Mark 11:20–25 (ESV)
The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree
20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, 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. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And
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.”
teaches that saving faith rescues us from God’s judgment and that, through faith, we have the power to do the work God gives us. Without faith in Jesus, it is impossible to please God or pray to Him. We know God hears our prayers even if we do not receive
an answer immediately. Confident prayer, based on faith in Christ crucified and risen, trusts God to answer in His own time and way (cf Rm 8:32).
I pray: “Forgive
our sins, Lord, we implore, That they may trouble us no more; We, too, will gladly those forgive Who hurt us by the way they live. Help us in our community To serve each other willingly.” Amen. (LSB 766:6)
Mark 11:15–19 (ESV)
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.
16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer
for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at
his teaching. 19 And when evening came they went out of the city.
As prophesied in Mal 3:1–5, Jesus purifies the temple
of those who use religion to line their pockets. He does so in the temple court, where genuine worship has been disrupted. Today, Jesus challenges us to eliminate all such barriers to God’s Word in our lives and in our congregations. He is the proper
focus of our prayers, the reason for our service; He hallows us as the temple of His Holy Spirit.
I pray: “Your name be hallowed. Help us, Lord,
In purity to keep Your Word, That to the glory of Your name We walk before You free from blame. Let no false teaching us pervert; All poor deluded souls convert.” Amen. (LSB 766:2)
Mark 11:12–14 (ESV)
Jesus Curses the Fig Tree
12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 And 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. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
The curse and destruction of the fig tree warns Jesus’ disciples of impending judgment against the temple and the unfruitful people. Works without faith are truly fruitless. True faith, and the life that flows from it,
cannot be separated. They are the good and gracious gifts of our heavenly Father.
I pray: “In your hearts enthrone Him; There let Him subdue All
that is not holy, All that is not true: Crown Him as your captain In temptation’s hour; Let His will enfold you In its light and pow’r.” Amen. (LSB 512:5)
Mark 11:1–11 (ESV)
The Triumphal Entry
11 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If
anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’ ” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street,
and they untied it. 5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 And
they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And
those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Jesus enters Jerusalem triumphantly as King, openly accepting messianic titles
and fulfilling several OT prophecies. The disciples and the crowds expect Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom. They celebrate His arrival at Jerusalem without a clear view of His express purpose: to die for the sins of the world. Jesus enters Jerusalem in
humility to fulfill the plan of salvation by laying down His life for sinners.
I pray: “All glory, laud, and honor To You, Redeemer, King, To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring. The multitude of pilgrims With
palms before You went; Our praise and prayer and anthems Before You we present.” Amen. (LSB 442:3)
Mark 10:46–52 (ESV)
Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with
his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have
mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call
him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said
to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately
he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
Though Jesus is intent on going to the cross, He pauses to have mercy on Bartimaeus, who can do nothing to solve his problem except cry out to the Lord, “Have mercy!” Like
Bartimaeus, learn to call on the Lord and trust in His power to deliver you. Jesus will hear and respond compassionately.
I pray: “Lord, Your mercy will not leave me; Ever will Your truth abide. Then in You I will confide.”
Amen. (LSB 559:4)