Dishman Baptist Church
Untitled Service - 9/13/2020
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        Family Meeting

        September 27, 2020 - 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
        Members are invited to come to our quarterly family member's meeting after service
      • Download

        Family Meeting

        September 27, 2020 - 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
        Members are invited to come to our quarterly family member's meeting after service
      • Download

        Family Meeting

        September 27, 2020 - 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
        Members are invited to come to our quarterly family member's meeting after service
      • Download

        Family Meeting

        September 27, 2020 - 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
        Members are invited to come to our quarterly family member's meeting after service
  • Indescribable
  • Wonderful Maker
  • Our Great God
      • Revelation 3.7CSB

      • Revelation 3.8CSB

      • Revelation 3.9CSB

      • Revelation 3.10-11CSB

      • Revelation 3.12-13CSB

  • Introduction

    Good morning and welcome to Dishman Baptist Church. Please open your Bibles with me to Mark 11, Mark 11.
    It is a blessing to us that you would join us this morning. It is also good to be back and I want to reiterate my thanks to all of you for allowing my family and I to take a short vacation. If you’re joining us for the first time - either in person or online - then we would greatly appreciate you filling out a contact card. We would cherish the opportunity to get to know you better and to learn how we can continue to grow together as a family, learning and developing one another’s gifts for the glory of God.
    Thank you to Kyle Harrison for the great job he did filling in last week. He took us through the first day of what is known as the Passion Week of Christ and we will be looking at the events of this week for the rest of the book of Mark - the next five chapters. Monday of Passion Week entails what has been touted as the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. He rides in on the colt of a donkey rather than the magnificent stallion that a conquering King should return on but no matter - this is the moment. The promised moment that has been promised throughout the whole book. Among Jesus first words were that the Kingdom of God was at hand and this was it. The great moment that all of the crowds had been waiting for - Jesus was going to walk in to Jerusalem, depose the Romans, send them packing and restore the nation to prominence.
    If this is the case, Mark could really use some lessons in public relations. His rendition of the triumphal entry is rather lack-luster. It is pretty anti-climactic. Jesus has this big moment - the crowds are roaring, coats are being laid out for His donkey to walk on, people are fanning and waving palm branches and then....nothing.
    Mark 11:11 CSB
    He went into Jerusalem and into the temple. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
    Jesus walks into the Temple, looks around, and leaves. Luke says that even as He approached the city, as the crowds were crying out “Hosanna” around Him, Jesus wept over the city.
    So now we come to Tuesday and we’re going to study through one of the more troubling passages in all of Scripture. This particular passage has caused turmoil for commentators and skeptics alike. Let’s look at the passage and then understand what it has for us this morning. Look at Mark 11:12-25.
    Mark 11:12–25 CSB
    The next day when they went out from Bethany, he was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to find out if there was anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And his disciples heard it. They came to Jerusalem, and he went into the temple and began to throw out those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. He was teaching them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!” The chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to kill him. For they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was astonished by his teaching. Whenever evening came, they would go out of the city. Early in the morning, as they were passing by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for—believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.”
    As I said this passage has always been particularly troubling. Regarding the picture of Jesus that we see in this passage, the 20th century philosopher and atheist or agnostic (depending on who you read) Bertrand Russell said this “I cannot myself feel that either in the matter of wisdom or in the matter of virtue Christ stands quite as high as some other people known to history.” But of course he was an atheist.
    T.W. Manson, a 20th century biblical scholar and minister in the Presbyterian Church of England, said “It is a tale of miraculous power wasted in the service of ill-temper (for the supernatural energy employed to blast the unfortunate tree might have been more usefully expended in forcing a crop of figs out of season); as it stands it is simply incredible.”
    It is a troubling passage. This is the only destructive miracle recorded for us in the canonical Gospels. It has always troubled me for the same reasons it has troubled others. Throughout the Gospels we get many pictures of Jesus - just in the Gospel of Mark we’ve seen Jesus the magnificent healer as He has healed illness, disability and demon possession - even death, Jesus the compassionate provider as He creates food out of meager rations to feed thousands, and Jesus the patient teacher as He has taught the crowds throughout Galilee and now into Perea and Judea.
    I remember one pastor I listened to even presented the picture of UFC Jesus in Revelation 19:16
    Revelation 19:16 CSB
    And he has a name written on his robe and on his thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
    But this passage seems to present a different side of Jesus - petulant Jesus. But that is definitely not a characteristic that is within the scope of Jesus character or attributes so there must be something more here than just this isolated incident. Our answer comes in the form of a Markan sandwich - where he starts off with one incident, describes an impactful incident in the middle and then returns to the first incident to tie everything together. As we explore this passage today let’s seek to understand and to ask ourselves the question “Where is Your Fruit”?
    We’ll be navigating through this passage in three steps - first we’ll see a curse, then a judgement and finally

