Mark 11: Bible Study Guide

41-BSG-11D: TODAY’S CHAPTER

Mark 11: Bible Reading Plan/ The Book of Mark 11/ Theme: Jesus Comes to Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-33)

Mark 11 (NKJV) — 1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; 2 and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. 3 And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.” 4 So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it. 5 But some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the colt?” 6 And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. 8 And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ 10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve. 12 Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it. 15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” 18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city. 20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” 22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” 27 Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. 28 And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?” 29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: 30 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.” 31 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From men’ ”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. 33 So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

41-BSG-11I: SEEING WHAT’S THERE.

Bible Study Guide/ Mark 11, (41-BSG-11H)/ Foundational Questions.

[1] What is the main content of this chapter? The Triumphal Entry (1–11)/ Jesus curses a Fig Tree (12–14)/ Jesus cleanses the Temple (15–19)/ A Lesson from the withered Fig Tree (20-24)/ Prayer and Forgiveness (25–26)/ The Religious Leaders question Jesus: By what authority? (27–28)/ Jesus answers their Question with a Question (29–33)

[2] What does the chapter say about God? And remember Jesus Christ is God!

A: Jesus Christ is the King, the royal parade into Jerusalem, and the fact that He proved of it prove the fact the He was indeed the King, as prophesied from the OT (see Zech. 9:9;

B: Jesus went to Jerusalem to die! No one forced Him! This great event marks what is famously known as “The Passion Week”- leading up to the Cross. Jesus died on the Cross for our sins willingly — “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13, NKJV)

C: Through Cross, Jesus conquered Sin, Death, Satan— “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14–15, NKJV)

D: Jesus was fully human (He was Hungry, cf. Mk 11:12). He felt what we feel. That’s why in Hebrews, He is referred to as our Elder Brother (Heb 2:11); the One who took our DNA (Heb. 2:14); the One who can “sympathize with our weaknesses,” The One who was tried (tempted) “in all points” as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15).

E: “Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves” (Mk 11:15). Jesus became angry, but he did not sin. There is a place for righteous indignation. As Christ’s followers, we are right to be upset about sin.

F: Jesus desire that we worship Him orderly, in Truth and Spirit (Jn 4:24); Places of worship must be used for Worship and Prayer, “a house of prayer for all nations” (Mk 11:17). This calls for dedication, holiness, not just for the building, but worshipers as well. Do you have a designated worship chamber for your household?

G: Jesus desires that we Pray, and “Have faith in God” (Mk 11:22).

H: Jesus has power (all authority) because He is God! The Jews could not keep up with Jesus’ power over disease, nature, power to forgive sins, etc. (Mk 11:28). “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.” (John 3:35, NKJV) “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18)

[3] What do you think is the main point God is making by including this chapter in the Bible? A Lesson from the withered Fig Tree: When God’s mercy runs out.

The fruitless Fig Tree presented the Jewish nation, and by extension us. For nearly three and a half years, the Son of God had ministered to them but in vain (they wouldn’t come to Him as the Saviour of the Word). Beloved, for over 2000 now, since the Cross event, the Spirit of God has been reaching out to us—to Repent and accept the free offer of His Salvation. Are we listening? Are we making decision for Christ? Are we paying attention? Do we know that we live in End Times, a probationary time, and soon the door of Mercy shall be closed, for there will be no Intercessor? Do we know that there is a limit to God’s mercy? Soon these fearful words shall come forth from the Heavenly Sanctuary — “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” (Revelation 22:11, NKJV)

[4] What response do you think this chapter should inspires us to do? — “And seeing from afar a Fig Tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.” (Mark 11:13–14, NKJV)

A: Genuine Repentance! — “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.” (Matthew 3:8, NKJV) “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:10, NKJV)

B: If we continue to be fruitless, we will be cut down! — “Compare Isaiah’s parable of the wild grapes (Isa. 5:1–7) and Christ’s parable of the Barren Fig Tree (Luke 13:6–9). Implicit in Jesus’ parable is the fact that God is long-suffering, but that if His offers of mercy are not appreciated, they are eventually withdrawn. The Jewish nation had practically outlived its day of mercy, and was about to be rejected.” –(SDA BC 5:299).

C: Jesus expects the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) from all His followers. Being religious without bearing fruits is like a well leaved fig tree without fruit. Bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit is the essence of letting our light so shine that people see our good deeds and give glory to God. When Christ is thus lifted up in His followers, people are drawn to Him (Jn 12:32).

41-BSG-11M: SINS TO AVOID/ CONFESS:

Bible Study Guide/ Mark 11, (41-BSG-11M)/ List of Specific Sins.

[1] Questioning God before you Obey (Read Mk 11:2-3). Imagine what kind of conversation was going on between the two disciples on their way to the village where this colt would supposedly be. Beloved, we do not need to know all the details before we can say Yes to God and obey His Instructions. The Scriptures says, “And he [Abram] believed in (trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness (right standing with God).” (Genesis 15:6, AMP) Did it make sense why he should sacrifice Isaac, his only son, there on the Mount? No! Did God provide Himself a lamb? Yes! What’s the point? Obey what God id telling you, even if it doesn’t make sense! Remember: to obey is better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22).

