Curses and More Curses

As we celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday, it’s hard to believe how quickly the leaders and crowd went from cheering Jesus as King to mocking him as a criminal.

Today’s Scripture passage comes from Mark 11:12-19. In this passage we see Jesus cursing a fig tree, and gets close to cursing the temple religious leaders.

At first glance it doesn’t make sense. The author clearly states that it “wasn’t the season for figs”. And the temple leaders were simply offering a service. The people had to bring a sacrifice when coming to the temple. Why not just buy one at the temple rather than traveling with one from home.

But Jesus looks more intently beyond first impressions and our veiled excuses.

A fig tree in full foliage should have had early signs of fruit even if mature fruit wasn’t ready. And the temple leaders may have marketed themselves as simply offering a service for the people. But in reality they were exploiting the people’s spiritual desire to draw closer to God for their own personal gain.

So what lessons can we learn from these two curses?

  1. Jesus is looking for us to produce spiritual fruit. He doesn’t want us to simply look the part of being Christian. He expects our beliefs about Him to actually influence the way we live, behave, and interact with others. He wants us to be disciples in action.
  2. Jesus is calling us back to true worship. In the midst of our global pandemic, we are forced to strip back what does it mean to worship God. He is looking for less pomp and circumstance, instead he’s wanting a community of people of all nations who have their eyes solely fixed on Him.