Yesterday we witnessed our Savior overturning tables and chairs and forbidding the buying and selling of goods in His house. Hopefully, we also took time to allow Him to overturn the tables and chairs in our own hearts. Today’s passage begins the following day, early in the morning. Jesus and His disciples are headed back to the temple and the disciples witness an important lesson.
Yesterday we considered how odd it would have been for the disciples to see and hear Jesus curse the fig tree that was not even in season to bear fruit. That night as evening approached they headed back out of the city and probably passed by the same fig tree. However, the disciples didn’t mention anything about the tree. I wonder if the disciples were questioning if Jesus’ power had left Him? Everything prior to this time happened at the moment the words came from His mouth? Why didn’t this tree shrivel up and die right then? The disciples would have to wait until the next day. Early the next morning as they take the same path as the day before, the disciples approach the tree and notice it has withered. Astonished that it has died, they point out the obvious to Jesus. He simply tells them, “Have faith in God (Mark 11:22).”
Can we take a moment here to see some of what God is trying to teach us? The disciples witnessed Jesus curse the tree and then continue on with the rest of the tasks God had for Him to do that day. Jesus did not doubt whether or not the fig tree would ever bear fruit again. What He said, He believed. Sometimes, in our own prayer lives we pray and then wonder if our prayers will really be answered. We doubt and do not have faith. Jesus is telling us here in this passage that we must ask in faith and not doubt. Even if it seems nothing is happening or the answer does not come immediately, we must hold on to our faith, which is in Christ Jesus.
Then Jesus reminds the disciples that if they have anything against anyone, they should go and make it right before coming before the Father. This is again a picture of Jesus cleaning out the temple. May we continue to allow God to clean the sin out of our lives and that includes the sin we hold against others.
Last, Jesus makes it to the temple where He encounters the chief priests, scribes, and elders. They are really upset about what happened the day before and demand to know from Jesus who gives Him the authority to come in and turnover all that has been going on in the temple. Jesus responds by asking them about John’s baptism. They are trapped if they answer from heaven or from men. Jesus will either reprimand them or the crowd will become angry with them. So they decide not to answer and Jesus decides He will not answer them either.
Lord help me to remember You are always working even if I don’t see results immediately. Lord, continue to make sure Your house, my heart, is cleaned out and that I don’t have anything against anyone. Search me and see if there is any hidden sin within me. Help me to not not question the authority You have in cleaning out my heart. You are God and You have the power and right to do as You wish in Your temple.