April 16, 2016: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Mark 11-12
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Commentary: Jesus enters Jerusalem to great cheer! He receives the red-carpet treatment. Upon entering the city, Jesus goes to the Temple before returning to His friends outside the city. The next morning Jesus’ first action was to clean out the Temple. Jesus was angry, righteously angry, at the way His Father’s house was being used. The fig tree cursed by Jesus represents Jerusalem. It was full of religion and appeared to have a healthy relationship with the Lord, just as the tree had a lot of leaves and appeared prosperous. However, Jerusalem had no fruit to their religion. It was empty actions with no meaning, just as the tree had no fruit. The quickness with which the tree withered represents how quickly Jerusalem would fall (Jerusalem fell in 70 AD, approximately 40 years later). Religious leaders continued to try and discredit Jesus, however they are unsuccessful, with Jesus turning the tables on them. Through the widow, Jesus emphasis that it is the condition of our heart that is more important than the action or the size of the gift.
Focus Verses: 11:12-19 How was the Temple being disrespected? Was Jesus’ anger justified? What was important about Jesus waiting before acting against those at the Temple? How do you handle situations that make you angry? Think of a recent event that made you angry. How did you respond? What would have been a better way to respond?