Jesus and the Temple

The temple simultaneously represents our own hearts, the church of Christ, and the whole earth. Jesus will cleanse and restore everything.

Scripture: Mark 11:1-33

Sermon Notes:

  1. Jesus comes to Jerusalem where He ought to find the fruit of the kingdom, but it is barren; instead, it has become a hiding place for thieves.
  2. The self-righteousness of the religious leaders kept them from Jesus’ kingdom and the salvation.
  3. The triumphal entry of Christ fulfills all Old Testament prophecy; it also foreshadows the greater entry of Christ into His kingdom fullness at the end of history.
  4. The people were not sure of the identity of the One they praised (later they would call for Jesus’ death) but their response was fulfillment of prophecy (Zac. 9:9).
  5. Jesus exercised the right of eminent domain when the Lord who owns all things borrowed the donkey for His royal procession.
  6. As He comes in judgment He also comes in redemption, calling His people to service.
  7. The temple itself represents simultaneously our own hearts, the church of Christ, and the whole earth. Jesus will cleanse and restore everything.
  8. The true King was coming to manifest the true meaning of the temple in history.
  9. Solomon’s reign typified the Edenic peace of God’s enthronement; Solomon was a picture of the person of Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Ki. 10:1-13).
  10. The outer court of the temple that Jesus entered was a picture of Eden, symbolizing of God’s presence with the people.
  11. Solomon became a tyrant in his old age, burdening his subjects and multiplying pagan wives; Jesus by contrast was the true king of peace.
  12. The temple was central to God’s revelation of His kingdom purposes; but in Christ something greater than the temple is revealed (Matt 12:42).
  13. Jesus casts out demons by His word, because He is greater than Solomon.
  14.  Jesus represents in Himself the full meaning of the temple. He is utterly unique as Creator, Redeemer, and King.
  15. The glory of Jesus is dazzling and His wisdom is so penetrating, but sinful man suppresses the wisdom and power of God in unrighteousness.
  16. Jesus had argued with the Rabbis at age 12; now He enters the temple and finds it wanting.
  17. Jesus’s cursing of the fig tree has a general application to us: in the church we can appear to be in full leaf with lots activity; but the actual fruit of the kingdom is missing.
  18. Jesus stands as our Redeemer who will soak up the wrath and curse of God against our fruitlessness.
  19. Jesus’ actions in the temple were seen as signaling the end of the temple system, which would be obsolete with His final sacrifice (Is. 56:3-8).
  20. The temple had become a den of thieves, a shelter from the justice and judgment of God. Today whole denominations are in open rebellion against God seeking refuge in their religious tradition.
  21. In the gospel the temple is redefined; God’s dwelling is within us (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:19-22; Rev 3:21). We are both individually and corporately the temple of God.
  22. Those who work to destroy God’s temple will themselves be destroyed.
  23. We cannot be hearers of the Word only; we must be doers also or we will be cut down and thrown into the fire (Jas. 1:22; Matt. 7:19).
  24. Jesus puts the religious leaders in a dilemma and they refuse to answer. Those who do not recognize the authority of God’s Word cannot expect His grace.
  25. In Christ all things will be reconciled to the Father and we are restored to our priesthood in obedient service to God.

Application Questions:

  1. What is the relationship of Jesus to the temple?  How do believers fill the role of the temple today?
  2. Are we shouting with the crowd for our salvation? Do we embrace the salvation victory of Jesus?
  3. Are you among those listening with joy, or are you questioning Jesus’ authority, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness?
  4. Is the fruit of the kingdom evident in our lives? Is there true repentance? Are we honouring God’s Word for all of our lives?