Mark 11

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‘Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.”‘ (Mark 11:22-23 NLT).

March 3, 2018

On the Monday morning of Passion Week, Jesus cursed a fig tree that was barren of fruit. The next morning as He and the disciples passed by the tree, Peter pointed out that it was “withered from the roots up.” In response, Jesus offered a lesser to greater argument (i.e. “fig tree to mountain”) that the disciples would be able to do even greater miracles if they only had faith.

As we consider this amazing promise from Jesus, let us be careful not to misunderstand the doctrine of faith. First, faith is not some neutral force with a power of its own. No, faith requires an object. And as Jesus taught, the object of biblical faith is God. Notice how Jesus began His teaching, “Have faith in God.” Jesus did not teach us to have faith in faith, but to have faith in God. We can believe something with all of our heart, yet nothing will happen unless God acts. Second, having recognized that biblical faith’s object is God, we must recognize that our requests must be according to God’s will. Consider these two Scriptures:

“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:3).

So, our faith must be in God whose power and will are paramount. Yet, having understood this, we must not forget the point of Christ’s teaching: Our faith in God can move mountains! Don’t focus on the mountain. Focus on the God who can move the mountain! For it’s not the size of your faith, but the size of your God that counts. As Jesus taught, just a little faith in a great God can move mountains!

“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt. 17:20).

It is not great faith in God, but faith in a great God that moves mountains!

“And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve” (Mark 11:11 NKJV).

March 3, 2017

And so ended the day of Passion Week, Palm Sunday, 33 AD. After a very eventful day, Jesus and the Twelve spent the evening in Bethany, no doubt at the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary. The Bible offers more detail about this week, than any other week since the week of creation recorded in Genesis.

Creation Week Passion Week
Day 1/Sunday Light Triumphal entry
Day 2/Monday Sky and seas Cleansing the Temple
Day 3/Tuesday Land and plants Teaching in the Temple
Day 4/Wednesday Sun, Moon and stars Anointed in Bethany
Day 5/Thursday Birds and fish Last Supper & Garden
Day 6/Friday Animals and Man Crucifixion and Death
Day 7/Saturday Rested In the tomb

Day 8/Sunday Man’s Fall Christ’s Resurrection!

The Bible zooms in on these two weeks for a day by day account. In the first week, all is created, yet man falls into sin. In the second week, all is redeemed by Christ’s death and resurrection!

“And whenever you stand praying…” (Mark 11:25 NKJV)

March 3, 2015

In Christ’s teaching on prayer, He assumed that the disciples would pray standing. I’ve never done a study on the body positions of those praying in the Bible, but it might be an interesting research. Many pray while seated or while lying in the bed. I’m sure these postures are fine. Yet I have found that standing to pray affects not only my physical posture, but my spiritual and mental posture as well. Standing tends to focus my attention and awaken my awareness of God’s holy presence. It keeps my mind from wandering and my body from feeling sleepy. Have you tried standing to pray?

“The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves” (Mark 11:17 NLT)

March 3, 2014

On the Monday before Christ’s crucifixion He entered the Temple and cleared it of its sellers and money changers. They had apparently made the outer court, known as the Court of the Gentiles, into a marketplace. Jesus was furious. The outer court was meant to offer a place of prayer and refuge of hope to the nations, but the Jewish leaders had turned it into a retail business. This is a fair warning to the Church. Jesus has commissioned us to be a light and to proclaim the gospel to the nations. When we turn inward and use the Church for our own members’ gain, we neglect Christ’s Great Commission.