We have all heard the statement: "Hindsight is 20/20." The insight gained through hindsight frequently resources us to live with foresight. That is why we are going to spend the Fall looking at the Gospel of Mark in reverse. Why is the message about Him called "the Gospel" (from Old English meaning 'good news') and what is the message that is proclaimed?
The unique thing about hindsight is that it allows you to see things that may have been misunderstood in that present moment. It seems that when Jesus entered into Jerusalem at the beginning of the Passover week (the triumphal entry) everyone seemed to have their take on who this radical young Rabbi was. One week later so much would change and so many would realize how much was misunderstood about who Jesus was and the statement he was making. Even today, when we lose sight of the Gospel, we can misunderstand who Jesus is and what he is longing to do in us and in His creation.
TODAY'S SCRIPTURE | Mark 11.1-25
Mark 11.1 As they *approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, He *sent two of His disciples, 2 and *said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. 3 “If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ you say, ‘The Lord has need of it’; and immediately he will send it back here.” 4 They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they *untied it. 5 Some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. 7 They *brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. 8 And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. 9 Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna!
BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;
10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David;
Hosanna in the highest!”
Mark 11.11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.
Mark 11.12 On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. 13 Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening.
Mark 11.15 Then they *came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; 16 and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. 17 And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS’? But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” 18 The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.
Mark 11.19 When evening came, they would go out of the city.
Mark 11.20 As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Being reminded, Peter *said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus *answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. 23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. 25 “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.
Mark 11.26 [“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]
Here are some books and resources we recommend for your own reflection and study:
The Weekend Resource Guide can be used for further reflection and is the resource tool that most of our LifeGroups use.
Beloit College created The Mindset List to cause faculty and staff to consider the mindset of each incoming class of students. It seeks to paint a picture that illustrates the worldview and culture gap that exists among the generations that comprise a multigenerational community.
Basic Christianity by John Stott will provide you with insight and understanding whether you are seeking Jesus or have been following Him for years. Thin and profound.
Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters is a great introduction into the life of Jesus and how we can relate to Him today.
Reunion: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners is a dynamic investigation of the most earth-shattering, piety-smashing, life-changing news ever. Discover your true citizenship in the Jesus nation, where you might be ready to die for a cause but never willing to kill for it.
The Hole in Our Gospel Special Edition: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World demonstrates that the whole gospel was always meant to be a world-changing, social revolution, a revolution that begins with each one of us.
Who is Jesus is a video produced by Alpha... a GREAT introduction:
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