The cursing of the barren fig tree was a living prophecy of God’s judgment against Israel because of their rejection of Christ. Like the fig tree, the Pharisees looked authentic but did not bear the fruit of true faith. Alistair Begg challenges us to beware of living a life which outwardly looks attractive, yet bears no evidence of faith.
12On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
20As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received3 it, and it will be yours. 25And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”4
The stories Jesus told described a King and a Kingdom unlike any other. Jesus’ words challenged His hearers to consider the magnitude of their sin and the depth of mercy that they could never deserve. Like those in Jesus’ day, we too are prone to misunderstand how these stories testify to the realities of Christ’s Kingdom. In a culture that is reluctant to embrace absolute truth, it can be convenient to marginalize who Jesus is and why He came to earth. Like the rich young ruler, we may consider ourselves to be moral people with no need for a Savior. We may never have been struck by the weight and gravity of God’s coming judgment, driving us to consider our need for mercy. In this series of messages from the Gospel of Mark, Alistair Begg shows us the necessity of knowing Christ as a gracious Savior, an eternal King, and the One who will ultimately judge the world in righteousness.
|How Does God's Kingdom Grow?||Mark 4:1-12|
|The Seed and the Soils||Mark 4:1-20|
|Careful Listening||Mark 4:21-25|
|The Kingdom of God||Mark 4:26-34|
|One Thing You Lack||Mark 10:17-22|
|Lessons From the Fig Tree, Part One||Mark 11:12-14 Mark 11:20-25|
|Lessons From the Fig Tree, Part Two||Mark 11:23-25|
|"This is About Us!"||Mark 12:1-12|
|The Coming of the Son of Man||Mark 13:24-31|
|A Wake-Up Call!||Mark 13:32-37|