Purifying the Worshipping Community

Key Verse: “They come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.”
—Mark 11:15

Lesson Scripture:
Mark 11:1-9, 15-18

IN TODAY’S LESSON we find Jesus triumphantly entering Jerusalem where he would soon eject the moneychangers from the Temple. When he approached the city, near the Mount of Olives, he sent forth two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him.” (Mark 11:2,3) The disciples found the colt tied at a doorway as Jesus had directed. As they untied it some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus they cast their garments on him and Jesus sat on it. As they went, many “spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees,” and spread them on the road. (vs. 8) Those who went ahead, and those who followed, shouted, “Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!” (vs. 9) He entered Jerusalem and immediately went into the Temple. He looked around carefully and left, returning to Bethany with the twelve disciples, for it was now late in the day.

In the exciting events of this day, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Going back to Jerusalem the next day, Jesus felt hungry and seeing a fig tree he went to see if he could find anything on it; but he found nothing but leaves. Then he cursed the tree, saying to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” (Mark 11:14, New International Version) In the Scriptures, the fig tree pictures Israel.—Matt. 24:32

Following this, they returned to the Temple and Jesus began to overturn the tables of the moneychangers and the stalls of those selling doves. Furthermore, he wouldn’t allow anyone to use the Temple court as a thoroughfare to carry any merchandise through.

Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. And when even was come, he went out of the city.”—Mark 11:17-19

They passed by next morning and noticed the tree dried up from the roots. Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered! ” (vs. 21, NIV) Jesus said, “Have faith in God. … What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”—vss. 22,24

Dawn Bible Students Association
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