Friday, December 7, 2012

Lesson 13 Mark 11:1-25 Dec.6, 2012

O Jerusalem ~Lesson 13 Mark 11:1-25
I’m not sure that all of you are familiar with the children’s program called AWANA. The name derived from 2 Timothy 2:15 use the first letters of Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed. Like CBS, it is a nondenominational group based in local churches in the U.S. and Canada.  AWANA offers bible study for toddlers to senior high-school. (Shameful how some people brag on their grandchildren!)
This is my promise to God and to CBS. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  
2 Timothy 2:15 KJ21
 I cannot stand up here and deliver the teaching week after week, leading you to believe that I know all of this material. Prayerfully with God’s guidance, I dig and search and study. I spent wonderful enjoyable days surrounded by these books and many more, using several versions of the Bible and our CBS commentary, praying, taking notes and pondering. Then I try to condense this wealth of information into 20 minutes for you on Thursday night. Sometimes I finish by Tuesday. But it never comes to you until it has been approved by God and it is well with my soul. People joke about calling me on Thursday, but it requires quiet uninterrupted time to allow the Holy Spirit to guide me as I finish my lecture.
On the slide you will see the books I will reference throughout the last six lessons in our Study of Mark:
·         A Harmony of the Gospels by Thomas and Gundry,
·         Max Lucado’s book entitled And the Angels Were Silent The Final week of Jesus,
·         Halley’s Bible Commentary,
·         Rose Guide to The Temple,
·         Warren Weirsbe’s Be Diligent,
·          Christ in the Passover by Ceil and Moishe Rosen.
·         Online Bible Commentaries found on Biblios
 One third of the Gospel of Mark and one half of the Gospel of John records the events in the last seven days of Jesus life. My goal is to depict it as accurately as I can.  Prayer

