Matthew 21:18-22 Kingdom Transfer.
What Mark separates by a day, with the clearing of the temple in between (11:12-26), Matthew here groups together. This highlights two basic differences between the two. It is thought that Mark sought to write a strict chronological order, whereas Matthew was more thematic in his approach. “In Matt. 21:12-22, Jesus proceeds to cleanse the temple upon His arrival and curses the fig tree the next day. In Mark, Jesus returns to Bethany for the night, in the morning He curses the fig tree and then cleanses the temple. Probably Matthew treats the material topically (no specific reference for the cleansing is given in Matt. 21:12), while Mark, who places stories within stories (5:21-43; 6:7-30), treats it chronologically.” (NGSB 1585) Matthew condenses an incident that took place on two separate days (cf. Mark 11:12-14, 20-26).” (NGSB 1540)
The main point is this: “The linking of this incident with the cleansing of the temple hints at God’s immanent punishment of Israel in the destruction of the city and the temple (Jer. 24:1-8).” (NGSB 1540-1) A fig tree’s purpose is to obviously bear fruit. This was also to be the purpose of the LORD planting Israel in his land to bear fruit. Since Israel had not bore fruit the kingdom would be given to others. Mountains in the scriptures often refer to kingdoms, and it is more likely that Jesus is referring to mountains being moved through prayer in respect to a changing of the guard. Prayer must however be combined with belief, which necessitates a knowledge of the scriptures and God’s plans for the future. When our prayers are in harmony with God’s plans for his kingdom, we are promised success.