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?

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