This week, there were 5 of us at Winton House, reading and discussing Mark Ch 11. We read that after Jesus had given two of his disciples instructions on how to acquire a colt and bring it to him, he rode it into Jerusalem. People spread their coats on the ground in front of him whilst others spread branches in his path. The crowd was shouting praises to him, reciting words from the Old Testament. He was being hailed as the future king.
We talked about the fig tree in Mark 11:13-14. Jesus cursed it because it wasn’t yielding fruit. It seemed strange that Jesus should consider his own needs. Mark 11:12 says he was hungry. We skipped to Mark 11:21, and talked about the affect Jesus’ curse had on the tree. Somebody noticed that Jesus response to the disciples was “have faith in God.” He then went on to say that if someone has faith that a mountain will be removed and thrown into the sea, it will happen. If his discipes have faith, tremendous things can happen. So Jesus’ illustration of a barren fig tree being cursed so it died, was to show that if we ask in faith, it will be given to us, presumably if it’s God’s will.
Going back to Mark 11:15, Jesus showed fierce anger when he saw people buying and selling in the Temple area. Throught our study the gospel of Mark has revealed Jesus’ human feelings. It appears that doves were being sold for sacrifices. He accused the merchants of making the temple a den of thieves. We also noticed that he refered to a prophesy regarding the future, when the Temple will be called a house of prayer for many nations. The Chief priests and teacher of the law were worried about Jesus’ words and wanted to kill him. They were afraid because of the great number of followers Jesus had.
Mark 11:24 continues Jesus thoughts on the Fig tree. In addition to having faith that God will answer our prayers, he tells us that we must forgive others and ask God for forgiveness for our wrongdoings. Mark 11:26 repeats this idea. Some versions of the Bible don’t include this verse.
Mark 11:27-33 conclude the chapter with a record of Jesus being asked a trick question. He answered with another question and they couldn’t answer without upsetting the people.