Jesus has triumphantly entered your life, and He expects you to bear fruit for Him.
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Mark 11 (ESV)
1 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.
those who went before
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!”
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.
12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.
13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf,
he went to see if he could find anything on it.
When he came to it,
he found nothing but leaves,
for it was not the season for figs.
14 And he said to it,
“May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”
And his disciples heard it.
15 And they came to Jerusalem.
And he entered the temple
and began to drive out
those who sold
and those who bought in the temple,
and he overturned
the tables of the money-changers
and the seats of those who sold pigeons.
16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.
17 And he was teaching them and saying 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 den of robbers.”
18 And the chief priests and the scribes
and were seeking a way to destroy him,
for they feared him,
because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.
19 And when evening came they went out of the city.
20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.
21 And Peter remembered and said to him,
“Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
22 And Jesus answered them,
“Have faith in God.
23 Truly, I say to you,
whoever says to this mountain,
‘Be taken up
and thrown into the sea,’
and does not doubt in his heart,
but believes that what he says will come to pass,
it will be done for him.
24 Therefore I tell you,
whatever you ask in prayer,
believe that you have received it,
and it will be yours.
25 And whenever you stand praying,
forgive, if you have anything against anyone,
so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
27 And they came again to Jerusalem.
And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him,
28 and they said to him,
“By what authority are you doing these things,
or who gave you this authority to do them?”
29 Jesus said to them,
“I will ask you one question;
and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
30 Was the baptism of John
or from man?
31 And they discussed it with one another, saying,
“If we say,
he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
32 But shall we say,
they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet.
33 So they answered Jesus,
“We do not know.”
And Jesus said to them,
“Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
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Mark 11 Summary
v1-11 - Jesus enters Jerusalem in a way that the Israelite kings of old did.
v12-14 - The next morning on His way back in, Jesus curses a fig tree for not bearing fruit even though it wasn't fig season.
v15-19 - Jesus upends the crass commercialism that's taken over the temple (compare it to what's happened to Christmas in our culture).
v20-25 - Once again the fig tree takes center stage, this time withered in response to Jesus' curse. When asked about it, Jesus curiously pivots to an explanation faith.
v27-33 - Jesus has come into the home turf of the Establishment riding like a king. He disrupted one of their main sources of revenue at the temple, and the crowd is on His side. Understandably, the Establishment is angry, but they still fail to trap Jesus in His words.
Mark has often mentioned hunger in his gospel, telling of the hunger of the two massive crowds that Jesus miraculously fed, and the disciples preoccupation with food and eating.
In v12, Mark writes about Jesus' hunger for the first time, but the way Mark expresses it seems to paint Jesus as losing it since He seems to get angry that there's no figs on the tree when it wasn't even close to the right time of the year.
It helps here to know that fig trees are often used as metaphors for God's people in the Old Testament. Just as the fig tree carries with it the promise of figs, Jerusalem carried the promise of bearing fruit for God's kingdom.
Mark isn't just describing Jesus' physical hunger here, but rather His hunger for His people to bear fruit. Yet Jesus finds both the fig tree and the Jerusalem temple to be hopelessly barren, and His patience wears out for both.
Understand this passage is not as much about having faith that can 'move mountains,' as it is about having faith that is more than just an empty promise.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, to whom we cry out for salvation - Hosanna!
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will faithfully bear the fruit you have promised to bear for God, so you're not full of empty promises like the fig tree.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: