Class Notes: 7/13/2014
Mark 11:3 - Mark 11:14; The fruitless fig tree represents fruitless Israel and any other fruitless client nation
In our study of Mark last time we saw Jesus arrive at the outskirts of Jerusalem where He had two of His disciples requisition a colt. Mark 11:3-6; We saw that Jesus lived in the moment and that God provided everything that he needed along the way.
This is the freedom that believers who operate in the directive will of God have. They have the doctrinal awareness that enables them to be free of the anxieties that the devil's world constantly attempts to foist upon them.
This is why Paul gives us the mandate to keep on standing in the freedom that Christ established for us when we were rescued from the kingdom of darkness. Gal 5:1; Col 1:13;
Mark 11:7; So they brought the colt to Jesus, threw their outer cloaks over it, and He sat on it. Net note 13
Mark 11:8-9;These verses show us the three things the crowd did. "Many spread their outer coats in the road (in front of Him); others cut leafy (palm) branches from the fields, and strewed them in the way." John 12:13; refers to them as palm branches. This is where the church gets the ritual of Palm Sunday.
We see here that one part of the crowd was following Him and another part of the crowd went out from Jerusalem to greet him.
Then the third thing they all did was to shout out (verse 9)"Hosanna Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord this is a reference to the second advent. Psa 118:25-26;
Hosanna is a transliteration of the Greek word that is itself a transliteration of the Hebrew word hosanna that means "save us now" We see from this that their focus was the crown rather than the cross.
This is what most people want today. People are not interested in God's purpose for their lives they just want things to be easy and prosperous for them right now in the devil's world without regard to eternal consequences.
The crowd wanted Jesus to prosper them and make life easier for them. They were not interested in eternal life they were interested in an easier life on earth.
Jesus came to save mankind but they weren't interested. Luke 19:10;
Mark 11:9; The phrase "He who comes in the name of the Lord" (as God's representative and with His authority) was originally was a greeting used to address a pilgrim coming to observe the Passover festival.
These words were not a Messianic title. The crowd of pilgrims applied them to Jesus but they stopped short of actually recognizing Jesus as the Messiah.
They had already rejected Him so they are ignoring all of the fulfilled prophecy and the fact that He is the son of David, that He is Messiah, and that He is offering them spiritual kingdom at this time.
To them Jesus was just another prophet. They were still looking for someone who would deliver them from the Romans politically and establish the promised kingdom.
Instead of Messiah, the son of David, they view Jesus a prophet rather than a King, and instead of being from Bethlehem his hometown, the place of His birth, they say He is from Galilee where He lived some of the time.
For most of the people in the crowd, this short time of jubilation was simply part of the traditional Passover celebration so it did not concern the Roman authorities or initiate an immediate call for Jesus' arrest by the Jewish religious party bosses even though behind the scenes they were conspiring with Judas to capture Him so they could kill him.
Mark 11:11; Jesus goes to the temple and looks around and then because it was late returns to Bethany for the night.
His final temple discourse starts on Palm Sunday and continues into the following Monday and the Tuesday.
After spending the day in Jerusalem Jesus will go back to Bethany and stay at Lazarus' home. He spends His nights in Bethany; He spends His days in the temple in Jerusalem.
Mark 11:12; The next morning (Monday) he is returning to the temple in Jerusalem and apparently he was planning to eat along the way.
Mark 11:13; The Passover was observed on the fourteenth day of the month of Nisan (April) Lev 23:4; In Palestine fig trees produced crops of small edible buds in March followed by the appearance of large green leaves in early April.
This early green "fruit" (the buds) were a common food for the local people. The absence of these buds despite the tree's green leaves that indicated their presence meant that the tree it would not bear fruit that year.
Eventually the buds dropped off when the normal crop of figs formed and ripened in late May and June. It was therefore reasonable for Jesus to expect to find something edible on the fig tree even though it was not yet time for figs to be ripe.
Mark 11:14; Jesus' strong denunciation of the tree, that Peter later regards as a curse was not because He was angry and hungry. It was a dramatic prophetic sign of God's impending judgment on Israel.
