Mark 11: 1-25 gives us 3 Events explained in 5 Episodes
The 3 events and 5 episodes speak of who Christ is; what He is like and what He expected from Israel and us Grafted-in Gentiles!
The Events: 1) The Triumphal Entry, 2) Cursing of the Fig Tree, and 3) Cleansing of the Temple
- Mk 11: 1-10 (Day 1) The Triumphal Entry
- Mk 11: 11 Jesus visits the temple, and sees “everything”, but as it was already late, he leaves to spend the night out in Bethany with the twelve.(Day 1 ends)
- Mk 11: 12-14 (Day 2 begins)The next morning Jesus curses the fig tree
- Mk 11:20-25 We see Christ’s discourse about cursing the fig tree -(at the beginning of Day 3)
- Mk 11: 15-19 (During all of Day 2) Jesus cleanses the temple of corruption, and keeps it clean the entire day as vs. 16-17 tells us 16And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17And he was teaching them …
EPISODE 1, Day 1: Christ controls the timing of The Triumphal Entry, and His Crucifixion Mk 11: 1-10
- Prearranges for the colt upon which he would sit.
- He fulfills the event He foretold in Zech 9:9“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
- He intentionally ticks off the establishment by cleansing the temple.
The Triumphal Entry concludes with Jesus seeing “everything” taking place within the temple and its court yard.
- Mk 11: 11 When Jesus visits the temple, the “everything” He sees includes those He will KICK-OUT the next day, but as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve to spend the night.
What was Christ communicating when He cursed the fig tree? (1 of 2)
Did Jesus curse the fig tree to teach us …
- Per Gen. 3: 7 the fig leaves A&E sewed together as aprons represent the dead works of the flesh. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they werenaked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (yes / no / maybe)
- Per Luke 13:7 in The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, we see the unfruitful fig tree is to be cut down.
- Per Matt 3: 10 -when John the Baptist says “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
- Per Matt 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matt 7:19-20 teaches us “Fruit Identifies & Distinguishes The Tree” 15-16 false prophets are recognized by their fruits. 17-18 healthy trees bear good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Is this the object lesson Christ is driving at? -yes / no / maybe)
Did Jesus curse the fig tree to signal the anointing of the Gentiles… (2 of 2)
- Per Matt. 12: 33-37 where after Jesus tells the Pharisees they’ve blasphemed against the HS for saying He casts our demons by cooperating with Satan, in vs 33 Christ says “for the tree is known by its fruit. The politically appointed religious crowd is rejected by God
- Per Matt 21: 33-41, in The Parable of the Tenants that the vineyard is going to be removed from Israel’s guardianship, as they’re the tenants who kill the heir, and the grace of God’s anointing to bear the fruit of the fig tree and the vineyard will transfer to other tenants -AKA -“we Gentiles” who will bear fruit for God during our season.
- We Gentiles are the other tenants who bear fruit for God during our “season” —which is Pentecost to The 1st Rapture, (Acts 2, Acts 15: 6-11, Gal 3:14)
- We must understand per Romans 9 & 11 that God continues using Israel, which currently seems to be as the focal point that provides the world’s hatred of God. In the very near future, however, God again will bring His message of salvation of the Messiah through them -especially the 144k in Rev 7 & 14 —although we hear of revival taking place in Israel today.
Did Jesus curse the fig tree to teach us …
- He is the God of Judgement John 5:22-23 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgement to the SON, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. (We only are to pray “in the name of Jesus” Jn 14:3, 14:`4, Jn 15: 16, Jn 16: 24) ,
- Rev 6:16 shows judgement is coming from “the wrath of the Lamb”.
- Rev 14:9-10 “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”.
- Mk 11: 12-14 The next morning Jesus is in a mood of Holy & Righteous indignation and He curses the fig tree -even though it was not in season. (Doesn’t seem fair to curse something that is not in season. But here’s Christ object lesson: If there are leaves there should be fruit. If you look the part you better be able to deliver. I’ll explain later in this message.)
Did Jesus curse the fig tree to teach us an object lesson about our lives and fruit …
As he has experienced the opposition and rejection of the Rome appointed religious leaders, and as he had witnessed the night before the corruption of His Father’s House and Temple…
- Mk 11: 12-14 The next morning Jesus is in a mood of Holy & Righteous indignation and He curses the fig tree -even though it was not in season.
It doesn’t seem fair to curse something that is not in season. But here’s Christ object lesson:
- If there are leaves there should be fruit.
- If you draw near and say you are God’s, then truly abide and submit and be used to deliver.