    A Curse

    Why a fig tree? Jesus is travelling from Bethany to Jerusalem - across the Mount of Olives.
    Back in 1998 when I was still in the Navy I had the privilege of visiting Jerusalem and standing on the Mount of Olives - there were olive trees everywhere. If Jesus were hungry as He traversed the mountain that day He could’ve just picked a couple of olives and satisfied His hunger. What a great picture we get of Jesus humanity here though - He was hungry. All of the same conditions, all of the same challenges we face Jesus went through the same. He was truly human - which makes all that would happen later in the week possible. But for today He is hungry and looking up He sees a fig tree in leaf.
    The time for this would be late spring but the season for ripe figs is from mid-August until mid-October. But before the fig tree sprouts leaves, in fact immediately following the harvest season, the branches of the tree would sprout buds that would remain undeveloped throughout winter. By late spring these sproutings would have swelled into small green knops known as paggim and then the leaves would sprout on the tree. While these paggim are not mature figs, they are edible.
    So Jesus could have legitimately anticipated there being some edible fruit - even if it is not mature - on these trees and yet He finds none.
    The fig tree is also often used in the Old Testament as a symbol of the Jewish religious system and even for the nation of Israel itself.
    Hosea 9:10 CSB
    I discovered Israel like grapes in the wilderness. I saw your ancestors like the first fruit of the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal-peor, consecrated themselves to Shame, and became abhorrent, like the thing they loved.
    Jeremiah 8:13 CSB
    “I will gather them and bring them to an end.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “There will be no grapes on the vine, no figs on the fig tree, and even the leaf will wither. Whatever I have given them will be lost to them.”
    Joel 1:6–7 CSB
    For a nation has invaded my land, powerful and without number; its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and it has the fangs of a lioness. It has devastated my grapevine and splintered my fig tree. It has stripped off its bark and thrown it away; its branches have turned white.
    Despite the promise of fruit, this tree was barren. There was nothing to be found on its branches except leave - the false indication of fruit, a lush appearance that would give the false assurance that something would be found on its branches. Seeing that it was barren Jesus curses the tree “May no one ever eat from you again.”
    Just as He approached this fig tree expecting some indication of fruit - not even mature fruit necessarily but something - Jesus has come to the nation of Israel expecting fruit and found it wanting. Looking at another passage, a parable that Jesus told will help us here
    Luke 13:6–9 CSB
    And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. He told the vineyard worker, ‘Listen, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it even waste the soil?’ “But he replied to him, ‘Sir, leave it this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. Perhaps it will produce fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.’ ”
    For three years He has been searching the people of Israel looking for fruit. He has come to the Temple and found none. In fact what He has found is a people that mimicked their ancestors and could rightly be said of
    Isaiah 29:13 CSB
    The Lord said: These people approach me with their speeches to honor me with lip-service, yet their hearts are far from me, and human rules direct their worship of me.
    This requires of us a moment of examination. What would be the result of Christ examining the church today? Nationwide Biblical literacy is down. People no longer even know what this Book has to say - the primary way that we should understand how to produce fruit in keeping with repentance and we don’t know what it says. Instead of preaching and teaching this Book we have taken to preaching and teaching our own ideas and ideals. We refuse to follow the standards with regards to who we put in the pulpit. We get distracted by human ideals of critical race theory or we conflate Christianity with political parties - an ever present danger especially in this season. Among our own Convention - what fruit do we show? Baptism numbers are down. We claim 15 million members but only 5 million show up on a given Sunday - and even then the average attendance of an American Christian is only 3 out of 8 Sundays - and that was before Covid.
    What of our own church. If Christ returns, or comes to our tree, what fruit would He find being produced here at Dishman? What of each of our own individual lives. We have a men’s group that meets on Thursday nights and our discussion this last Thursday was on our use of time with respect to the Gospel. What a precious commodity time is. It is the only commodity that once it is gone it can never be replenished. And it is the one commodity that we will all give an answer to Christ for our use of. We will not be judged certainly - any sins we have committed are covered under the blood of Christ for those who have placed their faith in Him - but we will account to Him for every minute of our lives and what fruit will He find on your branches? Kyle asked this question last week “If Jesus were to walk in here today and survey us, would he come back tomorrow with righteous anger? Would he weep that we are astray or would he rejoice in the glory he is given through us?”
    Jesus came to the nation of Israel and the system of worship that was exemplified by the Temple and not only found it lacking but He found it rotten to the core.

