And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response, Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”. . . Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. NKJV
Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree is a symbolic indictment of the apostate nation of Israel as the Jews would reject Him as their Messiah and Savior (Matt. 23:37).
The Lord’s charge to the nation of Israel was to be a light to the gentile nations, thus bringing forth spiritual and eternal fruit for God’s glory (Isa. 49:6). But the backslidden nation of Israel was disobedient to the commandments of the Lord, and their rebellion eventually culminated in their rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Savior (John 1:11).
As a result of their rejection of Him as Messiah and Savior, Jesus would curse the nation of Israel, just as He had cursed the barren fig tree, foretelling Israel’s destruction by the Roman army in 70 A.D. (Matt. 23:38-24:2).
. . . “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” NKJV
This phrase is found three times in scripture. The first time is in Psalm 118:26 in which it is used in a Messianic prophecy foretelling the acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Savior by the nation of Israel.
The second time is in our present text in Mark 11:9 where the Jews shouted the phrase at Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, foreshadowing His second coming as the triumphant King who will establish His throne in Jerusalem and rule the nations of the world in righteousness. The Jews, who were familiar with Psalm 118:26 and spoke these words, were looking for a Messiah to come and deliver them from the Roman Empire and restore Israel to its former greatness. These words from the mouths of the Jews became meaningless as they eventually rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Savior.
The third time these words are uttered is by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 23:39. Following the Jews’ rejection of Him as Messiah and Savior, Jesus departed the temple for the last time telling them that their house was left to them desolate and that they would not see Him any more until they said, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” In these words, Jesus foretold the end-time conversion of the nation of Israel in which the Jewish remnant will accept Him as both their Messiah and Savior (Zech. 12:10, 13:7-9; Rom. 11:25-27). The acceptance of Jesus as their Messiah and Savior by end-time Israel will be immediately followed by Jesus’ visible and glorious return to the Earth in which He will establish His throne in righteousness and rule over the nations of the Earth (Psa. 2:8-9; Isa. 9:7, 16:5; Lk. 1:32-33; Rev. 12:5, 19:13-16).
So Jesus answered and said to him,”What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” NKJV
Jesus wants us to be very specific in our prayer requests, asking for something definite. “What so you want me to do for you?” is the questions He asks everyone who comes to Him during trials and affliction. Make your requests earnestly and specifically, if you desire definite answers. It is the aimlessness of our prayers that accounts for so many seemingly unanswered prayers. Be specific in your petitions.
Fill out your check for something definite and it will be cashed at the bank of heaven when it is presented in Jesus’ name. Dare to be specific with God. L.B. Cowman
Take Christ’s Word—His promise—and Christ’s sacrifice—His blood—with you to the throne of grace through prayer, and not one of heaven’s blessings can be denied you.
Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my body! For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away. I am a reproach among all my enemies, But especially among my neighbors, And am repulsive to my acquaintances; Those who see me outside flee from me. I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. For I hear the slander of many; Fear is on every side; While they take counsel together against me, They scheme to take away my life. NKJV
As Christians, when we fall into sin we will inevitably feel its painful consequences. The weight of our sin and the shame and embarrassment of having failed miserably will weigh us down with guilt and sorrow.
Have there been times when the weight of your guilt was so heavy it began to affect you physically? Perhaps you suffered loss of sleep, ulcers, high blood pressure, etc. Now try to imagine the weight of the combined grief and sorrow of everyone’s sin on planet earth throughout all of human history.
Is it any wonder that the weight of all this sin caused Jesus to be “exceedingly sorrowful, even to death” as He faced the cross (Matthew 26:38). As He took the weight of the world’s sin upon Himself, even His beloved heavenly Father would forsake Him (Matthew 27:46). No other suffering can compare to that which Jesus experienced.
Sin put Jesus to the ultimate test. But His love endured it, His strength bore it, and His power overcame it. Thanks to Jesus’ death and resurrection, we know beyond a doubt that sin will not and cannot win. Julie Ackerman Link