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Pascal Week part 2: The fig tree and two contrasting visits

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Mark 11

We stay in Mark 11 for the message today. We examined the Entry of Jesus in the Temple. Now we see Jesus go into the Temple and observe. He leaves the temple and retires in Bethany for the night.

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The next day we see Jesus pass by the fig tree and we see Him examine it. Then curse it.  It seems unfair as the disciples noted it was not the time for fruit. The effect of the curse was noted later as it had withered.

For those of us not accustomed to fig trees we may see that an important factor passes us by. When there are many leaves there is little fruit. I saw a fig tree in Portugal. Loaded with fruit but hardly any leaves. So I know what a fight tree is.

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Jesus was using the fig tree as a prophetic illustration because immediately after cursing it He went back to expel the money changers from the Temple. He was saying that the “faith” of the day had become all show and that there was no fruit of love for God.

We see something very curious. We see 2 visits to the temple. One to observe the other to expel. It is here that Jesus alludes to a new Temple. Not made with hands.

There are times that Jesus comes to us to observe. It may seem He is not there. But He is. Then later we see Him with violence expose the wrongdoing in the Temple.

Right now the New Temple is the Church. And we sometimes let in everything that is all show. Just like the leafy fig tree.  Jesus cursed it and it withered from the roots up. And Jesus in John 15 tells us that as we are connected to Him we should have flowing in us the capacity to show fruitful characteristics.  If we do not Jesus says we will be cut off.

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It is a sobering thought that Jesus whom we equate grace and patience should use such terms. But Jesus does not compromise His words. He says that our faith should be demonstrated by the Love we shower over others and the joy which we serve Him, the patience we have…

The fact is the death of Jesus culminated the “withering ” of the Temple as the earthquake and the curtain was rent in two exposing the lack of Glory. There was no glory in this Temple because God was not inspiring this construction and in 70AD Titus came and destroyed it.

It was cursed from the roots. And so will we if we do not live a faith that demonstrates the fruits of Galatians 5.

Jesus wants to bring us into the kind of faith that executes authority over nature and every spiritual authority and for that we cannot be mechanically DOING CHURCH. MANY A MINISTRY WILL DIE unless it stops focusing on structure; programme; personalities.  We need to read the season. For in His Death both those who were dead came to life; and those who were alive were made dead.

Jesus did nothing by chance and not spurious either. Jesus demonstrated in word and deed what His mission was then and what His Mission is now. 

Shalom.

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