Mark Day 11: The Fig Tree

The Accursed Fig Tree by James Jacques Tissot

Gospel of Mark Reading Plan
Day 11 Reading:
Mark 11

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.
– Mark 11:20 (NRSV)

Observation
Mark 11:12-14, 20-25 On his way to the Temple, Jesus looks for figs on a fig tree. Not finding any, he says, “May no one every eat fruit from you again.” (vs. 14) The next day, Peter notices the fig tree has withered from the roots. Jesus uses the fig tree to illustrate how the nation of Israel is not bearing fruit for God, especially the religious leaders who are especially charged to do so. Jesus also uses the opportunity to encourage the disciples to pray specifically, boldly, and in faith, believing that they have already received what they have asked for. (vs. 24)

Application
Many scholars agree that Jesus would have had in mind such passages as Jeremiah 8:13: “When I wanted to gather them, says the LORD, there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves are withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them.” The fact that Jesus was hungry and approached the fig tree looking for fruit illustrates his identity and authority as the Judge of Israel who finds that the nation, despite its “leafy” appearance, has not produced the fruit God desired…. 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. – Dr. Mike Feazell

God expects fruit- the fruit of faith, the fruit of believing and praying and trusting and seeking and serving. This is an active faith, alive and growing and multiplying. This is a deep faith, anchored in eternal truth.

Prayer
Lord Jesus,
You welcome us and give us the joy of welcoming others.
You pour grace into our hearts and give us the joy of extending grace to our neighbors.
You share good news and give us the joy of spreading your news throughout the world.

We lack nothing.
Our trees are full of leaves.
We seem to blossom, but where is the fruit?

Where are the bodies healed for your glory?
Where are the minds enlightened by your majesty?
Where are the captives rejoicing in your freedom?
Where are the saved crying out in thanksgiving?

We want to bear fruit for you.
Fruit that is good.
Fruit that will last.
Fruit that comes season after season after season.

Something is wrong, but we don’t know what.
You know. Give us the courage to hear and to act.
Show us before our time has passed.
Show us before we wither and die.
We believe. Help our unbelief. Amen.

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