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Summary: Message is about the fulfillment of hope people saw coming down the streets of Jerusalem on the day of the Triumphal entry.


Mark 11

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Pastor Brian Matherlee


“Place Called Hope”, by the Gaither Vocal Band, tells the story of the Prodigal Son. His story illustrates the hope people long for…that maybe, just maybe, we can be accepted, delivered, rescued even when we have totally ruined our relationship with our God.

Our Scripture passage today is about the fulfillment of hope people saw coming down the streets of Jerusalem.


Read Mark 11

All four Gospels record the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Sunday prior to His crucifixion.

Three aspects of His coming to Jerusalem are related more than they appear at first glance.

• Procession through the streets

• Confrontation in the temple

• Cursing of the fig tree-occurs in Matthew and Mark

These three events tie together in that Jesus is proclaiming three important truths about the nature of the coming kingdom:

1. I am the Messiah

a. The Messiah of righteousness (Zechariah 9:9, Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.)

i. Set against the nature of religion and government of that day, Jesus was all that these institutions were not and exactly what the people needed but not what everyone wanted.

ii. Righteousness makes the unrepentant uncomfortable.

b. The One and Only Messiah

i. Luke records the anger of the religious leaders because the disciples were proclaiming the truth of Jesus and that threatened their establishment.

c. The Messiah of Peace

i. A conquering king would have ridden a war horse, but a king delivering peace came riding a symbol of peace-a docile, ordinary creature.

ii. Jesus was announcing his kingdom in the most politically benign way possible. He made it evident He wanted nothing to do with overthrowing governments of this world.

The second proclamation

2. Worship has become all about you instead of all about God

a. “When he entered the temple area, the smell of the animals entered his nostrils; and the noise from the moneychangers’ tables beat on his ears. Why were they there? For the convenience of pilgrims, the cattlemen and the moneychangers had set up business in the Court of the Gentiles. The animals were sold for sacrifices. It was far easier for a pilgrim coming to Jerusalem to purchase one that was guaranteed kosher than to bring an animal with him and have it inspected for meeting the kosher requirements. The Roman money the pilgrims brought to Jerusalem had to be changed into the Tyrian currency, since the annual temple tax had to be paid in that currency. Exorbitant prices were often charged for changing the currency. By overturning the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves, Jesus was directly and forcefully challenging the authority of the high priest, because they were there by his authorization.

b. Jesus also put a stop to casual use of the temple by those who used it as a shortcut between the city and the Mount of Olives (v.16).” (Zondervan Study notes)

c. Luke tells us that the people were praising Jesus for all the miracles He had done among them.

d. Worship is the centerpiece of the church.

e. Dr. Bob Black from Southern Wesleyan University states in a recent writing five principles to guide us in worship:

i. It is God-centered

ii. It is an offering

iii. It is work

iv. It is grounded in Scripture

v. It is both adoration and celebration

f. What is our worship consumed with?

i. What I like (music, décor, preaching style, etc.)

ii. What I can afford (God’s kind of giving is generous…we are so wrapped up in debt and desiring things we give God what’s left instead of what’s right)

iii. What is convenient (I’ll be there if I have nothing better to do)

iv. What is suitable to my opinion (Preacher, you can step on toes—but not mine—and if you do, you’re gone/or we say, “that’s just your interpretation)

v. What is short in duration and dignified (adoration takes time & celebration is unrestrained joy)

The last proclamation

3. Hypocrites better beware

a. The cursing of the fig tree occurs in Matthew 21 and Mark 11.

b. The problem is that this tree gave the appearance of bearing early figs because it was fully leafed out. (Isaiah 28:4 states that there were times that fig trees bore fruit early.)

c. It ties into the rest of the entry into Jerusalem in that Jesus was setting things right. He had proclaimed himself as rightful Messiah, proclaimed the judgment upon the improper, immoral activities in the temple and now He proclaims judgment upon those who wish to put on appearances and have nothing of substance in their lives.

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