Mark 11: Bible Study

Written by Iain Greensheilds   

 

Our studies at the moment are exploring the Gospel of Mark – most probably dictated to Mark by the apostle Peter. Each week a chapter will be chosen as we systematically work our way through the gospel. The minister will take a section of that chapter to preach on but over 5 of the 7 days in that week you will have the opportunity to read that chapter for yourselves as we explore together the life of Jesus. If you have any questions as you study please do not hesitate to either email the minister or contact him by phone – he will be delighted to help.

 

Mark 11

 

Day 1 Read Mark chapter 11

This is a complex chapter with lots of different things going on. Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph and acclaim - something that he accepts and receives gladly. He then curiously curses a fig tree, displays uncharacteristic anger in the Temple, teaches about faith and has his authority challenged - all in a day for Jesus. Read through these passages a few times and try and "feel" your way into one or more of them.

 

Day 2 Read Mark 11:1-10

Here the King is receiving his due acclaim from the people. It is one of the few high moments in the last few days of Jesus' life in Jerusalem. Try and imagine that you are in this large crowd as Jesus comes in to Jerusalem and get caught up in the atmosphere and enthusiasm. Why is this incident so important in the last few days of Jesus' ministry on earth? Why is praise so important? Notice that in life there are a few high points but there are many more simply "ordinary" or "difficult" days. I wonder if Jesus' heart is being strengthened here in preparation for the many difficult days that lay before him.

 

Day 3 Read Mark 11:11 and 15-19

Jesus looks around at the Temple and then goes away holding in his mind what he has seen and heard. The outer court of the Temple was the place that the Gentiles could go to pray and learn about God. However, it was part of the Temple where "business" was going on. Only perfect animals could be sacrificed and so the priests ran a business selling these perfect animals at an inflated price. But you could only purchase the animal with "Temple" money and there was profit in the exchange rate - the priests and the Temple were carrying out a lucrative business - this is why Jesus did what he did and then corrected the situation in verse 17. This was the final act that sealed Jesus' destiny.

 

Day 4 Read Mark 11:12-14 and 20-21

Here is a prophetic parable.The fig tree is symbolic of Israel. Jesus has come to the "hub" of Israel and its religious activity - what does He find? Fruitless religion. People who are more impressed with making financial profit out of their religious practice than spiritual fruit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control - all absent. Jesus visits our lives - what does He find? Does Jesus visit our lives and see no evidence of eventual growth? Beware!

 

Day 5 Read Mark 11:22-23

Jesus tell us that the authority we need lies in prayer and in Himself. Jesus has his authority challenged by his enemies. They cannot see anything in Him worth embracing - they simply want to find fault. Indeed there are those if they even saw Jesus move mountains would still not believe! I wonder, therefore, if those who do believe have a greater grasp than those who don't? Have we the confidence when we pray to ask for great things?