The next morning as they left Bethany, he felt hungry. A little way off he noticed a fig tree in full leaf, so he went over to see if he could find any figs on it. But no, there were only leaves, for it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, “You shall never bear fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it. When they arrived back in Jerusalem, he went to the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers, and knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling doves, and stopped everyone from bringing in loads of merchandise. He told them, “It is written in the Scriptures, ‘My Temple is to be a place of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of robbers.” Mark 11:12-17
The day after Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey colt to the cries of “Hosanna Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord“, was another busy day for Him and His disciples. On the way from Bethany back to Jerusalem we’re told Jesus was hungry. In the distance, even though it wasn’t the time for figs, He saw a Fig tree full of leaves.
From this point on the things unspoken were louder than the spoken ones. When Jesus saw the fig leaves, although He knew there weren’t any figs on it, He used it as a great object lesson for what happened the day before. Just like the fig tree looked like it was producing fruit, but it only looked like it. Just like the people who were waving the plams and singing Hosanna, they only looked like they were praising Jesus as long as they thought He was going to save them from the oppression of the Roman government. By Friday when they realized He had an entirely different purpose they were more than willing to now cry out “crucify Him”.
Once they reached Jerusalem, Jesus noticed the deceiption and thievery that was going on in the Temple Courts. It wasn’t the buying and selling that caught Jesus’ attention, because they were supposed be selling animals for sacrifice, it was that they were cheating the people by over charging them, especially the poor. They also were taking the opportunity to sell other things to make money. This follows along the lines of the fig tree being cursed. The bottom line is that Jesus hates deception, greed, cheating and lying especially when it involves those who can least afford it. He also reminded them the Temple was a house of prayer, everything was supposed to Godbe focused on God.
Every time I read this account, it makes me consider and ask myself am I being honest in my worship and praise of God. Do I truly focus on Jesus and all He accomplished for me by living a life ot example to follow and all that His followers inherited because He died and rose again? Sometimes I have to admit I need to repent and change my focus to the One True God. The focus of our worship and praise is more important than the praise and worship in and of iteself. I encourage you to consider the focus of your praise and worship, when you are honest with yourself your time with the Lord will be more intimate and fulfilling.