Bible Reading Day 66

by markburlinson

Day 66 – Mark 11:1-19

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Good morning!
As Mark’s account of Jesus’ life enters the final week before the Crucifixion we will see even more supernatural events woven into the narrative, and an increase in fulfilled prophecies, just as we saw in Matthew’s gospel.

First Jesus instructs two of His disciples to fetch a colt that has never been ridden, and then Jesus rides it. Anyone familiar with donkeys or horses would know what a miracle this is! This fulfills the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9.

Then Jesus enters Jerusalem in a humble version of a victory parade. In those days, conquering kings would parade into the city they had conquered, while all those who valued their future under the new ruler would shout “Long Live The King” and other such phrases. Using garments and palm branches on the road signified submission to the new ruler.

A new ruler would go to the palace, but Jesus goes to the Temple. He looks around and observes all that is going on (much of it irrelevant or antagonistic to relationship with God), but leaves because it is evening. He returns to Bethany where He can stay overnight with His disciples (likely at the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus – see John 12).

On the way back to Jerusalem the next day, Jesus sees a fig tree with leaves on it (indicating it has already fruited, because figs bear their first crop of fruit before the leaves). Knowing the fig tree is symbolic of the nation of Israel (see Joel 2:21-25), Jesus uses the lack of fruit as an object lesson: “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” In other words, the old way of coming to God is ending now. There’s a new way coming.

Shortly afterward, Jesus enters the Temple and clears out the merchants and moneychangers profiting from the people’s need to get right with God. Combining Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11, Jesus condemns the religious system that keeps people from meeting with God while profiting from the power and influence created. The lesson for us today is to beware of formulaic approaches to God, and choose to come into God’s house personally in prayer.

… and we’ll see what happened to the fig tree tomorrow!