What does Mark 11:24 mean?
ESV: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
NIV: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
NASB: Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you.
CSB: Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for--believe that you have received it and it will be yours.
NLT: I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.
KJV: Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Verse Commentary:
Jesus has killed a non-fig-bearing fig tree as an illustration of the coming destruction of a religious system which has stopped bearing spiritual fruit for those who worship God. He and the disciples are standing on the Mount of Olives. They are looking at the Temple Mount, where for generations Jews have brought sacrifices for their sins, in order to be right with God so He can hear their prayers.

A short time before, a rich young man had asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life (Mark 10:17–22). The old way—the temple way—was to obey the Law, and to atone by sacrifices. With Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, such ceremony is no longer needed. Belief, meaning humble trusting faith—the kind reflected in an attitude of forgiveness towards others (Mark 11:25)—is all we need to come before God. There is no longer a call for rituals performed in a sacred space with priests as middlemen (Hebrews 4:16). The disciples, however, aren't ready to abandon the temple and its trappings. They still see the grand cultural symbol, not the corruption underneath (Mark 13:1–2).

Jesus is not endorsing the modern Word of Faith movement. Nor is He suggesting that God operates as a cosmic vending machine, doling out wishes. Believing that God will answer our prayer is not a spell that we place on God so He must give us what we want. The context of the promise of prayer is God's ordained ministry, if we ask with the right intentions (James 4:1–3) and within God's will (1 John 5:14–15). The Bible promises "if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him" (James 1:5). If we pray for wisdom first, and ask in God's will, we will receive what we ask for. If we ask without wisdom, we won't ask according to His will, and have no reason to expect such a request to be granted.
Verse Context:
Mark 11:20–26 is the conclusion of the story started in Mark 11:12–14. The fig tree Jesus cursed is found to be withered to its roots, truly dead, the next morning. The fig tree represents Jerusalem and, to an extent, Judaism, which has ceased to worship God and bless the people. In a few days, at the Last Supper, Jesus teaches the disciples that they cannot bear fruit unless they are dependent on Him, just as a vine is useless unless it is connected to the branch. Fruitless vines will wither, then be tossed into the fire, and burned (John 15:1–11). This half of the story of the fig tree is also found in Matthew 21:20–22. Verse 26 is not found in most modern translations.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus and the disciples arrive in Jerusalem a week before the crucifixion, and Jesus begins the last days of His public ministry. They spend their nights on the Mount of Olives and their days in Jerusalem (Luke 21:37). Jesus accepts the accolades designed for a king (Mark 11:1–11), attacks materialistic tradition that keeps people from worshiping God (Mark 11:15–19), gives an object lesson about the fate of fruitless Jerusalem (Mark 11:12–14, 20–25), and reveals the Jewish religious leaders' hypocrisy (Mark 11:27–33). Despite the support of the crowd, Jesus is pushing the leaders toward the crucifixion.
Chapter Context:
The preceding passages included several miracles and lessons from Jesus. These set the stage for the last, dramatic days of His earthly ministry. In this chapter, Jesus enters Jerusalem to great fanfare and openly confronts local religious leaders for their hypocrisy. Over the next few chapters, Mark will continue to record controversial teachings, leading up to Jesus' arrest and early sham trials, recorded in chapter 14.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
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