The promising but unproductive fig tree represented Israel's spiritual barrenness despite having God's favor and the impressive outward appearance of religion.
The fig tree represents Israel and the Jewish people. The leaves indicate the Jews allegation that they are productive (because they were centering everything in their religion, they were proud of their religion, and they trusted in their religion.
Religion is a system of works so they were trying to be saved by keeping the law. They were saying in effect that God should accept their leaves but they didn't have any figs.
The figs represent the production of grace that God intended for the Jews to produce when He founded Israel as the Jewish nation.
They were custodians of the written scriptures and responsible for dissemination of the Gospel. But they have failed as custodians, they have distorted the scripture into a system of religion, they have failed to disseminate the gospel to the Gentiles, and within 40 years, in 70 AD, they will go into the fifth cycle of discipline and be scattered around the world throughout the entire Church Age.
The fig tree with no figs, no production is a picture of Israel. This tree is a reminder to the Jewish nation that they are on the brink of receiving great discipline, a discipline that continues right down to the present moment and will continue until the second advent of Jesus Christ.
This is because religion never produces anything that glorifies God. Religion is leaves (ritual) without any figs (reality) Mark 7:6-7;
The first time fig leaves are mentioned in the Bible is in the Garden of Eden where the first man and woman put on fig leaves in order to try to be respectable to God. They knew that they were naked and they adjusted to each other with the fig leaves and tried to adjust to God using them but God wasn't buying it.
It was the work of their hands so they accepted it just like people do today but God did not accept it because it was human good done in the energy of the OSN.
In spite of their hard work they had no production because after they ate of the tree they were spiritually dead. We see from this that from the beginning fig leaves represent human good works that are not acceptable to God.
Religion does not save because it is human good works without God, without Jesus Christ and without regeneration. Religion works hard but is unproductive just like the fig tree without fruit. Religion has no production because it is spiritually dead.
Jesus Christ knows what is going to happen to the Jews. He is going to expose their religion. He is going in to deal with their temple headquarters and the religious party bosses and they are going to be replaced.
Mark 11:14a; "He said unto it, no longer into the age will anyone eat fruit from you" The word translated "ever" in the NASB and KJV is the Greek word "aion" that means period of time. It refers to the dispensation or age of the Church or the Church Age.
This was anticipating the 5th cycle of discipline on the Jewish nation. Under the 5th cycle of discipline to the Jews the people of Israel no longer have custodianship of the scriptures; even the Old Testament doesn't belong to the Jews during the Church Age. It belongs to the Church.
This means that during the dispensation of Church Age the Jewish people and their religious leaders are not the source of God's Word the Church is.
These people are do-gooders, they are sincere do-gooders but in the final analysis they are still just do-gooders and no matter their good intentions they are evil.
The USA has this same problem today and if we don't change our thinking we are going to suffer the similar consequences and if the exit resurrection doesn't occur first a new client nation will be raised up to replace us.
Mark 11:15; This is the second time Jesus clears out the temple. He did it first at the beginning of His public ministry to the Jews as recorded in John 2:13-16; Now at the conclusion of His public ministry to the Jews he does it again.
He goes to the source of the religion that caused the people to reject Him and He clears it out. The temple was supposed to be a place of teaching God's Word but apostasy has removed that possibility.
If things were wrong in the temple they would be wrong in the entire city. The source of His rejection on Palm Sunday was what was going on at the temple so Jesus goes to cleanse the temple.
The issue must be addressed in the temple before it can be addressed in the city of Jerusalem. So Jesus is going to spend the last days before His death in the temple to address the issue there because it was religion that lead to the rejection of Christ and the headquarters of religion was in the temple.
We have this same problem in the USA today. The source of the problem in the client nation is the apostasy in the church under the principle of as goes the believer so goes the client nation.
This means that before there can be a recovery in our country the apostasy in the church has to be cleared out. How Jesus is going to accomplish that clearing out remains to be seen.
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