more things. The problem was they did not have a horse or a donkey not even a colt. So they went to the market and bought a young colt. But now they needed to train him. They tried but whatever they did they could not sit on him. They tried almost for a year. Now on a Sunday some men came up and started untying their colt. What? The kid’s parents ran out of their house and said, “Our colt has never been ridden on! And why are you taking it?” The man said, “The Lord has need of it.” Then the woman said, “You have permission.” And the men took the colt to Jesus, Jesus hopped on the animal and rode down the trail as people laid their coats on the road and praised Him.”

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Seems like quite the difficult animal to tame. Jesus can tame the most ruthless creatures, hear me!?

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Jesus also knew…

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  • The bystanders question:

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Mark 11:3 3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him

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Now, Jesus had to tell them this or else the owners of the donkey would think what? That they are stealing it!

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And of course Jesus also knew…

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  • That the bystanders would grant permission

Verse 3… ; and straightway he will send him hither..

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Clearly Jesus knew everything …

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And it is less than a week from this point and Jesus will be crucified. Clearly Jesus is completely in control of His entrance into Jerusalem and of the entire week, yea, of the whole universe.

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Jesus is not a victim with complete divine foreknowledge He has set his face like a flint to go into Jerusalem (Luke 9:51; Isa. 50:7). He has predicted on many occasions that he must suffer and die… He predicted specifically that he would die by crucifixion in the gospel of Matthew 20:19 and 26:2.

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He predicted His death and resurrection on many occasions.

He is no victim!

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He knew… who would betray Him

He knew Pilate would have him crucified

He knew he’d be crucified

And He knew he’d rise again.

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BTW: The rest of chapter 11 and into cha. 12 shows this point that Jesus is wrecking the Jews religious traditions. He is the Lord who has The Authority to Finish the Old Covenant and Bring in the New Covenant.

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ILL: But religious traditions can be hard to break. The Jews had confusion about the Messiah. … They believed that when He came, He would come and right then save them now! … Save them now from their enemies!

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TRANS: And so of course the people knew ‘king’ prophecy of zech. they gather… by the thousands (during Passover).

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The Procession: Divine Description of His Power (11:8-11)

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Mark 11:8–11 8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.

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As 2 Ki. 9:13 indicates, this is a welcome fit only for a king. The people do believe He is the King of Israel. But they are confused.

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9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna (“Save now!”); Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. 11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

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They wanted to crown Him now, crown Him as their political savior today. They wanted Him to take up arms against the Roman empire right now! But no, that’s not why He’s come the first time.

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Now, of special significance is verse nine, when the people quote from Psalm 118. What’s fascinating, is that the people quote from the final Psalm of a series of psalms that were traditionally sung to celebrate the Passover. So here the people are and they are quoting from this psalm in light of the celebration of the Passover which is to come at the end of the week. Remember on the night in which Jesus was betrayed, Jesus celebrated the Passover with the disciples.

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And in the Passover, multitudes of lambs are slain, which of course, could never take away sin. But here comes the humble Messiah and he himself would be, in that very week before the Passover ends… he himself would be the Lamb of God taking away the sin of the world. He is fulfilling the very Passover about which Psalm 118 is sung.

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And so Jesus enters into Jerusalem verse 11. He has been approaching Jerusalem since chapter 8 but now he actually enters into Jerusalem and it says there that he comes into the Temple…. And now, for all of 2 and a half chapters, we have had this climaxing that they are on their way to Jerusalem, they are “on the road,” to Jerusalem and they are “on a journey” to Jerusalem, and we have from the end of chapter 8 until the end of chapter 10 a focus on this path toward Jerusalem and now is the climactic moment in verse 11 when Jesus enters Jerusalem and he comes to the Temple and….Nothing! Deafening silence. WHAT? There is no coronation, there is no recognition, nobody sets him on a throne…verse 11 says that Jesus just comes to the Temple takes a peek around at everything and then he leaves because it was already late.

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What’s the point? This is the climax of all of these chapters telling us that we, with Jesus, are “on the way” to Jerusalem… And we are, as it were, dropped off the face of a cliff when there is no coronation, no setting up of Jesus on the throne. This is all to set us up for Jesus complete rejection at the cross. That day when Jesus proclaims himself to be the humble Messiah on that colt fulfilling Zechariah 9:9 and the people pronounce him to be the messianic King, then He goes to the Temple as the Lord of that temple…but no one even recognizes him.

