Past Issues

Jesus -- the Messiah #24

Read Mark 11:20-33

The Withered Fig Tree

20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.’”

The Authority of Jesus Questioned

27 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28 “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

29 Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!”

31 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From men’ . . . .” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”


vv. 20-24 – Peter realized that the fig tree was a symbol for Israel.  What future could
there be for the nation?

Once again, Jesus turns the disciples to the power of God.  We don’t have faith in
ourselves as we set out on God’s struggle of love for righteousness.  We have faith in God.

v. 25 - We are called once again to work for God’s Kingdom with a pure heart, our
“greater jihad.”  

vv. 27-33 – The Temple leaders were upset, of course, at what Jesus had done to their
business enterprises the previous day.  They knew He had the authority of the
prophets, including John, behind Him in what He did, and so did Jesus.  They could do nothing to oppose Him according to the principles of righteousness.  They would have to use other means, as we shall see.

Hope you are enjoying this study,



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