FBCWest 417 | The Fig Tree and the Temple - Their Purpose
Recorded On: 09/20/2020
September 20, 2020
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him
must worship Him in Spirit and truth.”
“Holy, Holy, Holy”
Praise and Worship
SCRIPTURE READING – Hebrews 13:15 & 16
“Holy is the Lord”
“The Voice of Truth”
“Everything (God in My Living)”
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
SPECIAL MUSIC – By Pru Hungate
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“The Life and Ministry of Jesus The Messiah”
“The Fig Tree and the Temple: Their Purpose”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
“Walk by Faith”
Acknowledgements and Announcements
Benediction “Won’t Stop Now”
Mark 11:12 – 14 A fig tree with leaves but no fruit so Jesus curses it
Mark 11:15 & 16 Jesus drives out merchandising in the Temple
Mark 11:17 The purpose of the Temple
Mark 11:18 Religious leaders seek to kill Jesus
Mark 11:19 Retired to Bethany again
Mark 11:20 & 21 Fig tree withered
Mark 11:22 – 25 Jesus teaches
Transcript of Service
As we have been going through the earthly life and Ministry of Jesus, our Lord.
We've gotten to the point where he has entered Jerusalem.
During the time which people call the triumphal entry.
The glory of God descended from the Mount of olives into the temple.
And then what Jesus does during the week as he administers, teaches and does various things in Jerusalem and then retires to Bethany. So after this time that he entered the temple went around and because it was late, he went back to Bethany to rest. And so now this is the next day. So traditionally this is Monday.
Or maybe a different reckoning.
Sunday but on.
In Mark Chapter 11, starting with verse 12, we pick up this last week.
The week of the crucifixion says on the next day, when they had left or Bethany, he became hungry.
Seen at a distance. A fig tree in leaf, it went to see if perhaps he would find anything on it, and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves or was not the season for figs and he said who it may. No one ever eat fruit from you again, and his disciples were listening. So when we read this.
Without any other context.
Jesus almost seems petulant.
He's expecting to see figs on a tree during the season that is not ready for figs.
Now, I think that there's a couple possibilities and I'll give you what I think is a couple of possibilities. Number one, there are two feet seasons for figs. There is a small season where the things are very small and are all that marketable and they usually grow about.
Late March, early April, which is probably during this time and then there is a season for marketable figs, and that's in August.
And so that could be one explanation.
But if it tree provides leaves.
Which gives cover, which tends to say that the tree is mature. Ann is providing fruit.
But I think Jesus is teaching us something very substantial here and is not being petulant or even if the first explanation.
And that is this.
What is the purpose of a fruit tree?
A fig tree provides figs.
Peachtree provides Peach is and you don't find on one tree Peach is an figs because the type of tree it is that is there. However, fig trees have an interesting history.
And I'm not talking about an agricultural one.
The fig tree.
Was in the garden of Eden.
Why do I say bye bye implication? Because the scripture do not say there was a fig tree in the garden of Eden.
But what it does say is after Adam and Eve sinned.
And they discovered that they were naked.
They took fig leaves and sewed them together to cover themselves.
So you see fig leaves have been used since we all got here.
And I think what Jesus is teaching again, I'd say, I think what Jesus is teaching.
Is that there are those who look to cover what it is they're not.
The fig tree provides leads, which then you think has fruit an it doesn't and there are a lot of believers. A lot of Christians, a lot of back then Jews who looked religious. They look like they were righteous. They looked all those things, but they had only covering their lives produce no fruit.
And what it is, is the purpose of a believer. The purpose of a believer is to develop fruit and the Scriptures tells us that the fruit of the spirit is love and joy and peace and kindness and all these other things inpatient. There's a long list of things that the fruit of the spirit provides, but yet all too often we are satisfied with the look of righteousness. With the look of being God's people.
Without the fruit.
Demonstrating that we are God's people an in this time, especially how the world needs the fruit that believers produce.
Just to mention a few, if the world experience those things from we believers.
Maybe there wouldn't be so much anger and anxiety and hatred.
But we are oftentimes content because we have leaves were covered. We've covered our nakedness.
Answer no one sees.
And so I think Jesus is teaching the purpose of a fruit tree is provide fruit an we as Christians cannot say Well, it's not the season provide fruit.
For we as Christians, everyday is the season to provide fruit.
It's not well, you know, it's winter time, so I get to be hateful and mean.
Ann can't contain khorus know not every single day is the season for us to bear fruit.
And so Jesus basically curses. It condemns, it says.
I don't care if the season comes or not, no one will ever eat from you again.