    A Judgement

    The scene that Jesus found when He stepped into the Temple courts that day was nothing short of appalling. The current iteration of the temple is the expansion begun by Herod in 20 B.C. It was really an expansion of the second Temple that was built following the Israelites return from exile under the leadership of Zerubbabel. This second Temple was a far cry from its predecessor built by Solomon so much so that after its completion those who had seen the earlier temple in all of its glory wept.
    Ezra 3:12 CSB
    But many of the older priests, Levites, and family heads, who had seen the first temple, wept loudly when they saw the foundation of this temple, but many others shouted joyfully.
    Herod undertook to expand the Temple as a way to make a name for himself among the other rulers of the Roman Empire and to appease his Jewish subjects. In its grandeur the Temple achieved his first goal and fell short of the second. In order to accommodate his expansion plans a massive excavation was required and the building of a retaining wall to support the 35 acre area necessary for the Temple. The outer courtyard was expanded greatly and it also included, much to the Jews dislike the Antonia Fortress which housed the Roman garrison in Jerusalem.
    It is Tuesday of Passover week and all of Israel should have been in Jerusalem for the feast. Passover is one of the feasts that all of Israel was required to attend. During the year 66 A.D. the Jewish historian Josephus reports that more than 255,000 lambs were sacrificed which totals out to roughly 2.7 million visitors in Jerusalem. In many cases it was too difficult to travel the distance to Jerusalem with your sacrifice in tow and so the Temple had lambs available for purchase - lambs that incidentally for the most part were raised in Bethlehem. In addition to this the priests had to approve of any lamb that was brought.
    Jesus enters into the Temple by the Eastern Gate and steps into a cacophonous din as animal sellers haggled with pilgrims in need of a sacrifice, priests made their judgement on animals as to whether they were worthy. If an animal was judged to be unworthy then a new one would have to be purchased at an exorbitant markup in value. The oxen lowed, the sheep bleated and the birds made their noises. Those there to pay their temple tax could only use the sanctuary shekel and the fees associated with exchange of currency could be up to 400%.
    Add to this the noise of workers and work that would continue to be done on the Temple until 64 A.D. And the noise of workers transporting goods through the Temple from the East Gate as this was the shortest route into the city proper.
    It is little wonder that the Court of the Gentiles had come to be known as the Bazaar of Annas - named after the high priest who wielded the weight of influence in the Temple along with his son-in-law Caiaphas. Many of the men selling goods within the Temple mount were there only because they were willing to pay a significant portion of their earnings into the high priest’s pockets.
    The Temple meant to be a place of worship had become little better than a place of commerce. In Amos 8 God brings an indictment against the Jewish worship system
    Amos 8:4–12 CSB
    Hear this, you who trample on the needy and do away with the poor of the land, asking, “When will the New Moon be over so we may sell grain, and the Sabbath, so we may market wheat? We can reduce the measure while increasing the price and cheat with dishonest scales. We can buy the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and even sell the chaff!” The Lord has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: I will never forget all their deeds. Because of this, won’t the land quake and all who dwell in it mourn? All of it will rise like the Nile; it will surge and then subside like the Nile in Egypt. And in that day— this is the declaration of the Lord God I will make the sun go down at noon; I will darken the land in the daytime. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; I will cause everyone to wear sackcloth and every head to be shaved. I will make that grief like mourning for an only son and its outcome like a bitter day. Look, the days are coming— this is the declaration of the Lord God when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and roam from north to east seeking the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.
    Not only were these Jews in a hurry to finish the Sabbath so they could increase their earnings, they had made the very “worship” of God into a money making enterprise.
