Jesus’s words about casting a mountain into the sea in Mark 11:23 are initially perplexing and most often taken to be hyperbole. When read through the hermeneutical lens of inaugurated eschatology, however, and mindful of what the “mountain” and the “sea” often represented throughout the OT, it becomes clear that Jesus is doing something deeper than merely calling for great faith. He is quietly, allusively speaking of the destruction and judgment (connoted by the sea) of the temple (connoted by the mountain) to say that he is the true and final temple. In him, all that was accomplished in the temple (forgiveness) is truly accomplished. This reading is strengthened in various ways by the immediate context, not least by elucidating how Jesus can speak of already having received what one asks for in prayer (11:24). Jesus’s words in Mark 11:23 are therefore about an accomplished reality (forgiveness), not a future reality (moving figurative “mountains” through great faith).

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