11:1When they neared Jerusalem and arrived at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent out two of his disciples11:2with these instructions: “Go into the village before you, and as soon as you enter it you will find a colt hitched, one that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it.11:3And if anyone asks you why you’re doing this, tell them that the Master needs it and will return it shortly.”
11:4So they left and found the colt hitched near the gates by the outer street. They untied it,11:5and some of the people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”11:6So they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them take it.11:7They took it to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, then sat Jesus on it.11:8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others used chopped brush from the fields.11:9Then those in front and behind went along shouting, “Celebrate! Blessed is the one bearing the name of the Master!11:10And blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Celebrate in the presence of God!”
11:11Then Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple compound. He looked around, but because it was getting late he went into Bethany with the Twelve.11:12The next day when they left Bethany, he was hungry.11:13In the distance he saw a fig tree with leaves on it, so he went to see if it had fruit. But when he got there he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.11:14So he said, “No one will ever pick fruit from you again!”; the disciples heard him say it.1
11:15Now Jesus went into Jerusalem to the temple compound, and he started throwing out the merchants and their customers there, as well as overturning the tables of the brokers and the benches of those selling doves.11:16He prevented anyone from carrying merchandise through the temple,11:17and he gave them all a lecture: “Is it not written that ‘my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have turned it into a hideout for robbers!”11:18The ruling priests and scripture scholars heard about this, so they started looking for a way to kill him. But they feared the masses, who were captivated by his teaching.
11:19When evening came, they went outside of the city.11:20In the morning when they came back, they saw that the fig tree was shriveled down to its roots.11:21Then Peter remembered and said, “Rabbi, look! The tree you cursed has dried up.”11:22And Jesus replied to them all, “If you have Godly faith,11:23I tell you truly that if you were to tell this mountain to lift up and throw itself into the sea, without second-guessing but being confident that what you’re saying will happen, it will happen.
11:24“What I’m saying here is that whatever you’re praying about or requesting, believe that you have it, and it will be yours.11:25But whenever you’re praying, if you have anything against someone you must forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive your blunders.”11:26
11:27They went again into Jerusalem, and when Jesus walked into the temple compound the ruling priests, scripture scholars, and elders11:28said, “By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you the jurisdiction to do them?”
11:29“Let me ask you a question,” Jesus replied, “and if you answer my question I’ll answer yours.11:30The immersion of John: was it from heaven or from people? Answer me!”
11:31They talked it over among themselves and said, “If we say ‘from heaven’ he will ask us why we didn’t believe him.11:32But if we say ‘from people’…“ (They feared the crowd, because all the people believed John to be a genuine prophet.)11:33So they said to Jesus, “We don’t know.”
“Then I’m not telling you by whose authority I do these things,” Jesus answered.
- 1Fig trees should bear fruit before the leaves, so if the tree has leaves but no fruit it is barren. According to F. F. Bruce, “When the fig leaves appear about the end of March, they are accompanied by a crop of small knobs that precede the real figs. These are eaten by peasants and others when hungry. They drop off before the real fig is formed. But if the leaves appear alone, there will be no figs that year.” (Intervarsity Press, 5th revised edition 1992, pp. 73-74.) But why did Jesus curse it? Most likely as an object lesson or prophetic sign for what was about to happen to Israel in the coming decades.