Today in Mark, we are going to look at Mark 11:20-33:
The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree
20 In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. 24 So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
25 “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
Jesus’ Authority Is Questioned
27 Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him 28 and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” 31 They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
I love the juxtaposition of these two passages together here in the end of Mark 11. We see two groups of people coming to Jesus. First, we have His Disciples who were with Jesus and were seeking to learn, to grow, to be faithful.
Yes, the didn’t have all the answers, but they wanted to grow, they wanted to learn, they wanted to follow Jesus. Even if they didn’t fully understand what that meant or how to do it, they wanted to follow.
So, what happens here? They see the result of the fig tree being cursed and they are shocked. And Jesus says this, if you believe, this is nothing. You’ll be able to tell the mountain, go jump in the sea. And it will. If you believe, it will answers.
Real quick on this notion of belief and prayer, if we believe, God will answer our prayers. We don’t always pray as boldly as we should. But here’s the key thing on how God answer this. Our prayers are ultimately not about what we want, but about what God wants. In prayer, God bends our will towards His.
So, the closer we walk to God, the more our hearts will be his heart, the more we will desire what He desires, the more we will be molded into Him.
And the more we desire His desires, the more He will grant us those desires. Because when we truly desire Him, He will truly give Himself to us.
Keep seeking God. Keep praying. He hears. He does. He answers. He does. Don’t give up seeking Him. God will show Himself to you. He will.
Don’t doubt. Believe.
The disciples are seeking Jesus. And they will find.
Now, the other group, they aren’t seeking Him. They are trying to trip Him and trick Him. They don’t truly want to know Jesus. They want to test Him. Their questions are truly about knowing Jesus; they are about causing trouble.
And because they aren’t really seeking Him, they don’t find what they are looking for.
So, in all things, it starts with this. Are we seeking Him? Do we desire to know Him? If so, pray. Pray boldly. Pray with confidence. Pray with hope. He will hear. He will answer.
We can trust.
Wednesday we’ll look at Mark 12:1-12.
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