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  • Writer's pictureKali Gibson

Holy Monday: Jesus Requires True Faith

Jesus had just been welcomed like a king into Jerusalem. His disciples, who had left everything behind to follow him for the past three years, were finally getting a glimpse of the Messiah they had hoped would deliver them. But, their idea of a Messiah was someone who would deliver them from their earthly struggles—at the time, it was the Romans. They had no idea that Jesus came to save them from something even greater.

The Fig Tree

Holy Monday is the day that Jesus cursed the fig tree and cleansed the temple (Mark 11:20-26 and Matthew 21:18-27). 

After Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, he passed a fig tree on the way back into the city. But this fig tree is different from the others. It had leaves but no fruit. If you lived in Jerusalem at that time, you would know that fig trees only produced leaves if they also had fruit. At that moment, Jesus cursed the tree (Mark 11:11-14). 

Once he reached Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts. Instead of finding a place of worship and a house of prayer, Jesus discovered a marketplace full of dishonesty and thievery. Out of righteous anger, Jesus turned over the tables and 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 11:15-16). This was a symbol of Israel’s spiritual state. Just like the fig tree, they appeared to have faith, but they were not living in a way that produced fruit or honored God. 

True Faith

The next day, the disciples pointed at the fig tree that Jesus had cursed. It had withered (Mark 11:20-26). Jesus used the fig tree to teach his disciples about real faith. In the Old Testament, many prophets used fig trees to symbolize ancient Judah (Hosea 2:12 and Jeremiah 29:17). Jesus used this analogy to indicate the destruction and judgment of Jerusalem and its religion. Jerusalem was just like the fig tree—it appeared to be producing fruit because of its leaves, but it wasn’t at all.

Holy Monday is important because we are reminded what real faith should look like. It can be easy to find ourselves going through the motions. Maybe we just pray and read our Bibles on Sunday, but on Monday we go back to living our lives just like the rest of the world. But Jesus calls us to so much more than just a Sunday-morning faith. Real faith produces fruit. 

So What?

Are you producing fruit or just going through the motions of religion just like the Jews during Jesus’ time? This week, what would it look like to surrender your whole to Jesus—not just the outward parts of your life but the inward parts as well? 

This Holy Monday, ask Jesus to reveal to you the parts in your life that you need to surrender to him so you can live a life that produces fruit for his Kingdom. 

Kali Gibson is the editor-in-chief for So We Speak and a copywriter for the Youversion Bible App.


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