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June 14, 2022

Cursing the Fig Tree and Cleansing the Temple

Mark 11:12 And on the next day, when they had gone out from Bethany, He became hungry. 13 And seeing at a distance a fig tree having leaves, He came to see if perhaps He would find anything on it. And when He came to it, He found nothing except leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And He answered and said to it, May no one eat fruit from you forever! And His disciples heard it. 15 And they came to Jerusalem. And He entered into the temple and began to cast out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling the doves; 16 And He would not let anyone carry a vessel through the temple. 17 And He taught and said to them, Is it not written, ``My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers. 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard this, and they sought how they might destroy Him, for they feared Him, for all the crowd was astounded at His teaching.

In 11:12-26 we have the cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the temple. These two actions--the cursing of the fig tree and cleansing of the temple--indicate that the entire nation of Israel, which had been chosen by God for His purpose, had become fruitless and corrupt. The fig tree cursed by the Lord had leaves, but no fruit. It had outward glorification, but it did not have any fruit. It did not have any reality. It had nothing that could satisfy God's desire. The temple, which should have been a house of prayer for all nations, the Gentiles as well as the Jews, had become a den of robbers. In the sight of God, those worshipping in the temple were robbers. God's house on earth actually had become a den of robbers. Therefore, after cursing the fig tree to end its life, the Lord cleansed the temple in order to eliminate the corruption. As the Lord was doing these things, no one dared to oppose Him outwardly, for He had already received the people's approval. Concerning this, verse 18 says, "And the chief priests and the scribes heard it, and they sought how they might destroy Him, for they feared Him, for all the crowd was astounded at His teaching." We need to see that the cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the temple were part of the Slave-Savior's preparation for His redemptive death. He prepared the way for the Pharisees and scribes to put Him to death. (c) Living Stream Ministry.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Mark, pp. 305-306. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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