Summary of passage: The next day as Jesus was traveling back to Jerusalem from Bethany, he was hungry. Jesus saw a fig tree without fruit and commanded it to never bear fruit again. The tree withered. The disciples wondered why the tree withered so quickly. Jesus said if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. You can even move a mountain to the sea.
3a) “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” (Mark 11:14). “May you never bear fruit again!” (Matthew 21:19)
b) The tree withered.
c) The religious hypocrites appeared healthy (with leaves) but upon close examination bore no fruit. Their heart was twisted and unhealthy and they brought no one closer to God.
4a) He encouraged them to have faith and not to doubt for if you have faith a mountain will throw itself in the sea at your command. With faith all your prayers will be answered. Mark adds to believe you have already received whatever you asked for in prayer. It is about having the right heart and not about appearances. It is about pleasing God and not man. You will bear fruit with faith.
b) As you pray, you must have a repentant, pure heart that is not holding grudges or grievances against others. Forgive so God may forgive you.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Jobs for my husband. Guidance on which path to take. God’s will for my life. Fired from my job that was standing in the way of God’s path for my life. I am currently praying God moves the monumental mountain of publishing. I am praying for faith and patience and trust in this respect since rejection is everywhere.
Conclusions: Again, sent immediately to another passage. Mark should have been included in the required reading for this day if that were the case. Good lesson on trusting God to move mountains for you so you can traverse His path. Straightforward lesson on prayer and faith.
End Notes: This is the second of Jesus’ two recorded destructive miracles (the other being the pigs that Jesus put demons into in Matthew 8:30-32) and both are not against mankind.
Fig trees typically do not bear leaves without fruit as BSF told us. Hence, this is a sign of all show and unfruitfulness as the questions draw us to the parallel between the religious hypocrites and Israel in general. God wants us to be fruitful and not just go through the motions in our lives.
Note Jesus is speaking to his disciples here or followers of him. This message is for believers. Have faith and you will have it. Unbelievers this does not apply.
Note Jesus is hungry. I love when we see the human side of Jesus!