Week 7: Mark 11-12

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Day 1: Mark 11:1-10

  1. Where is the mountain located in relation to Jerusalem? (Outside research required)
  2. Why is the Mount of Olives significant? (Read Zechariah 14:3-4, Ezekiel 11:23 and Ezekiel 43:1-5)
  3. What kind of a donkey did Jesus specify?
    • Had anyone ridden it before?
    • Did Jesus have any trouble riding the donkey?
    • Why?
  4. Do you think Jesus instructed the disciples to steal the colt or did he possibly have it prearranged?
  5. Is the donkey significant? (Read: Zechariah 9:9-10, Genesis 49:10-11, and 1 Kings 1:38-40)
  6. What did the crowds lay on the road ahead of Jesus?
  7. What did the people shout? (Read Psalm 118:25-26)

Day 2: Mark 11:11-19

  1. Skim Mark 11:11-27 This is one huge section of Markan sandwiches with the temple and the fig tree. Read through these verses and then make an outline of the sandwiches with these themes.
  2. What is the central thing highlighted with these sandwiches?
  3. Do you think that Mark is making a correlation between the fig tree’s lack of fruit and the temple?
  4. According to a number of commentaries, the leaves seen from a distance should have been an indicator that there would be fruit, although in this season, the fruit of the fig tree is not considered especially edible.
    • Why would Jesus curse the tree if the fruit wasn’t in season?
    • Was Jesus being petty or is there something else going on here?
  5. What does the fig tree represent? (Read Micah 7:1, Isaiah 28:1-4, Hosea 9:10, Jeremiah 8:13, Jeremiah 24:5, Luke 13:6-9)
  6. Did Israel bear the fruit it should have?
    •  Did Israel have leaves but no fruit?
  7. Is this the first time Jesus has cleansed the temple? (Read John 2:13-25)
    • How are these two times similar or different?
  8. Why is Jesus angry? (Read Isaiah 56:7-8, Jeremiah 7:8-11)
  9. The money exchanges and sales would have been done in the outer court, the only place the Gentiles would be able to see what happened in the temple. What element does this knowledge add to why Jesus was angry?
  10. What is the significance of Jesus cleansing the temple? (Zechariah 14:21)
  11. What was the reaction of the scribes?

Day 3: Mark 11:20-33

  1. How does the fig tree look the next day?
  2. Does the Cursing of the Fig Tree sound like a real life parable?
  3. Read this account in Matthew 21:18-22.
    • What is similar and what is different?
    • Is it less miraculous if a tree withers completely in 24 hours or instantly?
    • Does the timing of this change anything about the account?
    • Why would Mark have waited to mention the fig tree had withered?
    • Is this automatically a contradiction or can the two version be reconciled?
  4. Does Mark 11:24 mean that anything we ask for we will receive?
    • How does this hold with Matthew 26:39 and 2 Corinthians 12:7-9?
    • What about when God doesn’t answer our prayers?
    • Should we take this section as literally true or hyperbolically teaching?
  5. What happens if we withhold forgiveness? (Read Matthew 5:23-24 and 18:21-35)
    • Why is forgiving others such an important thing to God?
    • Does it matter if we are the wronged or the one who did wrong to another?
  6. Where does Jesus go again the next day? Can you imagine going back after the previous days events?
  7. Who approached him?
  8. What did they ask?
  9. What does their dialogue amongst themselves show about the condition of their hearts?
    • Were they seeking truth or power?
  10. Why are the leaders so concerned about the public opinion of John? (Remember Mark 1:5)
  11. Why must they accept Jesus if they accept John?
    • Whom did John speak of and whose authority did he underscore?
  12. Is Jesus still concealing his identity to a degree?

