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95: The Faithless Fig Tree

May 15, 2009

Major Text: Mark 11:19-33

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 21:19b-22       Mark 11:19-25       Luke 21:37-38
Matt. 21:23-27         Mark 11:26-33       Luke 20:1-8

Outline:

  1. The Fig Tree is Dying Mark 11:19-21
  2. Faith Must be Living Mark 11:22-26
  3. The Fig Tree is Dead Mark 11:27-33

Context/Discussion/Comments:

This is a continuation of Lesson 93 Section I. Lesson 93 took place Monday morning. This lesson takes place Tuesday morning. Jesus and His disciples are staying in Bethany and travel to and from Jerusalem each day.

This morning they see the fig tree is dying if not already deceased. The fig tree represents Israel and their leaders. Jesus takes this opportunity to teach them about the power of faith. Look at the similarities between this lesson and my comments on Mark 4 concerning prayer. That incident on the Sea of Galilee was about faith too, or the lack thereof. The bottom line is that faith is expressed with an attitude and knowledge of assurance. To come before God with assurance also requires that we be forgiving. Faith in Christ enables us to forgive others. A forgiving attitude is necessary to receive God’s forgiveness [see the Lords Prayer, Lesson 28]. Forgiveness frees the spirit and grows our faith because we are submitting to God’s sovereignty.

Jesus’ authority to remove the money changers and merchants is challenged by the Jewish leaders as soon as they arrive in the temple courtyard. Jesus refuses to answer their question unless they tell Him who authorized John’s baptism, God or man. They did not believe it was God but the people would rebel if they said man because the people believed John to be a prophet. John was a prophet and his baptism was of God. By refusing to answer, they answered as to their faith. Their faith was in man, not God. Since their faith was not in God, Jesus’ answer that His authority came from God would not be accepted either. Therefore, Jesus ignores answering their question altogether. The fig tree is dead.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Believe or you too will die.

2. The curse of God is worse than the curse of man.

3. Express your belief through faith and prayer.

4. Live your faith by forgiving others.

5. Receive your faith by being forgiven.

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The Faithless Fig Tree

Major Text: Mark 11:19-33

Harmony Texts: Matt. 21:19b-22 Mark 11:19-25 Luke 21:37-38

Matt. 21:23-27 Mark 11:26-33 Luke 20:1-8

Outline: I. The Fig Tree is Dying Mark 11:19-21

II. Faith Must be Living Mark 11:22-26

III. The Fig Tree is Dead Mark 11:27-33

Context/Discussion/Comments:

This is a continuation of Lesson 93 Section I. Lesson 93 took place Monday morning. This lesson takes place Tuesday morning. Jesus and His disciples are staying in Bethany and travel to and from Jerusalem each day.

This morning they see the fig tree is dying if not already deceased. The fig tree represents Israel and their leaders. Jesus takes this opportunity to teach them about the power of faith. Look at the similarities between this lesson and my comments on Mark 4 concerning prayer. That incident on the Sea of Galilee was about faith too, or the lack thereof. The bottom line is that faith is expressed with an attitude and knowledge of assurance. To come before God with assurance also requires that we be forgiving. Faith in Christ enables us to forgive others. A forgiving attitude is necessary to receive God’s forgiveness [see the Lords Prayer, Lesson 28]. Forgiveness frees the spirit and grows our faith because we are submitting to God’s sovereignty.

Jesus’ authority to remove the money changers and merchants is challenged by the Jewish leaders as soon as they arrive in the temple courtyard. Jesus refuses to answer their question unless they tell Him who authorized John’s baptism, God or man. They did not believe it was God but the people would rebel if they said man because the people believed John to be a prophet. John was a prophet and his baptism was of God. By refusing to answer, they answered as to their faith. Their faith was in man, not God. Since their faith was not in God, Jesus’ answer that His authority came from God would not be accepted either. Therefore, Jesus ignores answering their question altogether. The fig tree is dead.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Believe or you too will die.

2. The curse of God is worse than the curse of man.

3. Express your belief through faith and prayer.

4. Live your faith by forgiving others.

5. Receive your faith by being forgiven.

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