Monday of Passion Week
Apr 06, 2009
Monday- the week with Jesus on the road to the Cross is underway. Jesus strides into this week with boldness and clarity about His mission and purpose- let’s enter in with Him!
Monday Mark 11:12-19
Jesus Curses Fig Tree
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
The fig tree- at first reading Jesus reaction to the fig tree seems harsh- why go to the trouble to curse a simple tree?
Put the scene in context with the events of the previous day- Jesus had just entered Jerusalem as the anointed King. The people of Israel- evidenced by the crowds, had welcomed Him as the One who would save them- in their minds- from the oppression of Roman rule.
But Jesus knew what was coming-His impending rejection and crucifixion. The Kingdom that Jesus offered (and still offers) to live in and under was not the kind of Kingdom that people had in mind. Tragically, the true King was present but had already been rejected by the nation’s leaders because He didn’t conform to their expectations. Jesus also understood that the nation of Israel had failed to understand and to live out it’s purpose of being a light to the Gentiles- the world around them was meant to see God’s goodness and glory through the life of the people of Israel. The Temple itself was meant to display this, but had instead become a place of money-making and profit for those charged with spiritual leadership. The fig tree, then, represents a nation (a people) that has failed to fulfill it’s intended purpose- God-given fruitfulness.
This final week of public ministry is climactic in so many regards. Jesus purifies and cleanses the Temple in preparation for His final week of ministry- much of which will center here. Think of it- the King has arrived to the clamor of the crowds (whether they understood correctly or not) and then the Great High Priest comes to His own temple to prepare it for the work He will do there. By the end of the week this High Priest will offer the once-for-all perfect sacrifice for sins- the Lamb of God-Himself!
What fruit are you intended by God to bear? What fruit would Jesus see as He looks at your life?
What about Jesus are you drawn to or challenged by this days’ Scripture?
What is your response?