And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. — Mark 11:25
“A tree crashed down on me before I could get out of the way,” a veteran ex-logger testified. “You know, the bark of a tree is pretty rough, and it skinned me down one side. I had several broken ribs, my back was broken in three places, my spleen was ruptured, and I don’t know what all else was wrong. They took me into the hospital, and the doctor said I wouldn’t live.
“I was so weak I couldn’t even roll over in bed. The second night when the nurse turned me over, she rolled me onto my sore side. The pain was excruciating! As I lay there, I prayed and asked the Lord if He could relieve me of that pain.
“The Lord said, ‘If somebody had beat you with a club, and left you lying in this kind of shape for no reason at all, could you forgive him?’ I laid there and prayed about that for a while. I was dealing with God, and there was no point in saying a bunch of empty words. When I said I could forgive that one, I had to mean it from the bottom of my heart. After a while I told the Lord, ‘With Your help, and by Your grace, I can forgive someone like that.’ And you know, it couldn’t have been more than a minute and I was asleep. I slept all night long. That pain was gone; it didn’t keep me awake.
“I woke up in the morning, and I just felt so thankful that the God I serve can give the victory in any circumstance. It doesn’t make any difference what it is or what has happened. His grace is sufficient!” The Lord healed this logger, and he was healed perfectly. His prayer and consecration had gone through to Heaven!
If we want to get a prayer through, we also must forgive. As George Herbert (religious poet, 1593-1633) said, “He who cannot forgive others destroys the bridge over which he himself must pass.” Thus, in addition to pardoning those who ask for forgiveness, we must also do the same for those who do not ask to be forgiven.
After we have forgiven a few small matters, the larger problems are easier to forgive with the Lord’s help. However, in order to grant heartfelt forgiveness, there may be times when we must approach a serious injustice with earnest consecration and prayer. Remember, when dealing with God there is no point in being less than totally honest; He knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. When we can say from the bottom of our hearts, “I forgive,” we are free from the problem, and all is clear between God and us.
Is there someone you need to forgive today?
This chapter, along with the following two, gives an account of Jesus’ Jerusalem ministry. The towns of Bethphage and Bethany were near Jerusalem, on the opposite side of the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem.
The occasion detailed in this chapter was the only time the Lord permitted a public display in His honor, and it was to fulfill the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 and to turn the people’s hearts back to the Word of God. The word hosanna means “Oh, save!” and is an exclamation of adoration. This event took place on the Sunday of the week Jesus was crucified, just before Passover began.
An Old Testament law decreed that animals used for certain religious customs must not have been previously ridden, burdened, or harnessed for labor. A colt that had never been ridden could be unruly, but apparently this particular one was docile while Jesus was riding.
Fruit appears on fig trees before the leaves, and then continues to grow and ripen after the leaves have budded. Ripe figs are ready in the spring and autumn. This was the spring season, but this tree was barren. Jesus used the fig tree as a picture of Israel — taking up space but not producing fruit.
Beginning with verse 15, we read of Jesus going to the Temple. The leaders were using religion and the Temple as a place to make money — preying on others — with business especially flourishing at Passover. Moneychangers positioned themselves at the Temple and exchanged foreign coins for Hebrew money so worshipers could pay the required half-shekel tax to support the Temple. These unscrupulous men extorted money from foreigners by over-charging on both the exchange rate and purchase price of an animal for sacrifice. Jesus must have observed this when He was in the Temple the day of the Triumphal Entry, but He did not act on it until the next day.
The Court of the Gentiles was the only part of the Temple that was open to non-Jewish people. There, wealthy and unpopular Saduccees sold sacrificial animals. The noise, confusion, and odors would have made it a very unpleasant place to worship God.
“Stand praying” references the fact that Hebrew men usually stood to pray, and called their prayers their “standings.”
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
VI. The presentation and rejection of the Son of God
A. The presentation of the Son of God (11:1-11)
1. Entrance into Jerusalem (11:1-10)
a. The disciples’ instructions (11:1-3)
b. The disciples’ actions (11:4-7)
c. The procession (11:8-10)
2. Entrance into the Temple (11:11)
B. The symbolic rejection of Israel by the Son of God (11:12-14)
1. Fruitless (11:12-13)
2. Cursed (11:14)
C. The cleansing of the Temple by the Son of God (11:15-18)
1. Christ’s cleansing (11:15-16)
2. Christ’s instructions (11:17)
3. The enveloping hatred (11:18)
D. The teaching of the disciples by the Son of God (11:19-26)
1. Israel symbolically cursed (11:19-21)
2. Faith encouraged (11:22-24)
3. Forgiveness asked (11:25-26)
We need God’s forgiveness in order to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. However, to receive His forgiveness, we must first honestly forgive others.