Lk. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1970. 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). THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY Chapter 11, therefore, is consistent with the overall focus of the Gospel of Mark: the identity and authority of Jesus. 2 in The New International Commentary on the New Testament. 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. With that expectation, Jesus in… Jesus' miracle involving the fig tree (Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14, 20-24) is the only one in which He brings judgment by a miracle.All the other miracles are acts of goodness and mercy. 12 vols. 18 vols. say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway … He made this fig-tree an example, not to the trees, but to the men of that generation. 13:6-9). On His way, both Matthew and Mark record that He was hungry and saw a fig tree in the distance that had leaves on it (Mark 11:13). Mark 11:12-14 – Jesus Curses a Fig Tree. New Testament Introduction. The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 … 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. Third, as referred to above (and certainly the most significant factor of the three), the fig tree was regarded in the Jewish Scriptures as symbolic of the nation of Israel. For articles about Matthew, Luke, or John see www.gci.org/gospels. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. King James Version (KJV) < Previous Verse. The fig tree that You cursed # Jms 3:9 is withered.” 00:03:54 - This bible study devotional covers Mark chapters 11-12. 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). Vol. A close look at these accounts provides insights regarding why Jesus chose to curse this fig tree. Unless indicated otherwise, all scripture quotations on this website are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. 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. Commentary on Mark 11:12-18 (Read Mark 11:12-18) Christ looked to find some fruit, for the time of gathering figs, though it was near, was not yet come; but he found none. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. Before we consider the answer to that question, we need to take note of additional facts provided by Mark. Works Cited. The sections of this chapter are devoted to: the triumphal entry (Mark 11:1-11), withering of the fig tree (Mark 11:12-14 and Mark 20:25), the second cleansing of the temple (Mark 11:15-19), and the question concerning the authority of Jesus (Mark 11:27-33). Many ideas have been brought forward in an effort to explain the apparent anomaly of Jesus’ behavior in the fig tree incident. THE BARREN FIG TREE CURSED WITH LESSONS FROM IT--SECOND CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE, ON THE SECOND AND THIRD DAYS OF THE WEEK. 20 vols. Whatever is asked in faith, without doubting, will be granted, so long as it is within the context of God’s goodness and sovereignty. 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. Peter remembered…” (11:20-21; emphasis added). Jesus’ destruction of the fig tree, then, besides demonstrating his identity and authority as Judge of the nation of Israel (which is the primary purpose of the miracle) would have also demonstrated his superiority over the gods of the empire (289). Jesus quotes Isaiah 56:7, pointing out that the temple is to be a house of prayer for all peoples (17). 8 in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. THE FRUITLESS FIG TREE. (L) 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”(M). 3:4; cf. 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. ed. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Why Did Jesus Curse a Fig Tree (Mark 11:12-14)? London: A & C Black, 1991. ... Finding himself in want of food, he went to a fig-tree, which he saw at some distance, and which being well adorned with green leaves he hoped to find enriched with some sort of fruit. He then enters the temple and cleanses it, acting within his authority as Messiah, and the chief priests and the scribes reject him and begin looking for ways to kill him (15-19). Note: The fruit of the fig tree appears around the same time as the leaves, or a little after. See How They All Connect. 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. Jesus was not out to condemn a non-bearing tree; he was pronouncing judgment against the religious barrenness of the nation. But Jesus is not interested in judging fig trees. Powell, Mark Allan. In both accounts, it is clear that the timing of this cursing is of critical relevance. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’[a]? But those who accept the identity and authority of Jesus are the ones who have faith in God. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. A cursory reading of the text portrays Jesus as acting quite out of character, using his divine power in selfish anger to curse a mere tree because it did not act contrary to nature by providing him fruit out of season to satisfy his hunger. 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). After the worshipful coronation, that triumphal entry, Jesus “went into the temple. In contrast, we find Jesus again teaching immediately after he cleansed the temple (17), and Mark tells the reader that “when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they were looking for a way to kill him” (18). Another view of why Mark points out that Jesus was hungry is suggested by A. de Q. Robin in connection with Micah 7:1-6: It is quite conceivable that seeing the fig tree brought this Micah passage to the mind of Jesus and in accordance with the Rabbinic practice of indicating a passage of scripture by quoting its opening words, he was heard by the disciples to say: “My soul desires the first ripe fig.” This could quite easily lead to the misunderstanding that he was hungry, when in fact he was commenting on the state of the nation and its leaders, before pronouncing the judgement of God upon them first in the symbolical action of cursing the fig tree, then in the cleansing of the Temple (280). To gain a deeper insight into the prophetic symbolism of Jesus’ action, we must now turn briefly to the significance of the fig tree in Jewish and Roman culture. Jer. (I), 20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. The tree is being used as a symbol, not the object itself, of the judgment. He cleanses the temple, Mark 11:15-17. Directions concerning prayer and forgiveness, Mark 11:24-26. And Peter remembered and said to him, "Master, look! Sins are forgiven, redemption becomes reality, and we pass from the kingdom of this world into the kingdom of God only when we forsake everything and believe in him, when we take up our cross and follow him. NIV Reverse Interlinear Bible: English to Hebrew and English to Greek. 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. Mark 11:11-14. I believe the account is best understood, however, when it is taken just as it is written, and when it is interpreted in light of: 1) Mark’s overall goal of declaring the identity and authority of Jesus and 2) the significance of the fig tree in Jewish and Roman culture. Sign up here! Gundry, Robert H. Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross. Copyright © 2019 by Zondervan. ... 13 # Matt. The fact that Jesus was hungry provides not only the immediate reason to approach the tree (a fact essential to the narrative — approaching a fruitless tree only to be disappointed would be meaningless unless someone was hungry), it is also vital to the prophetic declaration Jesus was to make. Its sap was used in the production of cheese. Lane, William L. The Gospel According to Mark. Jesus enters Jerusalem amid exultation from the masses gathered for Passover. As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. It was the day after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem (12). The importance of forgiveness then becomes plain (25). Mark often provides a reaction to Jesus’ actions and instruction —astonishment (10:51), grief (10:22), inability to understand (9:32), etc. Its fruit, whether fresh, dried, or pressed into cakes was highly esteemed. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Study the bible online using commentary on Mark 11 and more! 11:12-18 Christ looked to find some fruit, for the time of gathering figs, though it was near, was not yet come; but he found none. Mark. In this paper, I will suggest that Mark intentionally designed the account as it stands for the purpose of intensifying the meaning of Jesus’ identity and authority, as well as declaring the fate that awaited Jerusalem. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984. All blessings, resources or advantages any human or group of humans possess have been granted by God. 12-14, 20-22).” The Expository Times.73 (1962); 191. 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). Likewise, then, the fact that “it was not the season for figs” (13d) becomes essential to the sense of the passage. 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