THE DANGER OF RELIGION: Mark 11:12-21

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SCRIPTURE

Mark 11:12-21 12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. 

15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying 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 den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. 19 And when evening came they went out of the city. 

20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

DISCUSSION

1. Study through Mark 11:12-21 together. What stands out to you and why? 

2. How would you respond to someone who said Jesus was being unreasonable or bad-tempered in cursing the fig tree? 

3. What can we learn about Religion from Jesus’ interaction with the fig tree? How does what was going on in the Temple help us further understand what Jesus was doing with the fig tree? 

4. What are some of the main differences between Religion and the Gospel? What does Religion produce in us? What does the Gospel produce in us? 

5. What is the definition of fruitlessness in regards to a Christian? a church? What “fruit” do you think God sees in your church? 

GOOD WORD

First, the gospel says Jesus’ life saves you. He lived a just and sinless life, so we can have an identity that can’t be taken away. Second, the gospel says Jesus’ death saves you. He stood in our place, became sin, and died for sin so that we can be loved by God in a way that can never fade. Finally, the gospel says, Jesus’ resurrection saves you. He arose, triumphant over the grave so that all harms will eventually be healed both personally and cosmically. This is good news.

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