And his disciples. It's interesting, and his disciples were listening so many times. Jesus told them things and they seem not to be listening.
You know things like.
I'm going to Jerusalem. The religious leaders are going to arrest me and mock me and beat me in and connect me to crucifixion an they're going. Can I sit on your right or your left hand there? They're not listening, but here they are. It's always interesting when people listen, and if you ever have any doubt of that, all you have to be as a parent. You try to tell your kids something important and they could care less. You say something stupid and they remember it.
And put it in your face.
Yeah, so they're listening this time.
OK, so then Jesus.
Moves on from there and it says in verse 15 then they came to Jerusalem, and he entered the temple and began to drive out those who are buying and selling in the temple and overturned the tables of Moneychangers and the seats of those who are selling doves and he would not prevent anyone to carry merchandise through the temple.
So I want to back up and go from the last one. It says he would not permit anybody to carry merchandise through the temple. So apparently what they were doing was using the temple as a shortcut.
They had merchandise to bring, but in rather than going around the temples where it supposed to be, they were going through the temple because it was a lot shorter.
Isn't that sad?
That you have so little regard for the temple.
That you would just use it as a shortcut.
Then it says that he.
Overturned the seats of those who are selling doves and other animals for you. See for the doves were those who were offering up sacrifices for purification for sins who were poor.
And so instead of selling them where they should be sold, they were selling them within the temple, which was probably in the Court of the Gentiles.
'cause we'll see this over and they were probably because we're getting closer and closer to pass over. There probably also selling lambs sheep because people were going from all over.
And even if you were a Shepherd and less, you were very close by. You probably didn't bring your sheep with you.
For a couple of reasons they would slow you down.
And you're supposed to offer a sheep that is unblemished.
So, but stumbles and gets a bruise. You can't use it.
And so you would go from, let's say, Corinth. As a Jew you would then travel to Jerusalem for Passover. You would then purchase a lamb to be sacrificed for you to use at the Passover meal.
So they were selling animals there.
An you don't have to be a rancher or farmer to know.
If you've ever been to a parade.
You know what animals leave on the way?
So Can you imagine? Here's the temple of God.
Thanks for the nice work.
Can you imagine this is the state of the temple? And then it also ended going back up 'cause they were buying and selling, and they had the money changers and why the money changers are you see, there was what's called a temple tax.
In order to pay the temple tax, you couldn't use.
Money sevillian money, you cannot use Roman money.
So even though you came from Corinth and you were maybe.
Citizen there and you had.
All the Caesar coins and whatever he had enough when you went to pay the tax, you couldn't pay it in Roman coins. You had to buy chuckles or some other type of Temple. And So what they would do is they would do an exchange rate, but then they would add.
A caring fee.
And they were making money.
And Jesus is anger that this, because they have, in essence made the temple a merchandise zone, is not only just a merchandise don't zone, but one that is unethical.
These are the people who got. These are the religious leaders. These are the people. No wonder Jesus is saying.
You have all the trappings of righteousness.
But you just.
Are covering up your nakedness.
Any began to teach and say to them, is it not written my father's house or I'm sorry not my father's off my house, which is even more significant. My house shall be called a House of prayer for all the nations to notice. Number one Jesus is saying, I'm God.
So for those of you in this is mark. This is not John, so for those of you who are heard, people say, Well, Jesus never said he was God.
He just said it's my house.
My house is God's house. If my house is God's house.
Then I'm God, my house shall be called a House of prayer, not at House of merchandise, not a House of a way to be unethically treating those, or seeking to come to God. It is a place to communicate with God. Notice these days, even say it was a place to offer sacrifices to God. It was a place to communicate with him.
And not only was it built just for the due notice it said it was my house or House Prayer for all the nations, and that's why there was a courtyard for the Gentiles as we weren't allowed to go inside matter fact only the high priest once a year could go into the holy of Holies and only the priest could go in the holy place to Ministere. But the rest of us not so much.
But Even so, there was still a place for the Gentile.
To be to pray.
The Jews go to what's called the wailing wall, which called the West.
And go there and pray because they think it's more significant to be where God's house what?
But it's not just for the Jew, it is for all nations.
you have made it a roberston.
We as Christians.
Are to bear fruit.
That's our purpose.
The purpose of a fruit tree is to bear fruit.
The purpose of God's temple is to be a place or people to communicate with God.
Which I wanna kinda. We are also called.
Paul tells us that in a couple of different places that we are the temple of God and we need to treat it as such. Then maybe we shouldn't make merchandise.
Of ourselves, maybe we shouldn't act unethically.
