12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’c ? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’d ”
18The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
22“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“Trulyf I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11)
5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15)
Thoughts: Jesus came to accept us as we are but not to leave us there. Jesus seeks to heal our sickness and our sin, not to gloss over it as if there is no such thing as right and wrong or some huge moral equivalence. So when Jesus enters the Temple after being proclaimed a king, He throws the moneychangers out. The Temple has been corrupted and polluted, and it needs to be swept to make it work. The church needs to be cleaned and purified, not by human standards, but by God's. The love of money corrupts even in the church.
The second thing He does is curse the fig tree. Perhaps the curse of Mark 11 should be interpreted by the threat of a curse if we do not bear fruit in John 15. If we do not remain in Christ we will wither. If we do not bear fruit for Him, but only seek to exist, then we will be pruned.
Jesus wants us to know there are consequences to sin the sin of corruption and the sin of apathy towards Him or leaving Him.
Prayer: Lord, cleanse me. Help me to bear much fruit for your name.