Episode #39. Today we’ll read Mark chapter 11 together. I am your host Joy Miller. Please join me each day as we read the Bible together.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode Number 39. Today we’ll read the 11th chapter of Mark together: We have arrived again in Jerusalem; a fig tree is cursed for failing to deliver; and the religious leaders challenge Jesus’ authority.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Hey, I wanted to let you know that we’ve been working on the website. It’s still a work in progress but I would really like to know what you think, if you have a moment. You’ll find it at liftinghervoice.com. Thanks to everyone at Bet Hannon websites for creating it. They are so patient with me…and so intuitive! If your church or your business needs a website, I highly recommend them. I’ll put a link in the show notes. Okay, here goes with Mark’s account of the Triumphal Entry.
Mark Chapter 11: 1 When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples 2 and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’ ” 4 So they went and found a young donkey outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, 5 and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the donkey?” 6 They answered them just as Jesus had said, so they let them go. 7 Then they brought the donkey to Jesus and threw their robes on it, and He sat on it. 8 Many people spread their robes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed kept 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 heaven! 11 And He went into Jerusalem and into the temple complex. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, He went out to Bethany with the Twelve. 12 The next day when they came out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 After seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, He went to find out if there was anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples heard it. 15 They came to Jerusalem, and He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves, 16 and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple complex. 17 Then He began to teach them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations ? But you have made it a den of thieves !” 18 Then the chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to destroy Him. For they were afraid of Him, because the whole crowd was astonished by His teaching. 19 And whenever evening came, they would go out of the city. 20 Early in the morning, as they were passing by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Then Peter remembered and said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that You cursed is withered.” 22 Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. 23 I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore, I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for-believe that you have received them, and you will have them. 25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing. [ 26 But if you don’t forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your wrongdoing.”]27 They came again to Jerusalem. As He was walking in the temple complex, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came and asked Him, 28 “By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority to do these things?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30 Was John’s baptism from heaven or from men? Answer Me.” 31 They began to argue among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From men’ “-they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was a genuine prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
The people in the scriptures are people just like you and me. They had the same concerns about how their kids would turn out and whether they had enough money to pay the bills. They gossiped and had regrets and gratitude and there were times when they were tired and cranky. And let’s not forget impulsive. Can you just see the guys who questioned the disciples about the colt? I’ll bet those two disciples barely walked 10 feet before those guys were knocking on doors saying, the Lord is coming! The Lord is coming! No wonder there was a crowd waiting when Jesus rode into town. In this chapter I also trip on that fig tree, too. According to a MacArthur study note, this fig tree was leafed out about a month ahead of fig season. With all those leaves its appearance promised figs, but it didn’t have any fruit. We have to learn from this fig tree. You and I have to be careful that our words and actions don’t promise fruitfulness but then fail to deliver. I certainly don’t want to be accused of the same kind of spiritual hypocrisy as the scribes and Pharisees, do you? Let’s pray. Jesus, it chills my bones to imagine you calling me a hypocrite. I know there have been times when I deserve that. Please forgive me Lord, and extend your grace to anyone else who has the same regret. Lord, draw us so close to you, fill us so full of your spirit that what comes out of us is a reflection of all that you are. It is in your precious and perfect name that we pray. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
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