Maybe we should be those who when people say God just seems far off and say and let's, You and I pray together.
Or I am also?
House of prayer for all the people.
And she pries and ascribes heard this and be seek began seeking how to destroy him.
Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
God has always through Jesus has been telling them You're on the wrong track. You're doing the wrong thing and if it's not obvious, here's one. It's obvious you've taken the temple and you messed it up. You made it a robbers den. You, having just made it a merchant, you made it a robbers did it would be bad enough to say, Yeah, Well, you're selling merchandise, but at least you're doing it at a fair price. It's a robbers din.
And yet their response is not.
You know what, you're right.
We not mean, I believe, that your Messiah, but you're right here.
Maybe we need to change the way we're doing business.
But they have all the.
not so courageous.
Or they were afraid of him for the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
It's not whether Jesus is right or wrong.
But right now the crowds on his side.
So we do something that Jesus they'll be upset with us, and maybe they'll remove us from our position. So let's do it as we're going to plan at night when the crowds aren't around, when we can find somebody to betray him and we can conduct all of our trials illegally, because then the crowds won't be there. And then we will pay off the crowds to seek him. So notice.
They supposedly righteous men.
Are not so righteous.
And when evening came, they would go out of the city. So mark is telling us this is kind of Jesus is routine now next week.
We're gonna talk a little bit more about what happens this day.
So I'm going to be a little imperfect in the Chronology.
Because I think it's important to talk about the fig tree again.
So if I wait an interrupt that.
So I wanna bring so next week will be talking about the same day.
Not in the same chronology, so won't even came. They would go out of the city, and as they were passing by in the morning and they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.
Being reminded Peter said to him, rabbi.
Look at the fig tree you cursed.
so you notice Peter understood that Jesus is.
Discussion to the.
Big tree was a curse.
And he's kind of amazed because this tree withered within 24 hours.
A tree usually doesn't do that. It takes a little time to. It's not like grass that is green today and tomorrow is dead a tree. Take some time and yet this tree has withered. It hasn't just died, it has withered into Strunk.
An we are told in the other gospel not only the weather, it withered from the ground up.
Which means from that source of nutrients, although it didn't die from the top down, it died from the bottom up.
And Jesus answered, saying to them.
Have faith in God. Now this is important. I want to accent. Notice what he says. Have faith in God.
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain be taken up and cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen. It will be granted him. Therefore, I say to you all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
Whenever you stand praying, forgive and if you have anything against anyone so that your father who is in heaven will also forgive your transgressions now.
We heard that and I want an.
Free forgiveness is dependent on forgiveness.
But you're gonna hear a whole lot of people. You probably have heard a whole lot of people saying if you.
Just have enough faith.
Fill in the blank.
If you just have enough faith, it'll be healed from whatever disease. If you just have enough faith, you'll be rich.
If you just have enough faith, all these things will happen.
Notice Jesus didn't say if you just have enough faith in the circumstance. He says if you have faith in God.
Don't wanna give you my little parable. It's not a perfect one, but I think it will demonstrate the point.
There was a little girl who had a brother.
Anne, she lived with her single mom.
Who is struggling with two jobs and had a?
They were barely getting by making ends meet.
And one day.
The little girl had a friend over.
And while the mom was sitting.
Watching Oprah, whatever she was watching.
The little girl says to her friend my Mommy is going to buy me a pony and she's gonna get a TV from my brother.
It's gonna be awesome.
I never told you I was going to get you a pony.
I never told your brother I was gonna get him in ADB, even if I could afford it. We don't have any place to put them.
And the little girls responses, Yeah, but I heard that if I just thought about it hard enough.
It would happen.
I just thought about it hard enough, it'll happen.
And that's kind of what you'll hear a lot of, and that's probably why.
We are busting out of the seams because it's a whole lot better to hear man I could just be rich if I'm just having nothing.
I just believe hard enough this cancer will go away.
James tells us yes.
There is, we don't have things because we do not have.
As we doubt.
And when we doubt James tells us, don't expect to receive anything because you're not stable person. Talking about doing fro. But he also says you ask and do not have because you asked for wrong motives.
And then there is what Jesus I find.
Kind of interesting when the disciples asked Jesus teach us to pray.
Jesus starts off with.
Our father or Daddy who is in heaven. How load be your name, your Kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.
And I notice he says and give us this day Our Daily Bread.
He doesn't say Anne, May I win the lottery?
In May I be richer than anybody around.
And May this difficulty that I'm experiencing be removed.
Because I've asked for an, I have faith because whatever in my comment is.
Have faith in what?
Do you have faith in that you're getting some?
All God's people said.