Mark 11:20-26 NASB
²⁰As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.
²¹Being reminded, Peter said to Him, Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.
²²And Jesus answered saying to them, Have faith in God.
²³Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.
²⁴Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
²⁵Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.
²⁶[But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.]
One day after Jesus curses the fig tree, He and His disciples pass by the same place again. The tree has completely withered. Peter is very surprised: “Look at it!” Jesus’ answer is remarkable.
He points out to Peter the power of prayer.
What Jesus did with the fig tree is not very significant. A person with real faith can even move a mountain and make it disappear into the sea. Thus Jesus encourages his disciples with the power of prayer. What they have seen of Him, they can too.
We have already seen that the curse of the tree and the cleansing of the temple are related. We cannot ignore that today either.
Mark tells the history of the temple cleansing right in the middle of the history of the fig tree (This is not necessarily so, see Matthew 21:12-17, 18-22). In doing so he shows that the temple cleansing is the center of the history with the fig tree.
Today we learn that Jesus also has his eye on the temple. He does not say, ‘Whoever says to a mountain, lift you up and cast yourself into the sea …’, but: ‘Whoever says to this mountain … It is probably about the mountain that He sees there before Him, possibly the one on which the temple is built.
Is it that bad?
Can Jesus just wipe out the entire temple mount and everything on it like He did at the fig tree? John the Baptist announced to Jesus, saying, “The ax is already at the root of the trees … (Matthew 3:10). Is now the time to cut down?
No not yet. Cursing the fig tree also shows something of Jesus’ patience.
▪︎ The tree on which Jesus could not expect fruit is cursed in a moment.
▪︎ The temple, where Jesus could expect much fruit, but where he did not find anything either, remains intact.
Jesus did not curse the temple.
He will be cursed by the temple.
That is Jesus.
Instead of letting the temple disappear into the sea, He Himself disappeared into the grave.
Innocent. Thus the curse is taken away from us (see Galatians 3:13).
Question for self-reflection
▪︎ What does Mark 11:24-26 teach you for your prayers?
▪︎ Thank God for His great grace!
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