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93: Monday Morning Madness

May 15, 2009

Major Text: Mark 11:12-18

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 21:18-19a     Mark 11:12-14

Matt. 21:12-13        Mark 11:15-18     Luke 19:45-48

Outline:

  1. Jesus “Curses” a Fig Tree Mark 11:12-14
  2. Jesus “Curses” the Temple Merchants Mark 11:15-17
  3. The Jewish Leaders “Curse” Jesus Mark 11:18

Context/Discussion/Comments:

I believe these accounts took place Monday morning prior to His crucifixion. The day before, Jesus is on a high, happy because the people are acknowledging Him as Messiah, the Son of God. Today is very much different and Jesus is both sad and angry. Sunday He was basking in His Divinity. Today, Monday, He is battling His humanity. So we understand He is both God and man, God Incarnate, who is experiencing humanness just like us. He is walking in our moccasins, showing us right from wrong, light from darkness, hope from hopelessness, love from hate, joy from sadness, etc. He shows us the fruit of acceptance and rejection.

Jesus begins His day hungry. He sees a fig tree, lifts its leaves, and sees it has no fruit. It isn’t the time for fruit but Jesus doesn’t see any forming either. Instead of blessing the tree and enabling it to bear fruit, Jesus curses the fig tree. This story is completed on Tuesday’s trip into Jerusalem. For now, just remember that the fig tree refers to Israel and its leaders.

Jesus enters the temple area and immediately drives out the money changers and merchants. You will recall He did the same thing when He began His ministry [Lesson 13]. These people were making money at the expense of the faithful. Money was exchanged using unjust exchange rates. Prices to purchase sacrificial animals and birds were exorbitant. The only purpose was to “line pockets” at the expense of worshipping pilgrims. They were not enabling true worship. They were hindering true worship. The temple area was a robbers den and not a house of prayer and worship. Instead of celebrating the Passover, they were celebrating profits. Therefore, the pilgrims in Jerusalem were overjoyed upon seeing Jesus take action and listened to His teaching all the more intently.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Jesus wants fellowship through prayer, not through what you have purchased. Jesus wants you!

2. True worship is “loving God” and enabling others to worship Him. Worship is not accumulating wealth at the expense of others. Profiteering in the name of God is a “grave” sin.

3. Rejecting Jesus is the same as killing Him. Accept Him. Accept His teaching and live eternally.

4. We tend to listen to the people we agree with. Agree with the Lord, not man. Listen to Jesus. Place your faith in Him alone.

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