Mark 11:11-15

Mark 11:11 (KJB)
And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

Once Jesus had entered Jerusalem, the first place that He went to was the Temple. He had looked round about Him. This was not just a casual glance at the activities but the words “looked round about” in the Greek denote a “discerning observation.” Jesus did not go there just to look around but to see the spiritual atmosphere which was going to explode tomorrow. For now, it had been a long day and they retired back to Bethany. (John 12:1 KJV) Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. It was there that night that Mary had anointed Jesus for His burial. (John 12:3 KJV) Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

Mark 11:12 (KJB)
And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

The next day which was Monday, they had come from Bethany and were heading back toward Jerusalem. (Mat 21:18 KJV) Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. According to Matthew, the time of day was very early in the morning. Jesus being hungry had showed His true humanity.

Mark 11:13 (KJB)
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.

As Jesus was walking toward Jerusalem with His disciples, they spotted a fig tree and was hoping to find fruit on it but all they found was leaves as it was a barren fruit tree. Fig trees normally bear fruit about 40 days after the leaves appear. They would normally appear at the end of May and this was the middle of April. Early figs was a good indicator that there was going to be a good crop. However, Jesus found no figs on this tree and cursed the fig tree that it should not grow fruit for ever.

Mark 11:14 (KJB)
And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

Jesus did not curse the tree because there was no fruit on it but it was a symbolic cursing because it was a representation of the fruitlessness of Israel.

(Hosea 9:16 KJV) Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.

(Micah 7:1 KJV) Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.

(Mat 3:10 KJV) And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

(Mat 21:41 KJV) They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

The cursing of the fruit tree was a parabolic action. Jesus used the fig tree as a reaction to what He saw in the temple and how He was rejected by Israel because all He saw was the dead, formal, unspiritual, and lifeless religion. The withering of the fig tree was a prophecy of the coming razing of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. No longer would the Mosaic law be in power, the temple was no longer needed since the anti-type of the temple was now here, salvation would be by grace and not law. Now those who claim to be followers of Jesus would prove their lives by living a fruitful existence, that is, bearing spiritual fruit by leading others to the Lord, ministering to them, taking up the cross and following Jesus without any hesitation. Lack of fruit shows that you have a lack of life.

There is also another application to the withered fig tree. It can also be applied to those in the church who are religious but not saved. Their life will have no fruit because a dead tree can not bring forth any fruit. The body of Christ is called the Israel of God. (Rom 2:28-29 KJV) For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: {29} But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:28 states that one is not a Jew who is one outwardly, who only manifests their religion in a fleshly and not spiritual manner. Romans 2:29 states that that one is a true Jew who is one inwardly that has the circumcision of the heart by the spirit and not in the law, that is, by grace alone. (Phil 3:3 KJV) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. In Philippians, Paul settles the question as to who the true circumcision is and that is the body of believers who are in Christ.

Now back to the fig tree. Ancient Israel had a false religion at the time of Christ which was Judaism. That caused them to miss who Jesus was and because of that, they were typed by the withered fig tree. Then on Pentecost, the Jewish disciples and other believers received the Holy Spirit making them the true Israel of God. So at that point in time there was the true and false Israel dwelling together. The withered fig tree represented the false Israel and their religion. It is the same in the churches today. You have the saved and the unsaved dwelling together, just like false and true Israel dwelling together. Those who are spiritually dead but religious will rely on the rituals and ceremonies of their church for salvation, just like the religious leaders in Israel relied on their rituals and ceremonies for salvation, by focusing on these you will miss salvation through Christ altogether.

Mark 11:15 (KJB)
And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

At this time the large crowds had dispersed and Jesus went into the temple of God. He became indignant at the thievery and merchandising that was being done in the temple that He made a whip with cords and began to expel the moneychangers and the sellers of the sacrifices. One of the tricks that the leaders used was when someone brought their own sacrifice to the temple, they would inspect it and then reject it. They would then instruct the people that they would have to purchase one of the sacrifices being sold in the temple. This angered Jesus and He turned over the tables of the sellers and moneychangers and if anything would have raised the ire of the Pharisees, it would have been the loss of income from their schemes.