40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 35 – Passion Week


 12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.  13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.  14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.  15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.  17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”  (Mark 11:12 – 17))


Today we enter the final week of our journey, Passion Week or Holy Week.  We now focus more exclusively on the activities of Jesus leading up to His crucifixion.  As Christians, our identity should be found in Christ so observing our perfect model should be a deep desire for all of us.

We begin with activities on the day after Palm Sunday.  Mark 11:12 tells us that “The next day” (i.e., the day after the Triumphant Entry), Jesus expressed dissatisfaction with a tree and some merchants.  Interestingly both the tree and the merchants in the temple were not fulfilling the purpose Jesus expected.  The tree bore no fig and the merchants violated God’s house of prayer.

Please prayerfully reflect on the Bible passages above.


Something to think about:

Jesus displayed a very strong reaction to the merchants who distorted God’s purpose.  How do you ensure that you are living God’s purpose?

10 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 35 – Passion Week

  1. Beginning each day with God’s Word, meditating on it so it “sinks in”, thinking of it and applying it throughout the day, is one way to ensure you are living God’s purpose.

  2. Although I still feel I am not aware of my ultimate purpose I believe daily I can fulfill parts of it. There are actions I can take daily to live out the purpose of a Christ follower. We are instructed to live others, take care of orphans and widows, have compassion on those who are without compassion. All these and more is purpose work I can participate in.

  3. The most logical way to determine if i am living out my true purpose, is to do a detailed introspection of the gifts i am blessed with. For example, i was called to teaching. I had the opportunity to teach students, also to teach teachers how to teach.

    For me this is my sphere of influence. If i ignore this calling, or even minimize its importance, i will not be fulfilling my purpose in this life.

  4. Looking at the merchants we can easily see that they were acting out of selfish ambition, whereas we are commanded to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,…” Phil.2:3. We must instead be fixing our eyes and purposes on Christ, which happens by abiding in Him. ‘The disciplines’ help here of course (prayer, Bible study…) as we adopt a posture of listening. Henry Blackaby says it this way, that we should seek to find out what God is doing in out midst, and get involved.

  5. I ensure I am living God’s purpose through obedience – to do this I must understand what He has instructed in His word. Therefore I strive to diligently apply His teachings to my life to the extent of my understanding. As for the works I have to do – God has prepared the work for us before hand ( see Ephesians 2:10) – so it shouldn’t be so hard to understand what these works are because they are (apparently) laid out in front of us. For instance my main purpose as a parent is to instill the fear of the Lord into my son. If I achieve that alone, according to the Bible I would have done my duty (see Proverbs 22:6).

    Therefore for me its obedience, obedience, obedience and the rest will come. Jesus says if you love me obey my commandments (john 14:15, 23). That’s His expectation and there is great reward in so doing, here on earth and life everlasting (see Hebrews 11:6). “This is the path, walk in it”

  6. Well I still can’t understand why Jesus would tell the tree what he said since it was not the season to bear fruits.
    I understand the church incident though. Maybe someone can comment on this.
    I do what good I can do and I know I can and will fulfill his purpose sooner than later.😀

    • The issue you raised regarding the fact that it was not yet fig season has been the topic of much debate for time immemorial. One explanation I have seen that makes sense highlights the following phrase: “Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf”. It appears that there was something about the appearance of the tree that would have indicated there would be fruit even if the season had not started yet.

    • Thanks for your comment.i think because Jesus came as a man he reacted almost like a human “a hungry man is an angry man” .
      Hope you see the humor 😀

  7. Thanks for that Blackaby quote Lester, it really resonates with me.

  8. One has to be sure of what one’s purpose is before one can be sure about living it out so I ask God to show me clearly what is His will versus mine. He has blessed me with many talents and abilities, of which I’ve often felt they are under-used or unused yet I am not the fruitless fig tree. Maybe my expectations are too high, however, His will prevails as I yield to Him so there’s no need for the tension between my will and His as it’s “not my will but yours be done, o Lord.”

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