From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
The next day, Jesus is hungry as they commute from the suburbs back to Jerusalem.
In the distance he sees a fig tree all in bloom, and his tummy growls. Yummy.
Coming closer, Jesus realizes the tree has leaves, but no figs. Sorry, Jesus, this restaurant is closed.
Jesus curses the tree, whose fruit no one will eat ever again. Harsh.
In Jerusalem, they enter the temple, where Jesus drives out the merchants and their customers, overturns the tables of those exchanging money and the seats of those selling doves.
Jesus teaches everyone that in scripture, the temple is supposed to be a place for both Jews and non-Jews to pray (quoting Isaiah 56:7), not a place to steal everyone's money. They've turned the temple into a racket (quoting Jeremiah 7:11).
The chief priests and the scribes overhear and begin to devise a plan to wipe this pesky Jesus out once and for all.
In the evening, Jesus returns to Jerusalem's suburbs with his disciples, who notice that the fig tree Jesus cursed earlier that morning has withered.
Jesus takes the opportunity to instruct the disciples how to pray.
Faith is the key ingredient. With it, your prayers can move mountains, and what you ask for you will receive.
While you pray, you should forgive people's offenses against you, and then God will forgive your own mistakes.
The KJV reads 11:26 with the inverse: if you don't forgive others, God will not forgive you. But the NRSV omits this verse. Why? The translators are following different manuscripts of Mark, some of the very earliest of which do not include these words.