The next morning, the disciples discover that the fig tree Jesus cursed has withered.
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
Mark “sandwiches” the cleansing of the temple between the cursing and withering of the fig tree. He does this to point out the fact that the temple at the time, was no longer bearing fruit. And in the same way that this fig tree withered, the clearing of the temple from the thieves and moneychangers, was just the beginning of what God had planned.
In fact, that is why from here forward, Jesus begins talking very much about authority. And the power that comes from God’s authority.
Read Mark 11:22-Mark 12:44 and reflect on Jesus’ thoughts about authority. Who is in charge? What is the authority that matters?
See, when we begin to understand God’s authority, our life perspective changes. For his disciples, as they watched Jesus teach, they saw how much authority he had. They knew that Jesus was not just any teacher or rabbi. Jesus was the Son of God. They followed his authority. The respected the origin of his authority.
When we come to the end of Mark 12, we see this widow come and place 2 small copper coins into the temple treasury.
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
When we come to know Jesus. When we have seen him at work, when we have experienced his power in our lives, when we have seen his death and resurrection – we discover what it means to submit to his authority – what it means to submit to his Kingship.