Mark 11: 12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: 13And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. 14And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves, 16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
Mk 11:20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” 22“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
1. Mark 11: 12-13 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
A. Jesus was hungry – how hungry are we.
Matt 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.
· Hunger = famished, crave
B. Jesus had every right to expect to be fed
· Bethphage = place of the figs
· Fig tree a far off = stood out
· Found nothing but leaves = figs bear fruit first (forwardness of foliage implied forwardness of fruit)
· Time of figs not yet = time between the fruit appearing and the harvest
I Reasons for lack of fruitfulness.
A. Christian life is too hard. Matt 13:20 & 21 “The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
B. My life is too full already. Luke 14:16-18 “Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’19“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
C. I might have to give up some friendships. “Luke 14:19 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
D. Material things are important. “Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”14Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”16And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’18“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’21“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
E. I’m a nobody. Ex 3:11 “But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
II. Recognize our Lack of Fruitfulness:
Mk 11:14(a) And Jesus answered and said unto it…
Recognize the lack of fruitfulness, and deal with the causes.
· Jesus answered: “conclude for oneself, respond”
Jesus responded: Speak to the circumstances that are holding you back must talk back Promises, provision & power of God released.
A. Mk 11:14(b) No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever.
Jesus not - in a temper - Jesus did not curse the fig tree for being barren but for being false We are supposed to bear fruit, if not deal with it Jesus saw it for what it was & took command We must do the same - be a person who takes command We reign = final say
B. Mk 11:14 And his disciples heard it.
III Words have power.
§ They take us out on a limb Heb 11 Abraham, Noah
§ Must be born from assurance that they are from God
§ If you can’t say it then you haven’t got it
o Rendered powerless: Rev 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
C. SITUATION BEGAN TO CHANGE:
Ø Warfare in the Spirit
Ø Words creative- for good or bad
Ø God spoke – we speak.
Ø Ps 116:10 I believed, therefore have I spoken:
Ø Must know we are in God’s will & speak
Ø Pray in the Spirit - Rom 8:26
Ø Abide – Jn 5:7
Mark 11:15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there……
3. Don’t let your prayers hinder your development Pray till you get the answer or the assurance of the answer Time for praying and a time for trusting God is the master of dealing with many situations.
Mk 11:20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.
4. God works behind the scenes don’t check continually on God’s progress – lack of faith God’s word will not return to Him void. Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Mk 11:21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
IV Our confession a witness:
Acts 16:25 Paul & Silas confessing faith in God; prisoners were listening = testimony
A. Mk 11:22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.
God is the answer We don’t need more faith - we need more of God.
B. Mk 11:23 “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”
B. No doubt in heart Rom 10:8 But what does it say?
“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Mk 11: 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
C. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT:
§ What you desire = situations changed according to
§ Know God’s will When you pray
§ Vocalize it, speak, confess
§ Believe you receive = proceed in faith
§ And you shall have them = prayer that gets results
Lk 13:6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
God means for us to bear fruit.
We need to address the reason we are not doing so and deal with them.
God has a destiny for us to fulfill.