Scripture reading for October 17th: Mark 11-13
In 1995 my son Marshal and I went on a study trip to Israel. While in Israel, we visited Bethany and walked up the road that went over the Mt. of Olives to Jerusalem. It was a walk of 2-3 miles that made this portion of scripture come alive in a different way!
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived in Bethany and Jesus often stayed with them. Jesus had come to Jerusalem to prepare for Passover week on Sunday, the first day of the week that we know as “Palm Sunday”. After riding into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, He returned to Bethany for the night. The next morning He walked back over the Mt. of Olives and was hungry. Seeing a fig tree, He went to find early fruit. He found none and stated that no one would ever eat fruit from that tree again. He went on to the temple and did a cleansing job there that caused quite a stir. The next morning they went by the fig tree and it had withered from the roots! (Mark 11:20-21)
Mark 11:22-25 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, that whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Here is what we learned by walking where Jesus walked: There was still a fig grove on the Mt. of Olives in 1995. From that location one could see Bethlehem and a place called the “Herodium” where King Herod had moved a mountain to build his fortress! He took one hill and put it on top of another using thousands of slave laborers over ten years. In the distance the Dead Sea glistens in the valley below. When Jesus spoke that parable, He had an object lesson for his disciples! With faith in God, moving mountains is easy! Take time to meditate on these verses from Mark’s Gospel and put them into practice! Let your faith move the mountains in your life!