    In an exceptional display of righteous indignation and anger Jesus cleans out the temple courts. The picture of the meek and mild Jesus is definitely not in view here - he throws over the tables of the money changers causing grown men to scurry and crawl across the ground as they chase their coins. He chases out the livestock and those who sold them harrying them with their own chairs. He stops the flow of goods through the temple.
    Mark is rather understated here saying “He was teaching them “Is it not written My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” But you have made it a den of thieves.” Jesus is quoting here from Isaiah 56
    Isaiah 56:7 CSB
    I will bring them to my holy mountain and let them rejoice in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
    This is not the first time He has done this - He did the same in John 2:17 which prompted his disciples to remember what was written in Psalm 69
    Psalm 69:9 CSB
    because zeal for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
    With the noise and the crowds there would have been no where for a Gentile proselyte to worship.
    When the Messiah did present Himself to His city He did not attack the foreign oppressors as expected, instead He started cleaning out the false religious system that had been built up by men. Jesus was fully aware of the political and social realities that surrounded him - tax collectors who cheated the people to fill the pockets of a foreign government, the abuse of the poor and sick, the sale of people into slavery. But Jesus didn’t address these issues directly -instead He always brought everything back to the worship of God and the heart of those who worshipped God.
    We may not have our churches turned into bazaars today - but then again we may. I’ve seen churches turned into movie sets. I’ve even seen them turned into a rodeo arena, a wrestling ring and one had the throne from the game of thrones on the stage as the speaker sat and preached from it. We may not have people carrying goods through services or haggling over the price of exchange of our offerings - but how much worse are we? In many cases we have taken the fortunes of the church and wed them to a political party. We have watered down our Gospel, our preaching, our music until the worship of God is only given the merest of lip service. Instead of seeking to worship in the manner that God has set out in His Word - in spirit and truth whatever type of music you desire, however you are dressed, it is the spirit of the worship. Do we seek to please man or God?
    Christ comes to Jerusalem and instead of bringing judgement to the ruling authorities or the corrupt governmental or social systems, He starts with the church. Years later as Peter pens his first epistle to the scattered churches he must have thought of this as he writes
    1 Peter 4:17 CSB
    For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?
    What if Christ came back today? How would He find His church? Would He throw aside cushioned chairs and smoke machines? Would He be chasing those who were comfortable in their seats out of their rows with the same fervent passion that was on display this day in Jerusalem? Revelation 2 and 3 contain seven letters to the churches and, while Christ is gentle and chiding, most of them contain dire warnings of judgement for the churches addressed? What would Christ have to say to churches today? What would He say to Dishman? It is my prayer that He would address us as He does the church in Philadelphia
    Revelation 3:8 CSB
    I know your works. Look, I have placed before you an open door that no one can close because you have but little power; yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
    Revelation 3:10 CSB
    Because you have kept my command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
    On this day in Jerusalem Jesus has pronounced judgement on the Jewish system of religion as being fruitless and the place of worship as being false. The judgement He renders here would be borne out in a more tangible way 40 years in the future as the Temple system would be destroyed entirely by an invading Roman army under the general Titus. But also on this day Jesus seals His fate with the corrupt Jewish religious leaders as Mark writes that they started looking for a way to kill Him. But afraid of the crowd they couldn’t touch Him.
    And, much like the night before, He and his disciples go out of the city. The scene that was left behind though was quite different than the night before. Last night the King had arrived in fanfare and departed in peace. Tonight He had arrived in quiet and departed with chaos raging behind Him.

