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The Cursing of the Fig Tree (Mark 11)

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Mark 11

Jesus enters Jerusalem
And when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 2 instructing them: Go into the village in front of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 3 And if anyone says to you: Why are you doing this? You are to say: The Lord has need of him; and immediately he will send him back here. 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. 5 And those that stood there said to them: What are you doing, untying the colt? 6 And they said to them just as Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and put on it their garments; and he sat upon it. 8 And many spread their garments upon the road, and others spread branches which they had cut from the fields. 9 And they that went ahead and they that followed, cried, Hosanna! Blessed is he that 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 into Jerusalem and went into the temple, and when he had looked at everything, it being now evening, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Jesus and the fig tree
   12 And the next day, when they left Bethany, he felt 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 Jesus addressed it: Henceforth, no one will eat fruit from you again. And his disciples heard it.
   15 And they came to Jerusalem, and he entered into the temple and began to throw out those that sold and those that bought in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money exchangers and the seats of those that sold the doves. 16 And he would not permit anyone to carry any merchandise through the temple. 17 And he taught and said to them: Is it not written: My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves! 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought a way to destroy him. For they feared him, for all the crowd were astonished at his teaching. 19 And every evening he left the city.
   20 And as they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to him: Rabbi, look at the fig tree which you cursed. It is withered away! 22 And Jesus answering said to them: Have faith in God. 23 Truly I say to you, Whoever shall say to this mountain: Be removed and thrown into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that what he said will happen- he shall have it. 24 Therefore I say to you: All things, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you will receive them- and you shall have them.
   25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive those you have something against; so that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

The question of authority
27 And they arrived in Jerusalem. And as he was walking into the temple, there came to him the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 28 They said to him: By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you authority to do these things? 29 And Jesus said to them: I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 The baptism of John, was it from Heaven, or from men? Answer me. 31 And they reasoned among themselves, saying: If we shall say: From Heaven- he will say: Why then did you not believe him? 32 But if we say: From men- they were in fear of the people. For all truly held John to be a prophet. 33 And they answered Jesus, saying: We do not know. And Jesus said to them: Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.


11:15 Making money out of religion is so obnoxious to Jesus.

11:16 Not permit- Jesus did all this without being stopped; and He did it single-handed. We see here the power of His personality; it was with this same authority that He could command the eager crowds to go home after He had fed them. This was partly a gift from God, but partly a resulted of His intense focus and strength of mind.

11:17 This prophecy is about the future Kingdom of God. But Jesus understood that we should be living the Kingdom life now. We should do the same; there will be no huge difference between the type of life we now live, and the life we will eternally live. In this sense we “have eternal life” in that we live today the kind of life we will eternally live.

11:22 Have faith – They were amazed at His faith, but Jesus tells them not to just admire His faith, as people admire a picture or image of Jesus, but see that His faith and life is to be our pattern. If He had such faith, then His followers also ought to.

11:26 Therefore forgiveness of others is vital for our own salvation. We ask God to forgive us our “secret sins”, those we don’t even recognize we have committed; and therefore we are wiser to forgive others without demanding their repentance.