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Firewood, Fig Newtons and Faith


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Mark 11:12-25 – This is another well-known AND very confusing text of Scripture – one of the most difficult in the Gospels. Critics have wrestled with what appears to be a vindictive curse on a tree for not producing figs, even though it was the wrong time of year. Bertrand Russell accused Jesus of “vindictive fury”; even those more friendly to Christianity have said that Jesus looks like he’s having a grumpy temper-tantrum.

Thankfully, Mark structures the story in such a way to help us understand the point.

This text is another MARKAN SANDWICH. A Markan Sandwich is a literary technique which sandwiches one story in the middle of another story. The sandwich technique signifies that Mark intends his readers to see the fate of the temple intertwined with the fate of the fig tree. Victor of Antioch, all the way back in the 5th century, had it right. This event is be understand as an “enacted parable” – the fate of the unfruitful fig tree is a picture of the fate of a unfruitful temple.

Click here to download the sermon outline (PDF).

Date Posted Title Listen Download
Nov 9, 2014 Firewood, Fig Newtons and Faith Listen Download