WHO IS THIS MAN?
WEEK 5 DISCUSSION GUIDE
This week we continued the, “Who Is This Man” series looking to answer the question, who is Jesus? We looked at the interweaving of two stories, which taken together give clarity to both. Those stories are Jesus’ cursing of a fruitless fig tree and his action in clearing the temple courts.
We are told in Mark 11:11 that Jesus went to the temple courts, but because it was late he left with the Twelve. He had something to do there, but would wait until the next day when it would be seen.
The next day, on the way back to the temple, Jesus sees a fig tree that does not bear fruit and curses it. Jesus said, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again” (Mark. 11:14.)
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of money changers and the benches of those selling doves and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. Aas he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?’ But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
The outer court of the temple was the only place the Gentiles could go to seek God. While this should have been a place of worship and prayer it had turned into a place of commerce and profit for religious leaders.
The Chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
In this act of clearing the temple courts Jesus crossed both the Roman and Jewish leaders. A week after clearing the temple courts he will die on the cross.
When Jesus and the Twelve leave Jerusalem they come across the fig tree once again and see that it was “withered from the roots” (Mark 11:21).
The fig tree serves as an illustration, which points to the fruitlessness of the nation of Israel and the temple. The fact that it withered after Jesus cursed it, foreshadows the judgement on Israel and the temple that would later be destroyed, just as Jesus predicted.
Jesus did not come restore the temple, what was once the center of faith, worship and the sacrificial system. He came to replace it. Connection with God would no longer happen through a place, the temple, but through a person, Jesus. When you place your life into Jesus and are baptized his spirit comes to live in you. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is the power and presence of God.
What do you think the people’s reactions would have been to Jesus overturning the tables in the temple?
What injustice do you see in the world that you think should move us to action? What would that look like?
Have you ever experienced this type of “holy dissatisfaction”? What was the source and did it move you to act?
As believers in Jesus we have the Holy Spirit, the power and presence of God inside us. How does living in this reality make you feel?
Tell about a time when you sensed the guidance of the Holy Spirit or the Spirit empowering you to do what you could not do alone.
Does knowing that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit make you want to cleanse any area of the temple? What would this look like?
PRAY FOR YOUR GROUP
Pray that what breaks the heart of Jesus, would break our hearts and move us to act in love. Pray that we would be mindful that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
PRAY FOR FCC
Pray for decisions to be made to follow Jesus. Pray for people to surrender to Jesus as their Lord and savior and be obedient in baptism.
PRAY FOR OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS
Pray for FCC global partners, IberoAmerican Ministries, and the work they do in Chile. Pray for about 100 young people in their Chilean churches who've committed to following Jesus' call to share His message of hope and love with people groups who've never been introduced to Jesus. Pray for their training process, the boldness and courage to follow through, and for God's love and peace to clearly be seen through these Chilean believers.