[2] Failure to recognize Christ as Messiah. In Mark 11:8-10, we see the people’s response: the recognition of His messiahship (cf. Lk 9:20-21; Jn 7:41). Thus, they sang, “Hosanna!” Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ (v. 8). They might have confuse the nature of His kingdom then, but at least they recognized Him. Who is Jesus Christ to you?

[3] Fruitlessness: On the Fig Tree, Jesus found nothing but leaves (Mk. 11:13). What kinds of fruits do people see in you? — But the fruit of the Spirit is “Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control” (Gal 5:22). Do you have these? Remember, “Faith without works is dead!” (James 2:20). Do not deceive yourself, God is looking for fruit-bearing branches.

[4] Disrespect for God’s house: Jesus cleansed the Temple because it was turned into a market square (Mt 21:12–13; Mk 11:15–17; Lk 19:45–46; Jn 2:13–17). What kind of businesses are being conducted at your Local Church? Is the Sacred Building used for worship/ prayer (on Sabbath), but also for some other despicable activities on the course of the week? Are you respecting God’s house?

[5] Failure to Forgive a fellow brother, or Enemy: Forgiveness is a prerequisite to Answered Prayer. Do not hold a grudge against someone; you ought to first forgive that person before praying. Praying without doing so is a total wastage of time! Grow up and Let it Go! – “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mk 11:26). Follow what Jesus has prescribed here.        

[6] Study the following Scriptures about “Forgiveness of Those who have Sinned against us:”

  • “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21–22, NKJV)
  • “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25–26, NKJV)
  • “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” (Luke 17:3–5, NKJV)

Warnings of Punishment for Sin:The soul who sins shall die.” (Ezek. 18:20) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,” (Romans 1:18, NKJV) “Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,” (Colossians 3:6, NKJV)

God’s call for Genuine Repentance: “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 1:18–20, NKJV)

41-BSG-11Y: NIGHT DEVOTION.

Bible Study Guide/ Mark 11, (41-BSG-11Y)/ Selected Devotional Thought(s) in Mark 11/ Theme: Developing More Faith

Key Text: “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22, NKJV) And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5, NKJV)

Question: How can we develop Faith in God? Here are a few suggestions that you might find useful:

[1] Sing More about Jesus – “More about Jesus, I would know, More of His grace to others show; More of His saving fullness see, More of His love who died for me.” (SDAH 245)

“Who is He in deep distress, Fasting in the wilderness? ‘Tis the Lord, O wondrous story, ‘Tis the Lord, the King of glory!” – (SDAH 150, Stanza 2)

Tell Me The Story Of Jesus – (SDAH 152). “Tell me the story of Jesus, Write on my heart every word; Tell me the story most precious, Sweetest that ever was heard/ Tell how the angels in chorus, Sang as they welcomed His birth/ “Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth.”

“Fasting alone in the desert, Tell of the days that are past/ How for our sins He was tempted; Yet was triumphant at last/ Tell of the years of His labor, Tell of the sorrow He bore/ He was despised and afflicted, Homeless, rejected and poor.” — (Stanza 2)

[2] Meditate More about God’s Law, Love, Goodness –“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1–2, NKJV)

[3] Think More of the Past Mighty Deeds of God, and bank on His Promises to hold the future — “I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.” (Psalm 77:11–12, NKJV)

[4] Fellowship More with God’s Word — “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV)

[5] Look More to God: “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). Study the life of Jesus closely: How did He pray? How did He conquer temptations? How did He conduct Himself? How did He get the courage to move on with His Mission despite many oppositions? Looking to other people, financial gain, houses, lands, pleasure, and popularity brings disappointment eventually. Looking to Jesus increases our faith!

[6] Hear More from God — “Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.” (Psalm 85:8, ESV). There are too many sounds on the course of the day — Adds, Conversations, Radio, and TV, etc. How many hours in a day have you reserve to hear from the LORD? God speaks through His Word, Prayer, Sacred Music, and His Spirit. When God speaks, do you listen? We need to hear more from God.

[7] Say More for God — “And you shall be My witnesses …” (Acts 1:8). People talk about everything—the weather, politics, cars, news. But how much do they say for God? Christians should seek opportunities to share Christ with others.

[8] Do More Through God — “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV) Some Christians do little for the Lord because they depend on their limited finite strength. We must depend upon the infinite, omnipotent power of God.

[9] Go More with God — Without God’s direction, people often lose their way — “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17, NKJV)

God’s way is always best. When He leads us, we are assured of the proper guidance. The Psalmist affirms, “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3–4, NKJV)

[10] Be More Like God — “You should follow His steps.”  Some mimic other people, celebrities, or other well-known individuals. Let us be more like Jesus, our greatest example. His love and mercy are unsurpassed. Our faith grows as we follow Him.

Conclusion: An Appeal to Be Like Jesus! Listen to the words of this Hymn, “I Would Be Like Jesus” (SDAH 311).

Earthly pleasures vainly call me; I would be like Jesus; Nothing worldly shall enthrall me; I would be like Jesus. Refrain: “Be like Jesus, this my song, In the home and in the throng; Be like Jesus, all day long! I would be like Jesus.

Have a Good Night: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;” (1 Peter 2:21–23, NKJV)