“Who do you say that I am?” Mark – Part 10 The One who comes in the name of the Lord Mark 11:1-33 April 9, 2017
I. The one with AUTHORITY…AGAIN. (Mark 1:21-2:12; 11:1-33)
A. Authority over OWNERSHIP. (v.1-6)
B. Authority to FULFILL PROPHECY. (v.7-11; Zech. 9:9)
C. Authority over ALL CREATION. (v.12-14, 20-25)
D. Authority over the TEMPLE and its LEADERS. (v.15-19, 27-33)
Mark takes us back to where he started when he shares the events around Jesus’triumphal entry into Jerusalem just a week before his crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus is the one who has authority. It’s an important thing to be aware of as this last week of his time on earth unfolds. There are some times that He seems far removed from power and authority.
1. Jesus acts with authority over every realm of life, even with people’s possessions (a donkey). How does the fact that Jesus has authority over what you own impact the way you use it?
2. Imagine being on the road that day as Jesus came into the city. What sights, images, sounds, or details stand out to you from his entry? And why?
3. Jesus curses a fig tree and seems to throw a tantrum in the temple. Do these seem unusual for Him? What questions do they raise in your mind?
II. TABLES and FIG TREES. (v.12-21)
A. Why CURSE this TREE? (v.14)
1. ISRAEL as the FRUITLESS tree. (Hos. 9:10,16; Micah 7:1; Lk 13:6-9)
B. Why CHAOS in the temple COURTS? (v.15-18)
1. RESHAPING worship around our “NEEDS”. (Is. 56:7; Jer. 7:11)
C. The LINK between the TWO. (Ez 47:12; Rev. 22:1-2)
Mark likes to “sandwich” stories, breaking them into two parts with something that is related in the middle. This is what we see with the cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the temple. He starts with the leafy tree that has no fruit, moves to the problems in the temple courts, and then comes back to the withered tree. There’s a link here…
4. When has God used your experience of something in creation to teach or impact you? What was that like?
5. What do you think the disciples were thinking as they watched these two events (fig tree and temple courts) play out? What would you have been thinking?
6. What fruit is the church called to bear in the world around us today? How does worship get twisted to meet our needs and wants? How can we guard against that?
III. Will we SURRENDER or CONTROL?
A. Called to bear FRUIT and bring HEALING. (Ezek. 47:12; Jn 7:37-38)
B. The TEMPTATION to FOCUS on ourselves. (Mk. 8:33; Phil. 3:17-21)
C. WELCOMING, not excluding, the INVITED. (v.17; Jn 3:16)
Who do I say Jesus is? With my life, with my actions, and with my words I make a statement about what I believe to be true. And it challenges me to wrestle with whether I am willing to surrender to Him, or if I prefer a religion or spirituality that I can control for my own ends. That’s where the text takes us today. What decision will you make?
7. When has God brought healing into your own life through His presence, or His presence mediated through other believers?
8. How can we know if our worship has subtly become centered around what we want or “need” instead of what God wants?
9. Who does the church exclude today because of our rituals and habits?
10.What does the “court of the Gentiles” teach us about the nature of God? How should that shape the way we live as the church today