I decided to post my lesson at Shepherd Staff from last Thursday. I at least had fun doing it. There are my notes.
So, what do you see about the fig tree and what it would mean to Israel? What if you went by Krispy Kreme and saw the “hot” sign on? What if you went in and instead of having fresh glazed doughnuts, they instead had all the leftover donuts from yesterday? They even had the nerve to have Dunkin’ Donuts. Would you be very happy with Krispy Kreme? This is what happened when Jesus saw the fig tree. It promised wonderful figs, but had nothing.
What did the people expect from their long-awaited Messiah, Jesus? They wanted him to save the nation of Israel from Rome and enhance their lives here on earth. Jesus’s salvation is not for this world and it is for all kinds of people. What did he do instead? Do you think they would be happy about this? Why was Jesus not happy with the temple?
Can we tie these three stories together so far? The Jews waited for Jesus. He came to a nation that was supposed to know him and wait for him. He found people who were happy with this current life and wanted satisfaction now.
Jesus went to a fig tree expecting figs, but he did not get any, so he cursed the tree.
Jesus whips the temple, much to the dismay of the Jews.
He came to Israel expecting worship and reverence, but only got people who loved themselves and wanted to make their own names greater than God’s.
They see the fig tree again. It is now withered. Jesus gives a homily about prayer and faith. What is the connection? People who truly believe in Christ will pray to him because they seek him. Not because they want freedom, a doughnut, not even great things like justice. They want Jesus.
Mark 11:26. It’s not in the text. What are we to do with that?
Why did Jesus think it was his place to take a whip to the temple? Because all the earth is his and he created it all. He specifically revealed himself to the Israelites who he brought out of Egypt. He specifically showed them their only salvation in Christ. These same people only wanted good things in this life. He created them, saved them from horrors, and gave them a good life. Should he not be angry that they don’t really worship him but treat him as a good luck charm?