Mark 11 – Triumphal Entry and a Cursed Tree

Over a month since my last QT entry. Sigh.
Mark 11:1-10 – Notice – A colt that had never been sat on, they laid their cloaks on the colt so Jesus wouldn’t have to touch it and they even covered the road so the Colt wouldn’t touch that. I get the sense of holiness, being set apart. Clean and undefiled. There’s an elevated level of respect and honor. You deserve not only a fresh colt, but to be isolated from the colt and the colt isolated from the earth.
Mark 11:11 – I never caught this verse before. Jesus comes in in honor, goes to the temple, looks around and then heads back out. “And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.” That’s a bit odd to me.
Mark 11:13-14 – One could get the idea from these passages that Jesus is a little crazy. First a big shindig parade just to turn around and go back out and now he curses a fig tree for not having figs when it’s not the season for figs. I admit it, I’m a bit confused.
Mark 11:19 – I wonder why they weren’t staying in the city, since every day they go in and every night they go out? Was it simply that there was no room or that the rooms were cheaper in Bethany? Maybe that’s where the kind soul who offered to put them up lived. Honestly, that seems most likely. Of course, their staying outside explains the march in only to leave again. The march, if I recall right, was to fulfil a specific prophesy about arriving on a donkey.
Mark 11:20-23\5 – The fig tree not only withered, but withered to it’s roots. That’s quite a transformation in 24 hours. Peter’s shocked. Jesus isn’t. This is some challenging stuff, and I’m not just talking about throwing a mountain into the sea. I kinda think folks read right on past that, I mean it was just an example, right? No, the challenging thing for our evidence focused minds is verse 24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received [3] it, and it will be yours.
Plenty has been said, foolishly, claiming that Jesus can pay your mortgage or get you a new car if you believe hard enough. It’s heresy, plain and simple. But … What about freedom from addiction, hatred, anger or violence? What about forgiveness or the ability to forgive? What about transformation? These things happened over and over to the people Jesus came in contact with and he promises us that if we believe that we have already received …
But we’re “I’ll believe it when I see it” kind of people, so I wonder how much we are missing? Jesus says believe first and receive second. We’ve got it backwards.

3 thoughts on “Mark 11 – Triumphal Entry and a Cursed Tree

  1. The fig tree is a sandwich story with the temple in the middle. These are called Markan sandwiches. The tree is cursed and no longer bears fruit and this shed light on the middle story of the temple that is also then under a curse because it failed to bear fruit.
    The mountain being thrown into the sea is probably also a reference back to the temple which is on a mount.
    Just some random thoughts.

  2. Do you suppose Jesus stayed with Mary, Martha and Lazarus at Bethany? John 12:10 says there were plans to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus.
    I’ll have to admit the moment Jesus heads back out to Bethany is kind of like the moment in the movie Forest Gump when the lead character stops jogging, and turns around and walks back through his supportive entourage to go back home.

  3. I love this set of questions, Salguod.
    I’m sure you know my outline answer. Love the command. Love is the miracle. Love is for what we can pray, and what we will receive. So the addict can find love in the church and in Christ, and love is the means by which his prayer can be answered. Miracle, physical cures of addiction happen, but love happens much more often.

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