    The Proof

    The next morning, Wednesday, Jesus and the disciples again rise to leave from Bethany and head into Jerusalem. As they are walking Peter looks over and notices the tree from the day before withered from the roots up. The foundation of the Temple system was the Law but it was never capable of saving those who sought to keep it. Throughout the Scriptures the fig tree was a symbol of the nation of Israel and the works based religious system at its core - and the cursing of this fig tree exposes its inability to save.
    300 Quotations and Prayers for Christmas The Law Could Not Save, but Jesus Can

    The Law—any law—could not save man from sin. But God has done what the law could not do. He has sent one into the world whose express object, as testified by the very name given Him, is to save His people from their sins.

    HENRY ALFORD (

    Charles Spurgeon said it this way
    775To convince and condemn is all the law can do.
    In other areas of the Near Eastern world the fig tree also held great religious and civic significance. In Ephesus the temple of Diana (or Artemis) called one of the seven wonders of the ancient world was surrounded by fig trees that were called the tree of life. If a criminal could make it to those trees then they would be pronounced innocent of their crimes.
    Every man centered religious system will be corrupt from the very roots and wither just as this cursed tree did.
    Jesus response to Peter’s statement is curious - Have faith in God.
    Our faith in God, the faith that Jesus is talking about here, isn’t based on our personal faith in God but instead it speaks of having a confidence in His nature - His power, His knowledge, His goodness, His holiness, His kindness and even His wrath - that will always operate in consistency and constancy in accordance with His holiness. Jesus words here are not designed to drive us to look inward for the power to move mountains or to fulfill our deepest desires but instead to reveal to us that the power for these accomplishments resides only in God.
    Mark 11:23 CSB
    Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
    There are really only two mountains that humans cannot overcome. We can revive a business, we can work our way through school, we can endure any number of hardships. This is never on more prominent display than in the aftermath of a natural disaster such as what we are witnessing in California and Oregon. Yes homes are being lost, property is being burned - but those things will be rebuilt. What can never be beaten, the mountains we can never move or overcome, are those of sin and death. Only through faith in God - and that not of ourselves but by His gift Ephesians 2:8 - can those be overcome.
    Only through open confession can that faith be most effectively worked out. Jesus tells His disciples that only through God’s power will their needs be met but then also tells them the part they must play - forgiveness and being forgiven. Is your prayer life struggling? Are you failing to find the maturity that you seek in your Christian life? To worship God as you desire to? Is there some measure of unforgiveness that is impeding you? Is there something that you need to address with a fellow believer today?

    Conclusion

    Christ came to Jerusalem looking for true worship and true worshippers and found both lacking. He comes to us the same way today - does He find the same deficiencies amongst us? Do we worship with our lips but our hearts are far from Him?
    The Jewish life centered around the Temple worship but Jesus came to the Temple and found a nation focused on anything but worship. How well would we fare, would you fare today under the same scrutiny?
    Where is your heart focused when you are here? Are you solely focused on Him and His glory?
    The perversion of Temple worship by those who’s focus was not on God led Jesus to curse the Temple and to drive those profane worshippers out. This contributed to Christ’s death on the cross at the hands of the Jewish leaders. The fig tree was corrupted from the roots up but on Friday the temple curtain, the Holy of Holies will be rent from the top down allowing the way for true worshippers to find their way to the Father unhindered.
    The fig tree that symbolized the Jewish religious system bore a beautiful coat of leaves but failed to produce any true fruit. The tree that is the symbol of our worship bears no leave and is anything but beautiful. Instead it is ugly and cruel - but it is in the fruit that was borne on that tree, it is in the fruit that has been produced by millions who have trusted in what happened on that tree that makes it the most beautiful tree in the world.
    In the Old rugged cross
    Stained with blood so divine
    Such a wonderful beauty I see
    For twas on that old cross
    Jesus suffered and died
    To pardon and sanctify me.
      • Mark 11:11CSB

      • Mark 11:12–25CSB

      • Revelation 19:16CSB

      • Hosea 9:10CSB

      • Jeremiah 8:13CSB

      • Joel 1:6–7CSB

      • Luke 13:6–9CSB

      • Isaiah 29:13CSB

      • Ezra 3:12CSB

      • Amos 8:4–12CSB

      • Isaiah 56:7CSB

      • Psalm 69:9CSB

      • 1 Peter 4:17CSB

      • Revelation 3:8CSB

      • Revelation 3:10CSB

      • Mark 11:23CSB

  • Your Love O Lord

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