by | Feb 19, 2023 | Mark's Gospel, Sermon

Jesus approaches Jerusalem with a loud celebration, but when he enters the Temple courts no one seems to notice. His strong actions both privately and publicly demand attention and response. Jesus’ triumphal parade into Jerusalem, a withered fig tree, and Jesus’ clearing out commerce from a Temple courtyard—what does all of this teach about Jesus’ identity and mission? How could our response to Jesus be shaped by these events?

Read the passage of Mark 11:1-25. What about this story ignites your imagination, captures your attention, or creates questions?

Did you hear or consider anything that sparked disagreement or strong agreement within you? If you reconsider the message from Sunday or imagined that you were part of this story from Mark 11, what might God be saying to you?

Why do you think Mark sandwiches the account of Jesus’ clearing the Temple court of money-changers and merchants (v. 15-19) in between the cursing and withering of the fig tree (v. 12-15, 20-25)? What might Mark’s teaching purpose for this arrangement be? What are the connections between these events?

How does Jesus’ clear command to “Have faith in God” (v.22) and “First forgive (v. 25) challenge you? How does our continued faith and practice of forgiveness create an authentic witness of the new life we’ve received from Jesus?

Verses 22-24 have often been misused or misunderstood by being minimized (sidestepped or explained away) or maximized (name-it, claim-it self-focused expression of faith).
a. How can we guard against these tendencies?
b. How did Jesus himself apply this concept a few days later in his prayer recorded in Mark 14:36 and what was the outcome of that prayer? How could Mark 14:36 help you understand and interpret Mark 11:22-24?

How might God be calling you to trust him right now? Is there someone you need to forgive or ask to forgive you?

Searching for Reconciliation

Confronting others concerning biblical/theological compromise is never easy or pleasant. Such encounters must be handled with sensitivity to the needs of others, directed by spiritual wisdom and the Scriptures, and guided by the Holy Spirit. Paul closed chapter two of...

Searching for Courage

On the surface, hearing God and following His commands seems straightforward. However, when God calls us to do something that generates fear in us and feels daunting, second-guessing His call becomes reasonable. Finding the courage to obey such a call is overwhelming....

Searching for the Abundant Life

Jesus explicitly explained his purpose when He said “…I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). He said similar things many times, and these ideas are repeated, over and over again, by those who wrote the New Testament. Yet many people,...

Searching for Real Friendship

Some relationships may imitate friendship, but there’s no substitute for the real thing. Exploring the relationship between David and Jonathan in the Bible, we’ll identify some distinguishing features of friendship that are often overlooked and discover how to infuse...