What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus entered Jerusalem being proclaimed as the coming King, but days later the same crowd would call for his crucifixion.
- We are called to stand for Jesus whether we are surrounded by those who agree or those who hate him.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Jesus showed the disciples that he was looking for the fig tree to actually bear fruit rather than just appear to (it was the same with the temple).
- Jesus is not interested in us looking religious, rather he wants us to bear fruit.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
-When Jesus makes his entrance, the crowds FINALLY are allowed to acknowledge him for who he is (although Bartimaeus beat them to the punch regarding verse 10; he had already hailed Jesus as the Son of David! Good for him.) Before this, Jesus told his followers to be quiet. Now he lets them shout. Must have been bittersweet, though, knowing that he was riding into his own terrible death…and wondering how many who hailed him would be in the crowd calling for his crucifixion shortly. TEACHING POINT FOR ME-do I have the courage to stand for Christ whether I am surrounded by those who agree or those who hate him?
-I find verse 11 pregnant with meaning. Never seen it before. He goes into temple and “looked around at everything.” Can you just imagine Christ looking intently with great sadness…and great anger…as he saw how the guardians of the faith had prostituted the faith! What does Jesus see when he looks “at everything”in our church…our lives?
-I find the fig tree incident, tucked between Jesus’first “look”at the temple and his eventual cleansing of it… to be a parable of the temple cleansing itself. The tree…notice it was “in leaf”which means it should have had fruit…was barren. Worthless. Looked LIKE a fig tree but had nothing to show for it. Just like the appearance of the temple and all its surroundings. TEACHING POINT-Jesus is not interested in us looking religious…he wants our church, ministry, to BEAR FRUIT!
-Another thing never seen before… verse 16. He “would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.” Only Mark mentions this detail. Seems that people were using the temple grounds as a shortcut to get from the city to the Mt. of Olives, Bethany and all points east. Fascinating. TEACHING POINT-In what way can we use church as a shortcut or bypass in our lives. Not really there to worship God; we are there because it helps us get from point A to point B.