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2014.Aug.
02 Sat
 
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
[ Mark 11:11 - 11:19 ]
 
11. Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
12. The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.
13. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.
14. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
15. On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,
16. and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
17. And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: "'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"
18. The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
19. When evening came, they went out of the city.
 

Reflection
The Curse (11:11–14)
Jesus uses powerful metaphors from the physical world to demonstrate spiritual lessons. The day after the Jews in Jerusalem celebrate Jesus arrival, we see a foreshadowing of Israels true colors. Coming across a fig tree that has leaves but no fruit, Jesus utters a curse upon the tree. The issue is not simply that the tree lacks fruit. It is that the leaves give the false impression that the tree has fruit when, in fact, it does not. The tree appears blessed and fruitful when in reality it is barren and useless. Is this not a picture of the nation of Israel? After generations of witnessing Gods faithfulness and deliverance, they had little to show for it except a form of godliness devoid of power (2 Tim. 3:5).

The Cleansing (11:15–19)
Only a few days earlier, Jesus presented himself to Israel as a king coming in peace on a donkey colt. When He visits the temple, He witnesses how the very people who have been chosen by God to bring light and hope to the nations have reduced the things of God to a self-seeking, profit-making enterprise, and a righteous anger overflows. The people of Israel were called to be mediators between God and the world and to draw the nations closer to God, but Jesus finds them at the temple acting in a way that goes against everything God desires His chosen people to be. By turning the temple into a den of robbers, they are preventing people from coming to Him, and this is unacceptable.

Application
- Do we project an appearance of fruitfulness when, in reality, we have little fruit to show in our lives? How can we abide in Christ so that we might bear more fruit?

- In the same way that Jesus mediated for us, we are to stand in the gap for others. How can you direct your conversations with your unbelieving friends towards Christ?

A Letter to
God
Lord Jesus, You are the Great High Priest and the Mediator between God and man. You stand in the gap of a chasm that no one else can bridge. Thank you for loving us and reaching out for us in spite of our sin. May I follow Your example. In Your name. Amen.
 
 
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