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And the whole point of the passage, besides proof of Jesus messianic authority through his divine omniscience and fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 and the people’s pronouncement of Jesus being the Davidic King, besides all of this, the point is to show that Jesus has no recognition or coronation among the people for whom he has arrived. And in fact he is about to be rejected and killed.

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They were completely confused. They wanted to crown Him now. And they did not understand the purpose for which he came: to die for the sins of the world to be raised from the dead that he might give life to all those who commit to him.

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TRANS: How many people today are confused about Him. Even among those who would claim to follow him.

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Apply: Lord of life, backslide no!

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For many people Jesus is something to be celebrated at Christmas time and at Easter. And most people do not understand the eternal significance of Jesus and his work for us.

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And so they reject him. And they reject him not because of some superior intellectual reason but because they love their sin. They might say to your face that they reject Jesus for they reject the Bible because they are smarter or they don’t believe in fairy tales. But folks like this generally do not spend time studying the historical, archaeological, prophetical, proofs for the Christian faith.

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And even if they did, for most, it would not matter. And that’s because the reason why they reject the Christian faith is not for intellectual reasons but moral reasons…They love their sin, they love their autonomy … and they don’t want the Lord over their lives. They want to run their own lives.

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Those who trust in works call Him Lord

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Then there are people also who call him Lord who also reject him. They trust in their good works to save them.

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Matthew 7:22–23 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

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Why wouldn’t you think you are saved if you prophesied in Jesus name? Or if you cast out demons?

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Of course that would make you think that you are righteous in the sight of God. They call him Lord but in their works they deny him. He never knew them. And that’s the real issue. Not that you know Jesus but that Jesus knows you!

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Backslidden: Claim Him as Lord but works deny

What we mean by a backsliding Christian is somebody who purportedly trust in Christ but has moved away from Christ rather than towards him. He may have been baptized he may have served the church in some way. But now here she has started committing certain sins or has dropped out of church word is not generally serving the Lord as he or she should.

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Somebody who is in a backslidden condition, we must admit, may or may not be a true Christian, regenerated by the Holy Spirit. There are certain passages of Scripture that inform us to question a person’s genuine conversion to Christ.

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For example, the parable of the unforgiving servant causes us to question whether he’s a true servant of the Lord, Matthew 18.

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Paul tells us in 1 Co. 6:9-10, that those who live as fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, slanders, swindlers… Do not be deceived he says, they will not inherit the kingdom of God. They are not true believers.

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They may call him Lord but they have not received regeneration in the heart.

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In the end, the Lord knows those who are his.

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John 6:37 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

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Real Deal

So, those who have truly come to Jesus, Jesus doesn’t throw them out. They confess “confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

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As we’re studying on Sunday nights …

2 Peter 1:10 10 …give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things [meaning, add certain qualities to your life], ye shall never fall:

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So a Christian calls Jesus Lord but also has a life that proves his faith is the kind that saves.

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Mark 11.1-11 Palm Sunday 2021

Don’t be confused! And don’t be mislead.

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Don’t be confused or misled about the person of Christ. He is the Lord! He is not simply a good teacher or an example of how to live a good life.

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He worked many miracles and he raised himself from the dead!

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The crowds that day thought that he had come to rescue them from their political enemies. But no! He had come to rescue them from their spiritual enemies, their sins. And he came humble riding on a donkey the sign of peace and not of judgment.

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But there is coming a day when Jesus the Messiah will vanquish all of his enemies and he will come a second time not riding on a donkey, but riding on a white war horse!

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Revelation 19:11 11 [the apostle John] saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

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And after Jesus destroys his enemies at the battle of Armageddon he and those who are with him … His large number of saints will follow in his train as he writes upon that horse will approach once again the city gates of Jerusalem and the course of God’s people who are following the Lord will cry out with a loud voice from Psalm 24…

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Psalm 24:7–10 7 [chorus of God’s people following the Lord…] Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8 [And then from inside walls of Jerusalem…] Who is this King of glory? … [hand up to mouth… ] The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 … again from inside … “Who is this King of glory?” And all of God’s people will say on that day …

“The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!”

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Go to Mark Main Page

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  1. Hohner, Chronological aspects

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