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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK
PART 6 Jesus' Entry Into Jerusalem and His Last Works (Mark 10:46 - 12:44)

4. Reflections on the Dry Fig Tree (Mark 11:20-26)

MARK 11:20-26
20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots. 21 Peter, remembering, said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered away.” 22 Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them. 25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

Christ’s cursing of the barren fig tree was a symbol of the judgment to come on the people of the old covenant. The tree soon withered.

Christ wanted to save his disciples though they too were of the same nation which refused him. He asked them to believe in God in the midst of the judgment poured on their people.

To believe means to learn love from the Son of God and to trust him. The prayer originated from this trust is a mutual work between the believer and God in the power of the Holy Spirit. He who is linked with God the Father in the spirit of faith does not pray according to his own wishes, but longs to complete the will of the heavenly Father, and brings down blessings, through his prayers, on his town and nation. God answers the believers’ prayers because they seek the remission of sins of all men, that they may be freed from the chains of covetousness and impurity, and transformed, to present their bodies a living sacrifice acceptable to God.

Christ himself did not remove a mountain and cast it into the sea through his mighty faith, but he drowned mountains of sins in the ocean of his love. Nor did any of the apostles explode a fiery volcano to prove to his hearers the flowing of the power of God in him, but they spread the gospel of peace to the nations, and filled the Mediterranean region with the love of God in the midst of despair and tears at that time.

No man can pray and believe properly himself, if he does not unite himself with the purposes of the love of God, for the Holy One is the loving, forgiving, purifying Savior. He does not destroy us, because he is patient. He who lives with God in his new covenant, sees that his love and forgiveness infiltrate our hearts, renew us, and give us a new thought and a clean mind. In this Spirit, we give up our rights, forgive our opponents, and love our enemies, for God’s forgiveness has become our principle of life.

Christ did not see any evidence of preparedness to accept this loving, forgiving spirit in his people. They separated themselves voluntarily from the love of God, and were unwilling to repent or submit to the coming Savior. They neither received the good King with multitudes and chiefs, nor prepared his way in their hearts, but spied on him in an attempt to detect guilt in his acts or words, that they might condemn and destroy him.

He who separates himself deliberately and stubbornly from the endless love and forgiveness of God becomes hardhearted. He hates Jesus, refuses him who was crucified for him, and does not accept his peace. Woe to the poor who do not experience God’s grace or know Christ’s nature! For to him the Holy God remains an angry Judge, a fearful destroyer, and a mighty avenger, for the hardhearted, stubborn man has trodden on God's grace in his pride. We know our merciful Father, and we love him, because he forgave our sins through him who was crucified for us and admitted us into his new people.

PRAYER: O heavenly Father, we thank and praise you because you manifested yourself through Christ’s death, forgave our sins, and made us your children lawfully and spiritually. We do not tremble with fear at your greatness, but we have gained admittance to your presence. We come gratefully to you, praise you by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and beg you to change our hearts completely that we may also forgive men their sins. We particularly ask you to be merciful to all those around us who are prepared to believe, that they may recognize you and be transformed into your image. Amen.


  1. How does true faith appear?


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