SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
Mark 11:11-3311:11 Then Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. And after looking around at everything, he went out to Bethany with the twelve since it was already late.
12 Now the next day, as they went out from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 After noticing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it. When he came to it he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
15 Then they came to Jerusalem. Jesus entered the temple area and began to drive out those who were selling and buying in the temple courts. He turned over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 16 and he would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 Then he began to teach them and said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have turned it into a den of robbers!” 18 The chief priests and the experts in the law heard it, and they considered how they could assassinate him, for they feared him because the whole crowd was amazed by his teaching. 19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
20 In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered.” 22 Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 I tell you the truth, if someone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your sins.”
27 They came again to Jerusalem. While Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the experts in the law, and the elders came up to him 28 and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question. Answer me and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: 30 John’s baptism—was it from heaven or from people? Answer me.” 31 They discussed with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From people…’” (they feared the crowd, for they all considered John to be truly a prophet). 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”