Day 4: Mark 12:1-12

  1. Is there a change of location or time? Who is Jesus speaking to?
  2. What does the vine or vineyard symbolize to Israel? (Read Psalm 80:8-18, Isaiah 5:1-2, Isaiah 27:2-6, Jeremiah 2:21, and Hosea 10:1)
  3. Who is the man who owns the vineyard in this story?
    • Who are the tenants?
  4. Is the vineyard the problem in this story or the tenants?
  5. What kind of crop should Israel be producing? Remember they did not have the Holy Spirit in their hearts at this time, as he came after Jesus’ death and resurrection. (Genesis 12:2-3, Exodus 19:5-6, Micah 6:8, Matthew 23:23-28, Galatians 3:19-26)
  6. Is anyone sent after the Son?
  7. How does this story sound similar to the cursing of the fig tree?
  8. Read Psalm 118:22-28
    • What does a cornerstone do?
    • How is Jesus the cornerstone?

Day 5: Mark 12:13-27

  1. Why did they ask this question?
  2. At this time, this Roman coin (a silver denarius) had the image of Emperor Tiberius on it with the inscription “Son of the divine Augustus.” Why would this have been particularly offensive to the Jews?
  3. Read Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17
    • What is our relationship with the government as Christians?
    • How does this work in a democracy?
  4. Who did Jesus know would be the ones to kill him in just a little while?
  5. What belongs to “Caesar”?
    • What belongs to God?
  6. What is the main difference between the Sadducees and Pharisees? (Read Acts 23:6-8)
  7. What resurrection are they speaking of?
  8. What mistake does Jesus say they make?
  9. Is marriage forever? When does marriage end?
  10. The Sadducees were essentially are annihilationists. They believed that when someone dies, their soul dies for eternity and there is no afterlife. Does Jesus believe they are correct?
  11. Read Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:2. Do these indicate an afterlife?
  12. What does the New Testament teach about the afterlife? (Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-55, Acts 24:14-15, Revelation 20:12-13, Matthew 25:31-32, 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
  13. What do you believe about the afterlife?

Day 6: Mark 12:28-34

  1. What is this man’s heart like as he is asking his question?
    • How is his posture different from the other conversations?
  2. How does Jesus answer?
  3. Look at the ten commandments in Exodus 20:1-17. Did Jesus leave any out with this summary?
  4. Read Deuteronomy 6:4-5
    • How many times is Lord/God mentioned in the verse 5? (Note: There is much more firm evidence for the Trinity in the Old Testament, but this could be an interesting nod to it.)
    • How do you love the Lord in those four areas?
  5. How do you love your neighbor as yourself?
  6. How does the man respond?
    • What does he put above sacrifice and rituals?
  7. How does Jesus respond?
  8. Do you think this man is an example of how the religious leaders should have responded to Jesus?
  9. Were there other religious leaders who responded with this kind of heart to Jesus? (Read Mark 15:43, Acts 5:33-39, John 7:50-51, and John 19:38-40)
  10. How does this fit with what Jesus says to the religious leaders in John 5:46-47

Day 7: Mark 12:35-44

  1. What did Bartimaeus call Jesus in Mark 10:47?
    • What do the people mean when they say the Son of David? (Read 2 Samuel 7:12-13)
  2. What question does Jesus pose?
  3. Read Psalm 110:1
    • What does Jesus’ reflection on this passage suggest?
    • Is the Messiah the Lord of David or his son or both?
    • Is Jesus a descendant of David? (Read Matthew 1:20, Luke 1:27, Revelation 22:16)
  4. What is Jesus claiming about the identity of the Messiah and therefore himself?
  5. Has this claim been made of Jesus in other places? (Read John 1:1, John 1:15, and John 8:56-59)
  6. Read all of Psalm 110
    • Does this sound like a prediction of a resurrection?
    • Note: Many Jews of this time didn’t know what to think of this Psalm. Some thought that this Psalm means that the body of David was preserved somewhere waiting to be resurrected someday. Others say that it was simply wishful thinking on David’s part.
  7. Read Acts 2:22-38
    • Who does Peter say this Psalm is about?
    • What does it predict?
  8. Look at each thing Jesus says against these teachers in Mark 12:38-40. What is the main issue?
  9. How does Jesus elevate the poor in verses 41-43?
  10. Does God care more about our money or our heart?