O Jerusalem
·       The Kings Triumphant Entry
·       Judgment on Fig tree/Israel
·       Jesus’ Cleansing of His Father’s House
Jesus, not the temple, should be the focal point of our faith and our prayers.
·       The Kings Triumphant Entry
Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem is chronicled in all four of the gospels.  In his book, Christ in the Passover, Rosen relates that Jerusalem of Jesus day had around had 600 thousand permanent residents. At Passover, as many as 2 million Jewish pilgrims filled Jerusalem. Some arrived a week or two before the festival to undergo seven days of purification.
SLIDE 6 Jesus and his followers entered the city on the Sunday before Passover and descended from the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem from the east.
Luke 13:34
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
 Jesus had come as the long foretold Messiah.  For three years he had proclaimed himself to the Jews through miracles and healings. His time had come.
As they pass through Bethphage, known as house of figs, Jesus commands two disciples, Mark 11:2 “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. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’”
In the book, And the Angels were Silent, Max Lucado devotes an entire chapter to The Guy with the Donkey.  The words used to request the colt was the language of a royal levy. Citizens were required to submit to the King any item or service that He or one of his emissaries might request.  In making such a request, Jesus is claiming to be King.  He is speaking as one in authority. 
In the Old Testament a donkey was a good natured and humble animal, ridden by women and children. When entering a city, Kings rode a colt to symbolize peaceful intentions. The colt for Jesus must be sacred, according to the purification laws of Moses. The animal had to be perfect and unused, never having a yoke upon his neck.
Finding the colt was not due to a coincidence or a previous arrangement with the owner. It showed the omniscience and authority of Jesus in fulfilling the prophecy written about five centuries before the birth of Jesus. Zechariah 9:9-10.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
    Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
 Behold, your king is coming to you;
    righteous and having salvation is he,
10 humble and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Mark 11:7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it.  And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields.
Spreading garments before a dignitary was a symbol of submission. They paid homage and reverence to the coming King. Palm branches were offered also as token of victory.
Mark 11 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting,
“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!
Hosanna in the highest!”
Jesus was now strongly proclaiming to be a King, better yet the true Messiah. It was a magnificent public display that attracted notice from visitors and residents of the Holy City.  Before this event Jesus would not accept praise, but now He said, in Luke 19:40
 "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out".
The multitudes were jubilant as they received Him as King. Worshipers thought Jesus was coming to conquer the Romans; the hour of deliverance was at hand. Little did they know He did not come as a Warrior on a white stallion but on a humble colt coming in peace, not to destroy the governments but to save mankind.
Illustrate.  Lucado says the man who gave the donkey was important in the kingdom of God. It doesn’t matter how much you give, just your willingness be obedient.
As we minister to other during the Christmas season, don’t stress that you don’t have the resources to be effective. The Lord will provide for us, as we fulfill the will of God. Jesus did not own any material possessions of this world. Yet His Father provided the colt for His entry into Jerusalem.
Jesus, not the temple, should be the focal point of faith and prayer.
Being the Sabbath, Jesus naturally went into the temple. v.11 And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. On the map notice the location of Bethany and Jerusalem.
·        Judgment on Fig tree/Israel
v. 12-14 The next day as they came from Bethany, Jesus was hungry.  At a distance he saw a fig tree, but He found nothing but leaves. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
Matthew Henry states: The curse on the fig tree was a reverse of the blessing for Adam and Eve to be fruitful. 
A particular fig tree found in this area produces fruit several times a year. Even if it was not time to harvest figs, a few figs could be found. Clarke’s commentary explains that Jesus did not curse the fig tree out of resentment for not having any fruit, but to illustrate to His disciples the judgment of God on the state of the Jewish people— an abundance of leaves but no fruit. They practiced rituals of religion and prided themselves as God’s chosen people—but were only hypocrites without fruit.
Basil, a fourth-century theologian, wrote, "A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. . . ." The fruit that God wants to see are the expressions of His Spirit working through our interactions with others. John 15:8 Jesus said, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; "
This is what our lives as Christians should be: growing and producing fruit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness that glorifies God. Thanks to that fig tree on the way to Jerusalem, we have a vivid example to keep us on the straight and narrow path to the Kingdom of God.
Jesus and not the temple is the focal point of our faith and our prayer.
·        Jesus Cleansing of His Father’s House
Passover was one the holiest of Festivals for the Jewish people. Deuteronomy 16:16 tells us "every able bodied man was commanded by the Law of Moses to present himself before the Lord in Jerusalem." 
Pilgrims came from all regions and many countries for the sacred celebration. Upon arrival they were obligated to fulfill two requirements:
o   First provide an animal for sacrifice
o   Second pay a temple tax
Besides being a hardship to travel with animals, each one inspected by the Priests must be perfect and without blemish. These sellers were approved by the Jewish leaders of the temple for a price. It was a profitable business, central to the temple economy. Surely any animal brought from outside the temple was held to harsher standard. The money changer also had a profitable enterprise exchanging local and foreign money for the pure silver Tyrian shekel the only coin acceptable in the temple. Rose Book
R.C. Sproul Pilgrims paid exorbitant rates to change money, and sellers exploited those in poverty, overcharging for the poor man’s offering of pigeons and doves. To make things worse, these merchants set up shop in the Court of the Gentiles, making it useless as a place of prayer due to the hustle and bustle the buying and selling created.
Jesus 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 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him,(O) because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
19 When evening came, they[e] went out of the city

Barnes commentary God will never hold guiltless those who exploit the privilege of worship. This was not an impulsive show of anger remember Jesus had gone into the temple the day before. God is slow to anger; that he does not "at once" smite the guilty, but waits patiently before he rebukes and chastises.
R.C. Sproul We cannot underestimate the importance of this act. It showed Jesus as having authority to purify and take charge of the temple, a messianic task. Ezek. 43
 Examine the commercialism surrounding this season of Christ’s birth. Let’s make sure we keep Christ in Christmas where he belongs. Don’t let preparation cause you to miss the JOY of the season.
Jesus must be our the focal point of our Christian faith and prayer
In the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Peter remembered, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus taught them… Reminding them again
The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree
         Have faith in God,
         Believe without doubting
         Pray in God’s will
         Forgive and you will be forgiven
Are you willing to make Jesus the focus of your holiday season?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Lesson 12 Discipleship in Everyday Matters ~Mark 10

