He’s Cleaning House: Number 34 - 36 and Mark 11
He’s Cleaning House
Number 34 - 36 and Mark 11
Jesus speaks to the tree, and Jesus speaks to his disciples. Strange thing to speak to the tree. If you caught me speaking to a tree, you might think that strange and you would be right. It is. And Mark tells us, “the disciples heard him say it”
And Mark circles back to this moment the next day, and what happened there was still lingering in the air. After seeing it, the tree withered there the next day, they have to bring it to Jesus attention. And now this, Mark says vs. 22 “Then Jesus said to the disciples,...
Jesus speaks to the tree, and he speaks to the disciples, and I think there is a connection here in this story of the two things jesus is saying to both. The trree...well he is not happy with the tree, he curses it. It seems unreasonable for him to be so displeased with the tree, Mark tells us it was not the season for figs, but still the tree is being called out. Why? I don’t fully know, its a mystery. But maybe it has something to do with the fact that there was no fruit. It wasn’t being what it was meant to do and be. The creator of that tree has come walking by looking for fruit, you would think that the creator would have the prerogative to have some fruit from a tree taht he has made, where and when he wanted it. but the tree is not cooperating with the creator when he comes. Maybe if the tree had cooperated and produced fruit, and been and done what it was meant to be and do. Then there would have been no problem. But that isn’t what happened, so it came to be what it was (cursed and withered) because it failed to respond and participate with the creator who made it, and was asking for fruit, even out of season, which if you are the creator, that isn’t a big obstacle. Thats what happens when Jesus speaks to the tree.
Then the next day, Mark tells us that Jesus speaks to his disciples, no trees today. And to his disciples he says this... “Have faith in God.” The creator is walking with his disciples, and says if you will. Do and be who I created you to be. Participate / cooperate with me, it’s my prerogative, I made you, you can if I ask you too. Does it seem unreasonable or impossible for a tree to produce fruit out of season? Not if the creator has asked you too. Does it seem impossible for you to tell this mountain to be thrown into the sea, not if the creator askes you too.
The life of the disciple is a life of participation with God. Jesus isn’t trying to teach us to have magic trick type faith. Faith isn’t about doing strange parlor tricks. Faith is a response to the creator who is asking us to participate in his life. To be and do, what we were created to be and do. And then he says this, “When you pray, when you are participating in my life, you must forgive... Because, remember. This is what the creator has created you to be and do. You are his disciple, his child, and he has forgiven you, and now...he is asking us to forgive...becasue the creator has forgiven you...so be and do what I’ve asked you to do. You are a forgiven loved disciple of God, now be and do those things, participate with the life of God and do what he says. When we do that, life might become strange to onlookers, but it will become so much bigger and full of life.
He’s entering the temple and He’s cleaning his house. He calls it My house.
He said, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'" (Mk 11:17 NIV)
My house shall be a house of prayer but you have turned it into something completely different. My house shall be a place where the nations come and find healing but you’ve turned it into a place of commerce. You’ve polluted my house. But he’s going to overturn it and make it new.
He’s just beginning that cleaning, renewing, overturning process here in Mark 11. But it will continue on. He will restore his house to be a place for all the nations. That’s what we see all through the book of Acts and that’s why most of us are here in the Word today. He’s building and restoring his house and he tells the religious leaders that he has the authority to do it. He’s inviting people like us to come. He will clean his house. There will be no stopping him.
And the same is true for us individually. He comes into our lives and he overturns, overthrows, cleanses, and makes us new. He restores us back to our intended purpose. And he has the authority to do that too. We are not our own. We belong to Him. He purchased us and therefore he has the right to overturn and overthrow and to cleanse and to make new. And he will lovingly do that too. And I’m so glad that he can and does.
See him as the One who has the authority to make your life new - and let Him.