Read Mark 11 commentary using Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). Jesus quotes Isaiah 56:7, pointing out that the temple is to be a house of prayer for all peoples (17). 5.13; 9.42) (270). Mark 11:12-14; 20-21. Then Mark adds the confounding clause, “for it was not the season for figs” (13d). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1990. Though it is impossible to be reconciled to God by one’s own effort, through faith in Jesus all things are possible, even reconciliation to God. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1970. Stanton, Graham H. The Gospels and Jesus. Jesus’ answer is simply the encouraging admonition: “Have faith in God.” He points them to “quiet confidence in the power and goodness of God” (Lane 410). 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. The withering of a fig tree outside the city of Jerusalem would likely have been seen, especially by Mark’s gentile readers, as “a portent of disaster for that city” (300). I believe William Lane is correct when he asserts the following: If the incident occurred in the period approaching Passover, the parenthetical statement in verse 13c is incontrovertible and suggests that Jesus had no expectation of finding edible figs. Furthermore, the general corruption of the High Priesthood and the religious leadership is evidenced by the fact that they responded to Jesus’ zeal for the sanctity of the temple by deciding to kill him (18)—the supreme declaration of their refusal to accept his identity and authority. Peter remembers Jesus’ declaration against the fig tree and calls Jesus’ attention to it (21). For any variety of reasons, primarily their desire to hold on to what was most valuable to them, they would not accept the identity and authority of Jesus as Messiah and Lord. It gave shade, and its blossoming was a sign that winter was over. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974. The destruction of the fig tree stands as a continuing testimony to any nation, institution, church or person that God demands fruit of his creation. 48 (1981); 264-304. Jesus’ words in verses 23-24 must be understood in light of verse 22 (rather than as a carte blanche for personal willfulness, as they are sometimes misinterpreted). 2 in The New International Commentary on the New Testament. This miracle, which can also be classified as a parable, is recorded in more detail in Mark than in Matthew. Then, without apparent transition, Mark says Jesus “answered” them (though no question is posed) by giving instruction about faith that can remove mountains (22-26)—another enigmatic passage for many Christians, which we shall comment about later. Mark often provides a reaction to Jesus’ actions and instruction —astonishment (10:51), grief (10:22), inability to understand (9:32), etc. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993. 20 Early # Mt 21:19-22 in the morning, as they were passing by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. “For It Was Not the Season for Figs.” The Catholic Bible Quarterly. Perhaps of greatest significance, however, in Jesus’ selection of a fig tree as the symbol of Israel’s judgment are three other factors: First, in Greco-Roman culture the fig tree was associated with various deities, primarily the tree god Dionysus (284). Through faith in Jesus, acceptance of his identity and authority, believers enter into his victorious power, and nothing consistent with the perfect will of God is impossible for them. Note: The fruit of the fig tree appears around the same time as the leaves, or a little after. A close look at these accounts provides insights regarding why Jesus chose to curse this fig tree. ... 13 # Matt. Lane, William L. The Gospel According to Mark. Remarkably Jesus pronounces a curse on the tree, saying it … The focus is, rather, on the nation, the temple, the Jewish leadership. Events have meaning beyond their face value; they become significant as they are interpreted. Vol. These range from flatly rejecting the authenticity of the account to blaming the confusion on a problem of “misplaced clauses habitual with Mark” (Cotter 66). The presence of this statement indicates that Jesus’ pronouncement on the tree was a teaching situation. Lk. Directions concerning prayer and forgiveness, Mark 11:24-26. It is only through faith in the power and authority of Jesus, the One who comes in the name of the Lord, that prayer in accord with the will and purpose of God can be offered in unwavering assurance. Birdsall, J. Neville. First, we need to note that “his disciples heard it” (14c). The Gospels: Mark 11:12-16 – The Fig Tree and the Temple Jesus’ cursing of the unfruitful fig tree presents Christians with a dilemma unique in the Gospels. Its sap was used in the production of cheese. 25:14-30), expects what he has given to be put to use in his service to bring honor and glory to him. 00:03:54 - This bible study devotional covers Mark chapters 11-12. The only thing that awaits those who will not accept his authority, who will not believe in him and follow him, is judgment — complete destruction, “from the roots.” Conversely, what awaits those who believe in him, who forgive as they are forgiven, who, only through faith in him, are able to remove all obstacles and barriers to true life, is eternal communion with God and all the saints — from every nation — gathered in triumphal joy in the spiritual temple that shall never need cleansing. A Study of Mark 8:27-38, The Transfiguration: Sneak Peek at the Resurrection, The Fig Tree and the Temple in Mark 11:12-16, A Lesson About Fulfillment (Mark 1:14-15), A Lesson About Misperception (Mark 1:40-45), A Lesson About Assumptions (Mark 2:13-17), A Lesson About Old and New (Mark 2:18-22), Another Lesson About Authority (Mark 3:13-19), A Lesson About Measurement (Mark 4:21-25), Lessons About Faith, and Instructions (Mark 6:7-12), A Lesson About Guilty Consciences (Mark 6:14-29). The first three verses of this section form the second part of the story of the fig tree (11:12–14), which sandwiches the account of the cleansing of the temple. Jesus was not out to condemn a non-bearing tree; he was pronouncing judgment against the religious barrenness of the nation. The vital, overarching concern here is that God expects belief. Reflections on the withered fig tree, Mark 11:19-23. 9:10, 16; Joel 1:7; Micah 7:1-6), while the destruction of the fig tree is associated with judgment (Hos. Works Cited. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. Jesus was hungry (12). The impossible becomes possible through faith in the One who comes in the name of the Lord. The structure of this pericope is then concluded by the account of the chief priests’, scribes’ and elders’ refusal to accept Jesus’ authority (27-33). First, Jesus is identified and hailed as the one who comes in the name of the Lord, who ushers in the kingdom of the Messiah, the son of David (1-11). In this case, the response from those who “heard it,” unlike his disciples in 14c, is to reject Jesus and look for ways to kill him. The central issue is twofold: 1) no fruit can be borne unless one recognizes and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Master and 2) to accept Jesus Christ is to bear fruit for God. As Cole observes, “Like tree, like temple, like nation; the parallel is exact” (177). The mountains of institutionalized worship, of fruitless reliance on systems, formulas, and traditions of human origin to bring about righteousness melt away before the sheer power of faith in what God does in Jesus Christ. But this particular tree draws Jesus’s attention because it already has a full covering of leaves. 11. The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 … In this context the fig tree symbolizes Israel in Jesus’ day, and what happens to the tree the terrible fate that inevitably awaited Jerusalem (400). Upon coming to the tree expecting to find something to eat, Jesus instead discovered that the fig tree had no fruit on it and cursed the tree saying, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” (Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:14). THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY Cole, R. Alan. The tree has not rejected its Messiah, the nation has. Rev. Gundry, Robert H. Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross. 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