- John 12: 24 -26 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
- What Is Fruit? Fruit are observable outcomes. You can’t hide what type of fruit something is. It’s either an apple or an orange, so easy to distinguish that it’s a ready-made proverb (compare apple & oranges)
- Fig tree had the appearance of production, but it wasn’t profitable it was cursed. -As were those profiteering in the temple.
Luke 19 records that about this time Jesus also wept over Jerusalem because
- He did not want them to die in their sins.
- The inhabitants were in physical danger of an impending Roman assault.
- They had rejected God’s offer of mercy through Christ.
- There was no real danger, but Jesus wept from a co-dependent sense of sentimentality, which is excessive tenderness, vs. a sense of tough love.
Whose corruption does Christ cleanse?
According to Luke 1: 1-2, who has the power to say or approve what goes on in the temple? (In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,)
- Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea,
- Herod, tetrarch of Galilee,
- The high priests Annas and Caiaphas, who were son-in-law and father-in-law with one being over the Temple and the other over all religious affairs, so one could fill-in for the other.
When Christ cleanses corruption from the temple is He:
- Potentially insulting Caesar, Pilate and Herod -the entire Roman chain of command, who is supposed to be overseeing and approving all activities. – Yes / No/ Maybe
- Cutting into the taxes the profiteers paid, which means the Roman chain of command loses money. -Yes / No/ Maybe
- Insulting the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, who approves and oversees all activities related to the temple. -Yes / No/ Maybe
- Interfering with and impeding the businesses set up by the high priests Annas and Caiaphas. -Yes / No/ Maybe
- Keep in mind that the “money changers” in Mk 11:15 are those who are charging exorbitant rates to “help” people obtain the sacrifices they need for worship.
God’s temple supposed to be a House of prayer & praise or a den of profit for robbers?
Mark 11: 17And 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 / Thieves.”
Den = 1) a wild animal’s lair or habitation, 2) a small, comfortable room in a house where a person can pursue an activity in private, 3) a place where people meet in secret, typically to engage in some illicit activity
Den = spelaion -a grotto, cave” In John 11:38, it’s used of the grave of Lazarus. So the people of Jesus’ day, might have interpreted His rebuke about the defilement of the Temple, as saying “You’ve made this place a spiritually dead tomb of thieves!”
Jesus did not hit and run, but stayed in the temple until the evening, stopping the trafficking of commerce in His Father’s House!
In Matt. 21:12-6; Jesus Cleanses the Temple & stays and heals the lame and does wonderful things and kids are dancing and singing praises, the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”
Whose toes is Jesus stepping on when He cleanses the corruption?
Mk 11: 15-19 Jesus cleanses the temple of corruption, and keeps it clean the entire day. 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.”
Christ curses the fig tree – A warning to Be In Season
Mark 11: 12-14 The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree
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.”
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of …preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. …
Matthew 21:41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end ……his share of the produce when it is ready.” …men to an evil end; and will let out his vineyard …other husbandmen, that shall render him the fruit in due season. …
Mk 11:20-25 Christ explains the cursing of the fig tree. (He’s the vine; we’re the branches, and the only way to be fruitful is to stay attached to Him, through obedience, which includes forgiving others, and bearing no grudges.
We can take the cursing of the fig tree as a warning not to be “Figs w/o Fruit”
I’ll paraphrase some of what Charles Spurgeon said, about the characteristics of who those who have leaves but no fruit.
- They seek signs and not the Savior who is the substance behind them.
- Their conversation is full of self-oriented opinions but lack the conviction of faith that is rooted in The Truth of God’s Word.
- They have regrets without repentance.
- They have plans that lack submission to God’s process.
We must Believe to Receive & Have The Fruit of Faith
Mark 11: 12-14 Jesus uses the figs as a lesson about faith
Mk 11: 22-2422 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. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received c it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11: 22-25 Proper Prayer is A Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree
When we compare how the Lord tells us to pray in Matt 6:9-14 & Luke 11:2-4 with Mark 11:25 “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,” we conclude these true and false statements.
Us forgiving others …
- Is not a condition for salvation. T / F (but we best heed Matt 6:14-15) Why take a chance that Matt 6:14-15, may nullify your walk or perhaps even your salvation? 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
- Is necessary to maintain an effective relationship with God. T / F
- James 2:20 & 26 Faith without works is dead.
- c)demonstrates the work of the Cross in our lives. T / F
- Some people may go to Heaven miserable in bitterness from unforgiveness, and having forfeited the blessings of walking close with Christ to get the power to forgive others.. T / F
Mark 10:27Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” All things are “dunatos” with God, meaning God is “strong, mighty, powerful and able to bring about His plan for our lives.
Jer. 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Phil. 1: 6 … being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is well able to work in us and move our hearts and give us the will us to do His will.
To view the recorded service on YouTube, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZfsTusdXNA