The temple sermon is a warning to us, that our churches do not become a den of robbers, listen to the lying pen of scholars, or proclaim a false peace.
Scripture: Mark 11:1-25
- Up to this point in Mark’s Gospel, the disciples have been struggling with Jesus’ teaching on suffering, servanthood, and discipleship.
- In Mark 11, Jesus both cleanses and curses the temple. Jesus has come not to simply reform or cleanse the temple, but to judge it (cf. Malachi 3, Mark 13).
- What Jesus does in cursing the fig tree is what He does to the temple: May no-one ever eat of your fruit again.
- Jesus brings a halt to the temple worship, stopping people from offering tithes and sacrifices.
- Jesus now preaches from Isaiah 56 and Jeremiah 7, proclaiming the temple a house of prayer for all nations and condemning the corrupt practices of the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.
- From Isaiah 56:6-8, Jesus welcomes the Gentiles to come to worship.
- Jesus has been ministering to the outcast in the book of Mark; now in the temple’s Gentile court He overturns commerce that they may worship.
- From Jeremiah 7-8, Jesus preaches condemnation on corrupt practices in the temple.
- The temple sermon is a warning to us, that our churches do not become a den of robbers, listen to the lying pen of scholars, or proclaim a false peace.
- Many evangelicals are drifting toward ignoring God’s Word.
- The Lord’s watchmen are blind, unable to sound a warning (Isaiah 56:10).
- Jesus is again inspecting His churches in Canada (cf. Rev. 2:23).
- To His disciples, Jesus preaches a word of comfort and exhortation (Mark 11:22-25).
- Jesus’ answer to our concern about the withered church is: have faith in God.
- We tend to read God’s Word in a self-centered and individualistic way.
- But Jesus is calling us to corporate prayer; we’re to pray in faith that God moves mountains.
- The call to us today is to revive the church and to reform society.
- God’s name is blasphemed across Canada: His will is denied and His Word is rejected.
- We must pray that God would revive the church and reform the culture, that the glory of the Lord may be revealed.
- God speaks and we have faith in God…it is a big vision. There are many obstacles and we’re in it for the long haul.
- We need to be united in corporate prayer as we grow in our calling as a church: be united in prayer and be gracious with one-another.
- We may be called to serve our brothers and sisters in the broader church.
- We don’t know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.
- Let us draw near to God with hearts of faith (Heb. 10:23; cf. Rev. 3:20)
- What was the significance of Jesus’ curse of the fig tree?
- What was Jesus’ broader salvation message signified by cleansing the outer temple court?
- How is theological liberalism and antinomianism making us blind to the real hurt and brokenness in the world?
- Are we guilty of proclaiming peace to broken families and broken sexuality?
- How should we apply Jesus’ words in Mark 11:22-25 to ourselves, in terms of both comfort and exhortation?
- What are some of the corrupt practices Jesus would cleanse from the church in Canada today? How can we be part of that cleansing?
- Outline specific aspects of the vision that we are corporately praying for, that God’s glory and salvation be revealed in Canada.