Mark 11 is comprised of three significantly symbolic events being played out by Jesus. First we see the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives on a colt. Harking back to prophecies found in Zechariah 9:9 and Zechariah 14:1-5, This is Jesus’ overt claim that he is the Messiahnic King Israel has been waiting for. He then clears out the Temple (“you have made it a den of robbers.”) and curses the fig tree for not producing fruit.
These symbolic actions mean the following in relation to God’s story:
- Israel has failed in it’s ability to be faithful and be a light to the world. It has not produced the fruit the gardener intended to (Fig trees are symbolic of Israel as a nation in Hebrew tradition)
- The Temple, having been God’s intended means of reconciling people to Himself is no longer functioning as it is supposed to because of human greed.
- Through Jesus, God is stepping in and will BE the king that Israel was always meant to have. A king who will be a means of redemption to the world.
it is not insignificant then that the chapter finishes with an exchange between Jesus and the pharisees, and the exchange has a simple question at it’s core.
Do you recognise and affirm the authority of Jesus?
Once again, Mark passionately invites us to not miss how significant Jesus is in the grand sweep of human history, and my prayer today is that I would connect once more with this incredible story, and commit myself to following the one true King all over again.