Lesson 12 Discipleship in Everyday Matters ~Mark 10
Chapter 10 is filled with conflicting statements called paradox- a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true. Its purpose is to arrest attention and provoke fresh thought.
Poem credited to an Unknown Confederate Soldier
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey . . .
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things ...
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise ...
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God …
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things ...
I got nothing I asked for--but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I, among all men, am most richly blessed!
Lesson 12 Discipleship in Everyday Matters
Lessons from Paradox
1.     Two Shall Be As One (10:1-12)
2.     Adults must become as Children (10:13-16)
3.     The Impossible Is Possible (10:17-30)
4.     First Shall be Last (10:31-45)
5.     The Blind can  See (10:46-52)

1.    Two Shall Be As One
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus attracts crowds once again. This area of Judea is ruled by Herod Antipas (beheaded John the Baptist for preaching against his adulterous marriage). Pharisees pick a question about divorce to trap Jesus. “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
Jesus turned the question back to the Pharisees focusing on the WORD of God.
 Verse 4-They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.

God allowed the Bill of Divorcement to restrain divorce and protect the wife, who had legal rights, from being cast aside and treated as a harlot. Adultery was not a ground for divorce because the punishment to both caught in adultery was death by stoning.

Genesis 1: 27 So God created man in his own image, … male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them,
 “Be fruitful and multiply”
can only be true of a man and a woman.
2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one.
Warren Wiersbe in Be Diligent states the “Most intimate relationship in the human race, for the two to become one flesh.”
Matthew Henry- “God himself joined man and wife together. The bond which God has tied is not to be lightly untied.”
Illustration: A braid appears to contain only two strands of cord. But as you know it is impossible to create a braid with only two strands. If the two could be put together at all, they would quickly unravel. Herein lies the mystery: What looks like two strands require a third. The third strand, though not immediately evident, keeps the strands tightly woven. In a Christian marriage, God's presence, like the third strand in a braid, holds husband and wife togetherCathern Paxton
2.    Adults must become as Children
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.
Jesus was much displeased with his disciples for their mistreatment those binging children. Just like in the children song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” It was a pleasure to Him to receive and bless little children. Plus, the disciples had already forgotten the lesson taught in Mark 9:37“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,”
Mark 10:15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And she took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
He cares about children and uses them to illustrate good qualities of faith, innocence, honesty, and trust. Childishness is not what Jesus is referring to. Jesus asks us to be childlike; open, trusting, and responsive. Jesus wanted the disciples to embrace powerlessness rather than seeking power.
Remember ~Jesus entered the world not as a mighty warrior but as an innocent babe.

Forest E. Witcraft (1894 – 1967), a scholar, teacher, and Boy Scout administrator. His quote was  first published in the October 1950 issue of Scouting magazine.
“One hundred years from now, It will not matter,
 What kind of car I drove, What kind of house I lived in,
How much I had in my bank account, Nor what my clothes looked like.
One hundred years from now, It will not matter
What kind of school I attended, What kind of typewriter I used,
How large or small my church,
But the world may be a little better because...
I was important in the life of a child.”
3.     The Impossible is Possible (10:17-31)
The rich young ruler came running to Jesus and knelt before Him. Running was not dignified for someone of his position. Kneeling before Jesus also showed humility. When he called Jesus “Good Teacher,” he was signifying that he knew Jesus was God.  For no one is good but God alone.”
The young ruler was diligently seeking to earn eternal life. As Jesus listed the laws of Moses, the young ruler was earnest in his desire to be obedient to the laws. “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” Jesus beheld him and loved him. (After all was trying so hard! just like Ann.)
21Jesus said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 
 Jesus offered the young man the gift of eternal life.v.22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
It is difficult to receive a gift when your fist is clenched around money and the things money can buy.

