Last week we shared about how we are the temple of the Lord and we are Knit together with Christ. We want to continue to look at the ramifications of that statement.
1. Jesus Visits the Temple
Ephesians 3: 1 Paul states “When I consider all of this” What is he considering? We are knit together with Christ and we are the temple of God.
To Understand this we want to look at Jesus visit to the temple in Mark 11. this visit occurred after Palm Sunday. Jesus did four things.
- Observed the temple
- Cursed the Fig Tree
- Returned and cleared out the temple.
- Gave a promise of faith to the disciples as he explained why the fig tree was cursed.
2. Temple Observed
When the first temple was dedicated by Solomon, he had a few desires of what the results of having a temple would bring to the people.
- Will God really live among people? (2 Chronicles 6: 18)
- God arise and enter your resting place (2 Chronicles 6: 41) See Ephesians 3: 17 Christ makes his home in your heart.
- Fire flashed and the glorious presence of God filled the temple (2 Chronicles 7: 1, 2)
- Dignitaries traveled from around the world to visit the temple (Queen of Sheba)
When Jesus visited the temple, things had changed. None of the things that occurred at the dedication of the temple were happening.
- People were selling animals for sacrifices. (this wasn’t wrong in itself, but they moved the sales into the inner court
- People came to connect with God, but there was no room for that
- Jesus observed what was happening. See Revelation2 where Jesus is walking among the candlesticks, which are the churches, observing what is happening.
3. Fig Tree Cursed and Temple Cleansed
Mark 11: 12 – 14 Jesus leaves the temple and walks to where he is staying. On the way he goes to a fig tree to get something to eat. When He finds that it is bear of figs, he curses the tree. We will come back to the symbolism of this in a moment.
The next day Jesus comes back tot he temple and drives out the moneychangers and restores order to the temple.
The temple is a place where people can experience God. Where is the temple today? WE ARE IT
We have lost something because we are more like the temple Jesus visited than what Solomon dedicated.
4. The Lesson of the Fig Tree
Mark 11: 20, 21 the disciples mention that the fig tree that Jesus cursed dried up form the roots up
Jesus only cursed one thing in the Bible so it must have significance. Let’s look where figs first come into view.
Genesis 3: 7 Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves to cover the glory of God that they lost.
Fig leaves represent man’s attempt to do what we have lost in the presence of God. Jesus is cursing every man made religion that no longer has his presence. This is the mountain that is to be cast into the sea. Traditions need to be removed and if we have faith, they will be moved.
5. Proclaiming Faith
Ephesians 3: 10, 11 We are to proclaim God’s eternal purposes to the spiritual realms.
- The church is to display His presence and power that was exhibited int he temple of the Old Testament
- We proclaim it to others, but we also proclaim it to spiritual forces in heavenly realms.
- Angels in heaven who long to look into salvation
- Demonic forces in which we do spiritual warfare
Vs 11 This was his eternal plan brought to us through Jesus
Paul said he:
- Had a responsibility to share the message with Gentiles 3: 2
- Had a privilege to share the message 3: 8
- He was chosen 3: 9
Vs 12 because of Christ and His faithfulness, we can come now boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Don’t lose heart because of my trials (or your trials) I am suffering to advance the kingdom of God.
Vs 20 God is able to accomplish more than we ask