by Miles Seaborn

"When the leaves died"
Miles Seaborn
Mark 11:12-26

INTRO. This seems like a simple story and experience
in the life of Jesus and the disciples. But listen,
in fact a noted preacher said about it:

"I am surprised that this strange story of Jesus
cursing the fig tree ever got into our New Testament.
Among all of the stories about Jesus recorded in the
Gospels, this one is just about the most embarrassing
and difficult to explain because it was not the season
for figs."

On the face of it, it goes like this: Jesus had just
ridden into the Holy City in triumph, accompanied with
crowds singing His praises and strewing palm branches
before Him. Those who remembered the old prophecy of
Micah realized that in riding into town on a donkey,
Jesus was proclaiming Himself Messiah. And yet . . .
for the rest of the day, not much happened. Jesus and
His students wandered through the streets of the Holy
City rather aimlessly, acting for the entire world
like a bunch of tourists. It may well be that what He
was doing was sizing up the situation. Were things
really as bad in the religious establishment as He had
been led to believe? He found the rumors He had heard
of corruption in high places confirmed. But that
night He returned quietly to Bethany, which was sort
of the "bedroom community" for those who worked in
Jerusalem. The next morning He and His students set
out once more to cross over the Mount of Olives and
reenter Jerusalem. The climbed a long, narrow, dusty,
rocky road, until they reached the ridge of the Mount
where they were within sight of their goal. There
they could see the splendor of the Temple spread out
before them. It would have been reasonable time to
stop for a "coffee break" and have something to eat
(up early for prayer). Mark tells us that Jesus was
hungry. Mark's Jesus is nothing if not human. He
experiences hunger and ...

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