Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.

Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.

These teaching notes are from a series of studies about the Gospel of Mark.

[These notes are from a study prepared 45 years ago.]

Practical Usage of Mark Chapter 3

Preaching Application: The New Relationship

Text: Mark 11:20-26

“And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

This chapter reminds us of the power of prayer. The two elements that Jesus deals with are:

  1. faith
  2. forgiveness

It’s hard to imagine the power that has been entrusted to us by God in the form of believing prayer. Jesus’ opening statement rings out in my own heart and mind, “Have faith in God.”

Though a prayer of faith might actually move a physical mountain, I believe that Christ was speaking more of spiritual mountains. I’ve seen many spiritual mountains casts into the sea when I prayed in faith.

I am also reminded of the importance of a forgiving spirit in prayer. A refusal to forgive is sin before God and He cannot bless a bitter prayer. I want to be very sure that there is nothing between me and another person before I offer up prayer.

Reference Additions to Mark 11

Verses 1-11 are a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9. It was, however, a superficial demonstration since the King and His Kingdom had in reality already been rejected. (1-11)

The fig tree portrays the spiritual barrenness of the nation that would soon crucify the King. (12-14)

The prayer of faith starkly focused upon the unbelief of the scribes and elders who questioned Jesus’ authority as further proof of their rejection of the King. (22-33)

Unger’s Bible Handbook, page 505

The word Hosanna is a transliteration of a Hebrew expression meaning, “save, I pray.” It had become a term of praise and acclamation, as well as a plea for help. (9)

The statement in verse 25 has often been misunderstood to mean that unsaved people must forgive others before they are forgiven of their sins. Jesus was addressing His disciples, men marked out for salvation, and was dealing with the forgiveness that restores one to fellowship.

Wycliffe’s Bible Commentary, pp. 162-163

Next Time

We will look at an outline of Mark Chapter 12 in the next part of our special series.

[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from 45 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your ministry.]