week 5

Week 5 - Temple







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.)


Mark 11:15-17

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.  


Mark 11:18

The Chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, 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 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 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 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.

Week 5: Take A Stand


This weekend Matt talked about Gideon from the book of Judges. Gideon took a stand against the false gods that his people worshiped. In doing so, he angered his friends and neighbors to the point that they were ready to kill him. In the next chapter, we see thousands of men ready and willing to follow him into battle.

When you take a stand, many won’t like it at first. Change is difficult for people to deal with, and change often threatens the things that people hold to be sacred. In the long run, we follow those who stand for something.

We learned about the progression of Gideon’s character. He started out in a place of cowardice. He initially took a small stand, and then went on to something bigger. Sometimes the stand we need to take is big, but smaller stands prepare us for what lies ahead. Gideon’s journey to leadership had it’s bumps and obstacles. In the end, he became the leader that he was because he was willing to take a stand.


Just for fun...
Sometimes we don’t choose our battles wisely. What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever taken a stand for?

Who is a person that you admire for taking a stand?
For you, what is the most difficult thing about standing up for what you believe? What do you wish more people would take a stand for?
What stand do you need to take? How can this group support you in it?

Pray that we will have the courage to take stands in our lives, and that God will bless our actions when we follow him.

Keep on praying for our “Snow Way Event.” This is an opportunity for us to invite friends and neighbors to FCC, and connect with people who need Jesus. Pray about who you might invite, and that the event will be a success.

Spend a moment giving thanks and praise to God for three baptisms that took place this week where FCC field workers work in the Middle East. Pray for those who committed their life to Jesus, to remain bold in their faith and encouraged by a surrounding body of believers.




This week’s we wrapped up our Focus series by talking about our call to love, and what it means for us to love others. His main teaching text was 1st Corinthians 13...

IfIspeakinthetongues[a] ofmenorofangels,butdonothavelove,Iamonlyaresoundinggongor a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all
knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I giveallIpossesstothepoorandgiveovermybodytohardshipthatImayboast,[b] butdonothave love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

We often approach this famous passage as if it were a checklist. We think that the challenge is to try our best to master the items on the list. The truth is that this is not a comprehensive “to do” list for believers. Instead, it is a description of the traits that characterize a person who follows Jesus. It is not about acting a certain way. It is about our very motives being permeated by the love of Jesus that lives inside of us.

Scott also talked about the fact that Christians tend to fall into two general categories, those who are about grace, and those who are about truth. Those of us who more highly value truth tend to be more judgmental. We want people to do what is right and we will speak to our convictions with little regard for the feelings of others. Those of us who fall in the “grace camp” value harmony and despise tension. We err on the side of forgiveness without accountability. Most people look at this as a balancing act. We ask how we can practice grace while balancing it with truth, but Jesus didn’t do this. He was

one hundred percent gracious, and one hundred percent truthful. The book of John tells us that he was “full of grace and truth”; two things that live in tension with one another. And when we follow Jesus, we live in that tension. In all situations, we seek to answer the question, “What does love require of me?”


Have you ever interacted with a person who displayed some of the traits described in 1 Corinthians 13, but was not motivated by love? How could you tell the difference? What made you suspect that their motives were not sincere?

What are the negative effects of looking at 1 Corinthians 13 as a checklist?

As we grow closer to Jesus, our lives become characterized by the attributes of love. In the same way that a tree doesn’t try to bear fruit, a Christ-follower naturally produces Christ-like attributes. What fruit has grown in your life as a result of following Jesus?

Would you describe yourself as a “grace” person or a “truth” person. How would you defend your position as being more valid than those on the other side of the argument. Go ahead and rant a little bit if you want to.

How does the cross show us that Jesus is completely gracious, and completely full of truth at the same time?

When we deal with difficult people, how can we be both completely gracious and completely truthful? See if you can come up with some examples.


Pray that we will embrace the tension between grace and truth, and learn to live in it. Pray that we will develop Christ-like traits in our lives that are motivated by love.

Pray that people will experience the love of Jesus through us this week on the third, fourth, and fifth of July, as we serve our community. Pray that every interaction is full of love and authentic care for others.