January 13 - Mark 11
Updated: Mar 17
DON'T SKIP THE FOOTNOTES - Notice all of the Old Testament verses that are referenced in this chapter. We have a tendency to interpret the New Testament as if it was written last month in a culture very similar to 21st century America, but that's not the case. This is another reason why it's so important to continue to read and study the Old Testament, so that we can properly understand the context the New Testament is written in.
DIVINE TEMPER TANTRUMS? - On the surface, it appears that Jesus really loses His cool with the fig tree and the temple vendors, but when we remember the Old Testament context, we can see that the fig tree and the temple clearing incident are very much related and are a parable of sorts. In the OT, the fig tree is often a metaphor for Israel (Je. 8:13; 24:1–10; Ho. 9:10, 16–17; Mi. 7:1). Jesus approaches the tree as Passover season (spring) is beginning, and though figs would not yet be expected, its fresh leaves are a promise that the fruit is coming. "A tree in full leaf at Passover season is making a promise it cannot fulfill; so, too, is Israel." (The New International Greek Testament Commentary on Mark) In other words, as Jerusalem is getting all decked out to go through the motions of Passover (much like typical Christmas preparations here in America), it is making a promise to God that she will be God's people and bear fruit; a promise that won't be kept. Jesus goes from the fig tree full of false promise into the temple, sees how it has become a huge sham, then returns back past the withered, cursed fig tree. When you promise to live as God's child, do all you can to keep that promise. God is patient and kind, but even His patience does not last forever.
CURTAIN CALL: Jesus withering the fig tree is the the last miracle he performs in Mark's gospel until He rises from the tomb on the third day. Jesus' only miracle resulting in destruction and death gives way to the ultimate miracle of new life & resurrection.
CROWD WATCH: Jesus hits his zenith both in terms of crowd enthusiasm and popularity as He triumphantly enters Jerusalem. What took three years to build up will now come crashing down in less than a week as Jesus begins what He actually came to do.
Praise God with that awesome Hebrew phrase: Hosanna = "Save us!"
Pray that God will give you the strength and ability to live as His child and to bear fruit for Him
Living According To God’s Word Will Keep You On The Path
so make the time to be taught By God’s Word
Monday - God's Word saves and helps us make us look more and more like Christ.
Tuesday - The key to living in Christ is to live according to God's Word.
Wednesday - God is the perfect model, we are made in His image, so learn from Him.
Thursday - Delight, meditate, rejoice in God's Word, then recount it to others.
Friday - Don't be lazy and neglect God's Word.