“Jesus and the Temple” out of Mark 11:1-18 was preached on August 26th, 2012 by Pastor Brett Baggett at the worship gathering of Ekklesia Muskogee. Week #33 in Ekklesia’s The King and His Cross sermon series.
Scripture – Mark 11:1-18
11 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. 5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.
Jesus- the King of kings and the Lord of lords; the Lion; the only sovereign; the One to whom all praise and honor is due- enters into Jerusalem humbly mounted on a donkey. In case we have missed it thus far in the gospel accounts, Jesus is proclaiming, “My kingdom is not of this world!” “Behold, your king is coming to you…righteous and having salvation is he” is what the prophet Zechariah wrote hundreds of years before, concerning Jesus. Jesus is no ordinary King. He comes as a Lion but gives himself up as a Lamb. He comes with infinite glory but becomes a man, showing infinite humility. He comes bringing complete justice but dies to give grace to sinners. Just as Jesus is no ordinary king, so his Kingdom is no ordinary Kingdom. Jesus’ Kingdom values humility instead of pride; grace instead of vengeance; self-sacrifice instead of self-exaltation; community instead of independence; giving instead of accumulating; joy instead of happiness; gospel telling instead of law giving.
After Jesus enters Jerusalem, he does two things right off the bat: 1) He clears the Temple of religious and hollow-hearted abuse- showing us that he desires His people not just to be busy with “the things of God”, but to be people of true love for Him and others. 2) He opens the Temple for the Gentiles- showing us that he is going to the cross, to go under the Sword of divine justice, so that men and woman from all nations may have forgiveness and access to the presence of God.
Q1. Why did the people that shouted “Hosanna in the highest!” on Sunday, scream “Crucify him!” on Friday? In what ways do people do the same type of thing to Jesus today? (loving Him one minute and hating Him the next. Or loving one aspect of Jesus but avoiding other aspects)
Q2. Which is harder for you to accept: Jesus as your Savior? who went under the Sword to save you by sheer grace. or Jesus as King? who clears the Temple of fruitless religiosity and demands a radical response from you. Explain your response.
Q3. When it comes to participating in Jesus’ Kingdom, are you vertically and horizontally connected? Why are both important parts of participating in Jesus’ Kingdom? (see definition below)
Vertically would be things such as regularly praying in private, regularly confessing and seeking repentance of sin before God, regularly studying God’s Word, regularly reading gospel-centered books, etc.
Horizontally would be such things as regularly serving and volunteering in your local church, regularly talking to people about the Jesus and the gospel, regularly seeking to meet the needs of the poor and or needy, being regularly involved in a mentoring relationship, etc.
Things that are at the same time vertical and horizontal are a lot of the things that we do as a local church, such as community groups, discipleship groups, and worship gatherings.
Jesus, the Savior who went under the Sword for us, is also the King who demands our allegiance. The one that opens the Temple for us is also the one that clears the Temple from religious and fruitless work. You have to Kill Him or Crown Him. But what you can’t do, with any integrity, is remain indifferent towards Him. Thanks be to God for the infinitely complex Savior and King-Jesus. Amen.