Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’” Mark 11:9 (NKJV)
The time had finally come. Jesus, who always operated on a very deliberate timetable, understood the day had arrived to reveal Himself as Israel’s King and Messiah. In perfect fulfillment of prophecy, He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). The crowd recognized the significance and started to shout, “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’”
It sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Israel appeared to be putting its collective faith in Jesus. But appearances can be deceiving. When we read on, we learn that although the people of Israel professed to have faith in Jesus, they didn’t really possess true faith in Him. There was a lot of zeal and enthusiasm, but that doesn’t define true faith. Jesus knew this and did something to depict Israel’s superficiality the next day:
Seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs…Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” Mark 11:12-14 (NKJV)
Follow the parallel. Jesus came to a tree that looked fruitful from afar but was actually fruitless. That’s exactly what happened when He came to Israel, which was often symbolized by a fig tree. Israel appeared to have the fruit of faith from afar, but in reality it was fruitless. They were professing faith without possessing it, and the Lord identified this.
How does this apply to us? It reminds us that professing doesn’t equal possessing. It’s possible for people to pay Jesus a lot of lip service without ever really knowing or trusting in Him. And while professing our faith is a good thing, it should always flow from the possession of an intimate relationship with the Lord. Make sure you’re a possessor first and a professor second.
Think About It…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?