In order to understand this passage, a person needs to read the whole chapter of Mark 11 and 12:1-12 and the parallel passages in Matthew chapters 21-22.
In another context, Jesus asks “Do you believe I am able to do this? Matthew 9:28
Daniel 3:17-18 speaks of “God is able”, but not a guarantee that He will do what we ask Him to do. Daniel’s friends say, “our God is able to deliver us” ( ie, application to life today – “God is able to heal and answer my prayers”) and “O king, even if God does not save us, we will not bow down to your idol”. (If God does not heal me or give what I ask for, I will not become bitter or angry at God or forsake Him, I will continue to trust Him that He knows best in His perfect wisdom, love, and sovereignty.”)
What is your take on Mark 11:22-23 ?
I usually emphasize the surrounding context of Jesus cursing the fig tree and cleansing the temple (Mark 11:11-26 and 12:1-12 (with parallel in Matthew 21 – 22) = you should pray against your lack of fruit in your life.
Very important to see “the temple of the mountain of the Lord” in these OT texts:
And “the mountain of the temple of the Lord” has background in Isaiah 56:3-8 (Jesus quotes Isaiah 56:7 in Mark 11:17 – “My house shall be a house of prayer for all the nations”)
“mountain of the temple” – background in
in Micah 4:1-3; 6:1-2; 3:12
But after all that study of background and context, and taking into account God’s sovereignty (1 John 5:14 – “according to His will”), what do you think Jesus was trying to say in Mark 11:22-23 ? (a favorite text of the “name it claim it ” Prosperity, Health and Wealth preachers)
Was Jesus predicting the future destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD? (“this mountain” = Mt. Zion, where the temple was)
“this mountain” (the temple, money changers, etc.) had no fruit = no repentance, change, good works, good heart, etc.
Does “have faith in God” (Mark 11:22) mean “repent of the old Jewish works and ritualistic system and believe in the true God, who has sent His Son – Messiah (Jesus)” ?
Yes, that is what it seems. It is not what the Word of Faith Prosperity teachers say it means, “have a God-kind of faith and speak things into existence” – ridiculous!
Mark 11:25 has another condition for answered prayer – forgiving others.
Mark 11:24 – the “Word of Faith” movement, also known as “name it claim it” Prosperity preachers say it means: “believe that you have already received it and it will happen”, etc.
No; rather it means if you pray for godly things, like holiness and fruit and for people’s souls to be saved and for the gospel to go to unreached peoples, and for God’s glory, God will answer your prayers according to His will.
Faith is not psychological certainty that something will happen in the future, rather faith in God is trusting Him and loving Him even if He says to us “no” to our prayers for certain things. We are to have an attitude of humility and surrender to God’s sovereignty, “Your will be done”. (Matthew 6:10; Luke 22:42; 1 John 5:14)
What was Jesus getting at by telling the disciples to “speak to the mountain” ?? (verse 23)
Was He predicting the old covenant system with the sacrifices would cease? (Jesus is the final sacrifice – book of Hebrews; and the temple would be destroyed in 70 AD) This seems like at least some of what Jesus is getting at.
Was Jesus telling us to pray against our lack of fruit and genuineness in our own lives? Yes! This seems to be Jesus’ main point by cursing the fig tree and overturning the money changers in the temple and rebuking the Jews and Pharisees who did not allow the temple to be “a house of prayer for all the nations’ (Mark 11:17) Pray against sin and hypocrisy and lack of holiness, lack of fruit; lack of love for other nations and lack of concern for missions and outreach to other nations; in other words, “make war on your own sins of pride and hypocrisy, etc.”
The bottom line is surrender to God’s Sovereignty
Matthew 6:10 – “Your will be done”
Luke 22:42 – “not My will, but Thy will be done”
1 John 5:14 – If we ask and pray according to the will of God, God hears our prayers . . .
Addendum: (April 24, 2018)