Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. (1-11) The barren
fig-tree cursed, The temple cleansed. (12-18) Prayer in faith.
(19-26) The priests and elders questioned concerning John the
Christ's coming into Jerusalem thus remarkably, shows that
he was not afraid of the power and malice of his enemies. This
would encourage his disciples who were full of fear. Also, that
he was not disquieted at the thoughts of his approaching
sufferings. But all marked his humiliation; and these matters
teach us not to mind high things, but to condescend to those of
low estate. How ill it becomes Christians to take state, when
Christ was so far from claiming it! They welcomed his person;
Blessed is he that cometh, the "He that should come," so often
promised, so long expected; he comes in the name of the Lord.
Let him have our best affections; he is a blessed Saviour, and
brings blessings to us, and blessed be He that sent him. Praises
be to our God, who is in the highest heavens, over all, God
blessed for ever.
Christ looked to find some fruit, for the time of
gathering figs, though it was near, was not yet come; but he
found none. He made this fig-tree an example, not to the trees,
but to the men of that generation. It was a figure of the doom
upon the Jewish church, to which he came seeking fruit, but
found none. Christ went to the temple, and began to reform the
abuses in its courts, to show that when the Redeemer came to
Zion, it was to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. The scribes
and the chief priests sought, not how they might make their
peace with him, but how they might destroy him. A desperate
attempt, which they could not but fear was fighting against God.
The disciples could not think why that fig-tree should so
soon wither away; but all wither who reject Christ; it
represented the state of the Jewish church. We should rest in no
religion that does not make us fruitful in good works. Christ
taught them from hence to pray in faith. It may be applied to
that mighty faith with which all true Christians are endued, and
which does wonders in spiritual things. It justifies us, and so
removes mountains of guilt, never to rise up in judgment against
us. It purifies the heart, and so removes mountains of
corruption, and makes them plain before the grace of God. One
great errand to the throne of grace is to pray for the pardon of
our sins; and care about this ought to be our daily concern.
Our Saviour shows how near akin his doctrine and baptism
were to those of John; they had the same design and tendency, to
bring in the gospel kingdom. These elders did not deserve to be
taught; for it was plain that they contended not for truth, but
victory: nor did he need to tell them; for the works he did,
told them plainly he had authority from God; since no man could
do the miracles which he did, unless God were with him.