Palm Sunday

This Sunday, we will reflect on Jesus’ initial entry into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-11) and the first things he does there (Mark 11:12-25). The journey to Jerusalem is now complete. Mark shifts the setting from “the way” to the temple. In the next few chapters (11-13), Jesus will spend much time teaching in the temple and talking about the temple’s corrupt leadership.

As you think ahead to our focus for Sunday, read through Mark 11:1-25 and consider the following thoughts and questions:

  • Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a colt that had never been ridden (11:2). As he rides in, people shout Hosanna! (11:9-10). The word, “Hosanna” means “save us” (see Psalm 118:25). Notice the contrast present in what these crowds of people shout and what the crowds shout in Mark 15:14. 
  • After Jesus comes into Jerusalem, he goes to the temple, looks around, and then leaves. What do you make of this?
  • The next day, Jesus clears the temple, prophetically pronouncing judgment on corrupt religious leadership. Notice how the leaders are looking for a way to kill Jesus while the crowd of people are spellbound by his teaching (11:18). Have you ever been spellbound by Jesus’ teaching? Explain.
  • The clearing of the temple is put in brackets by an incident with a fig tree (11:12-14, 20-25). What do you make of Jesus cursing the fig tree? How do you respond to Jesus’ teaching about the incident (11:22-25)?

Feel free to post responses to these questions as well as other thoughts or questions you might have.

~Phil

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2 Responses to Palm Sunday

  1. Kim Funk says:

    Thanks for posting your sermon. I missed not having a service today—though understandably, unavoidable. There were several portions of scripture for which details I had not considered before became clear. eg. The significance of the fig tree and Mt. Zion likened to the temple.
    I also appreciated having last Sunday’s sermon posted. I was trying to get down a particular quote, and now I have it!

    • Phil Schmidt says:

      I’m glad to hear of your new insights into the text. I am continually amazed at what lies just beneath the surface: all it takes is a little bit of digging.
      I hope that the blog and written sermons will continue to help our community grow deeper as a people of God’s word.

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