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.