Summary: When we commit ourselves to God, we remove all hindrances. This is what the Pharisees couldn't do because they were only committed to themselves. If we do not want to be modern day Pharisees, we've got to be willing to devote ourselves to Jesus!
Jesus’ Authority is Questioned
- Jesus is demonstrated in this book as a “servant”
- Jesus’ teachings, while difficult for some to deal with, are always timely
-- God always allows us to hear from Him at just the right time
- Before we begin it’s very important that you see today’s text IN CONTEXT
-- Often, people misunderstand scripture because they jump around texts
-- We need to ensure that we are thinking of & seeing the whole story
1) Re-read Mark 11:9-11
- IMP: They worshipped Him because of what He could do for them
-- Challenge: Do we come to Jesus like this?
-- It’s worth asking the following: Is Jesus your hobby or your Savior?
- After the fanfare, after the parade, after the celebration … Where does He go?
-- He goes to the temple, to His Father’s house, a very special place for Him
-- This is the SAME temple he visited as a child when He got lost
- His pause here at the temple should serve to remind us of something critical
-- God is not in the business of forgetting what’s happened; judgment still comes
2) Re-read Mark 11:12-13
- APP: The fig tree has long stood as a symbol of Israel’s peace and security
-- Micah 4:4, “Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.”
- The curse Jesus places on the tree is this: “Israel [while still protected by God and God’s chosen people], will no longer be the primary purpose of accomplishing God’s purpose” (Mark Brooks)
-- What’s this mean? When the Gospel is fulfilled, it will explode … outward!
-- See Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
3) Re-read Mark 11:14-17
- From there, Jesus enters Jerusalem again and we see Him at the temple
-- While the disciples watched, He prepared to take His Father’s house back
- APP: Remember last night’s visit to the temple? (v11)
-- He saw the tables; He knew the actions that happened there.
-- His heart ached for what God’s people had made God’s house into
-- His visit was intentionally to clear that garbage out.
-- LESSON: Sometimes WE need to cleanse the church of the trash as well!
- The temple sits in the middle of the city, and it is HUGE!
-- EX: The long Western Wall of the Temple Mount was 1590 feet long (the length of about 4.5 football fields; temple stood about 10-16 stories tall
-- Jesus in v16 us even telling people, “WALK AROUND rather than through”
-- This is a holy place, a house of prayer, and not your convenient area!!
- Then, in v17, He teaches the disciples why this needed to be done
-- Jesus does this by quoting the OT; things they would know already
-- Isaiah 56:7, “I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
-- Jeremiah 7:11, “Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.”
- This is a house of prayer for ALL nations (ALL are welcome here)
-- Challenge: Have we let it become a den of thieves and robbers?
Now, we can continue this story today and see the text before us today …
- Read Mark 11:18-25
NOTE: Mark 11:26: Some manuscripts include here words similar to Matt. 6:15, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
-- Verse missing due to translation issue; not an error in the text or manuscript
∆ Point 1 – Prayer and a Fig Tree (18-25)
- In v18 once again we see the Pharisees are seeking a way to destroy Him
-- Why? His teaching conflicted with theirs (it’s all about our comfort)
-- This leads them to view Christ as a very dangerous character
- They feared Jesus because He brought them something different/new
-- Brought an honor, or commitment, to God that was not founded in themselves
-- They recognized He claimed a higher authority; made him very dangerous
-- To who? The people who were supposed to bow down to them!
- After a full day they retreat from the temple out of Jerusalem
-- Almost assuredly retreated to Bethany each evening of this week
-- Remember it’s only about 2 miles away so that’s not a far distance