He claims to have kept the law since his youth, but he forgot the first commandment. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Money was his god.
But no one can keep all the laws. God knew that from Creation and had a plan to provide the perfect sacrifice once and for all men. Jesus! The man did not see sin in himself. We cannot be forgiven until be admit we have sinned.
25 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”“Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
Illustrate-Imagine a door into wall around Jerusalem through which a camel cannot enter unless he were unloaded, and made to kneel. A rich man cannot enter heaven unless he is willing to part with the burden of his worldly wealth and stoop to be an humble servant.
DISCIPLESHIP truly does MATTER when we are hindered by trappings of this world.
4.     First shall be Last 10:31-45
This is third time Jesus tries to prepare his disciple for the cup of sorrow He must endure. But this is the first time the disciples were told it will happen in Jerusalem, the Holy City and Jesus will be handed over to Gentiles for his death.
Greg Laurie of Harvest Church : “When Jesus spoke of His own impending death, about how he would be betrayed and then handed over to the Gentiles to be mocked, spit upon, scourged, and ultimately killed, (Don’t you know the despondency you would feel.)
James and John blurted out, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask. . . . Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory” (Mark 10:35, 37 NKJV).
Seriously, was that a good time to bring this up? It would be like saying, “Really? Could I have your car?” to someone who just found out they had one week to live. These guys just said what they thought.(Just like Ann) And they were just like us: hopelessly human and remarkably unremarkable.”
Matthews’s account of this event may soften our opinion of the Sons of Thunder. After the discussion of the rich young ruler, Matthew 19:27   Peter replied, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”
Matthew 19:28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Matthew 20:20 also tells it is the mother of James and John was doing the asking.
Jesus replies But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, FOR 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
I recently discovered we have a big race fan in our class. It seemed appropriate to use a racing illustration for this point.
At the Daytona 500 in 1979, as 100,000 fans watched, Richard Petty ended his 45 race losing streak and won stockcar racing's largest purse--$73,500.  
Petty's win was a complete surprise. Going into the last lap, he was running 30 seconds behind the two leaders, Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison. Struggling to gain first place, Cale tried to pass Allison on the inside. But Donnie blocked him and ran Cale into the dirt.  Without slowing down, Yarborough came back onto the track and collided with Allison.  Both cars fused together and plowed into the third turn wall.  The cars slid down the banking and came to rest in the infield.
Petty, who had offseason surgery to remove 40 percent of his stomach, was racing against the advice of his doctor.  For Petty, it was a miraculous victory “I didn’t know what happened that last lap.  I saw the yellow light flash.  I radioed my pit crew and asked them where the wreck was.  All they said was ‘Go, go, go’.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw both them cars sittin’ in the grass.”
This 1979 event was the first time that the Daytona 500 was broadcast live on television. The incident helped spark an interest in NASCAR that no amount of advertising could ever match.
DISCIPLESHIP MATTERS everyday on the racetrack and in our lives.
5.     The Blind can See
It was the season for Passover and many Jews were traveling toward Jerusalem. Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside hoping to receive charity from those passing by.  When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” He knew of the miracles of Jesus. Blind Bartimaeus saw what others could not. This was the Messiah from the linage of David. He would not be quiet. Jesus stopped and called him.50 And throwing off his cloak which might hinder his coming. He sprang up and came to Jesus. The cloak has been spreading out for almsgiving on the street.Blindness did not prevent Bartimaeus from recognizing Jesus as Rabboni, my great master, the most honorable of all titles. (Only Mary at the tomb used term.)
 “Go your way; your faith has made you well. And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. Warren Weirsbe says this is the last healing miracle recorded in Mark. We see Jesus Christ, God's suffering servant, on His way to the cross, and yet He stops to serve a blind beggar. What love, what mercy, what Grace!
Are we bold enough to speak out for Jesus? Do we throw off all that encumbers us and leap to follow Jesus, Son of David? Do you trust Jesus to show you the way.
The poor, weak and blind matter to Jesus. DISCIPLESHIP MATTERS EVERYDAY
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy
.    Isaiah 35:5,6.

In everyday matters it means dying to self, putting needs of other before our own, and living by faith in Jesus! Trusting He knows was is best.
Will you choose to put others first in everyday matters?