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The 60: Anger Unexpected | Mark 11:12-25

Anger Unexpected: Mark 11:12-25


Debrief offers an abridged outline of the Sunday sermon for individuals or Community Groups alike, to re-engage the content of the Sunday sermon. This outline is far from complete, but serves to give a track or road map to walk through the content of Sunday in another context during the week

In the most referred to Scripture reference in the entire Bible, God Himself reveals Himself as a lovingly just God, who is slow to anger, but is angry at sin nonetheless (Exodus 34:6-7)

It’s no surprise that we see Jesus getting lovingly angry in the book of Mark……..Righteously angry in the book of Mark.

Getting angry at the wrong things for the wrong reasons is Unrighteous AngerGetting angry at the right things for the wrong reasons is Unrighteous AngerGetting angry at the right things for the right reasons is Righteous Anger

Jesus only gets Righteously Angry. He only get’s angry at the right things for the right reasons.

What kind of things make Jesus righteously angry?

1. When people are harassed by demons (1:25-27; 9:25)

2. When people are more concerned about religious laws than the lives of people in need (3:5-6)

3. When Satan and demons try to oppose His work (4:39)

4. When one of his disciples is used by Satan to try to thwart His mission (8:33)

5. When His disciples don’t treat children like disciples. (10:14)

Of all the things that makes Jesus the most angry in the book of Mark, the Cleansing of the Temple shows us Jesus in His most angry moment recorded in the Gospels. This is significant.

What Is Jesus Most Angry About?

Jesus Is Most Angry About Spiritual Fruitlessness Brought On By Spiritual Exclusivity

In the Cursing of the Fig Tree, Jesus shows His disciples in a real-life parable His anger toward the fruitless Temple, mostly due to its spiritual exclusivity.

This is a Preemptive Parable. The disciples would never expect the Temple, the dwelling place of God on earth, to be unfruitful, but it is.

Jesus approaches the Fig Tree and sees that it’s in leaf. Once a fig tree is in leaf, someone could expect to find branches filled with paggim (unripe green knobs) in different stages of ripeness. But this fig tree is an unexpected fig tree, in the worst of ways. It looks like it has fruit on it from a distance, BUT under closer inspection, there’s no fruit there.

The fig tree was a Deceptive Fig Tree, looking like it has fruit, but really having none. There is also a deceptive kind of Christianity. We can deceive others. We might even deceive ourselves. BUT we can’t deceive Jesus any more than the fig tree could.

After Jesus shows them His anger in a parable, He shows them in Person. Maybe much like many of us, the disciples weren’t expecting to see Jesus get angry like this, in this way, to this degree. He graciously demonstrated His anger in a parable first to give them a chance to prepare for it. Mark does the same for us. We’re not expecting this kind of anger from Jesus.

All of the different courts within the Temple are meant to represent the ACCESS that people have to God. Every kind of person has some kind of Access to God.

Instead of finding spiritual fruit as He approaches the Temple, Jesus finds it fruitless, like the Fig Tree. Jesus is expecting to see the Court of the Gentiles FULL of people from around the world that have been drawn there to see the glory of the God of the Bible. Instead, He finds them denied access because the religious people.

“And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.” – Isaiah 56:6-8

Are We Making Room For Unbelievers In Our Lives

(1) Are we making room for unbelievers PHILOSOPHICALLY?

(2) Are we making room for unbelievers PERSONALLY?

(3) Are we making room for unbelievers PROGRAMATICALLY?

(4) Are we making room for unbelievers PHYSICALLY?

The church that makes room for unbelievers in every way is filled with people who do the same in their own lives likewise.

Why Is Jesus Angry About This?

It distorts the image of God…….what He’s like

Jesus wants all kinds of people, from all kinds of places, and all kinds of cultures, with all kinds of past sins and baggage, who used to worship all kinds of other false gods……to come to Him. (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Revelation 7:9-10)

Christianity is not a white man’s religion. Christianity is not a western religion. Christianity is not a clean religion for clean people who have always been clean. Christianity is an all-access relationship with God through Jesus for anyone from any nation or any background, no matter how dirty it may have been or might be.

What Does He DO About It?

(1) He Confronts It (v:15-16)

(2) He Teaches Against It (v:17)

What Should We DO About It?

(1) We should Confront It AND Confront It in Our Own Lives

Today the Temple is on the road so to speak. We are the Temple of the Living God. Jesus should expect to see spiritual fruit coming out of our lives, and especially as we gather together collectively as the Church.

(2) We should Teach Against It (Matthew 28:19-20)

What Is Jesus Most Happy About?

Jesus is most happy about people having faith in Him (v:20-25)

Jesus is calling His disciples to trust Him, not the religious system of His day. He’s showing them that He should be the object of their faith, NOT the Temple.

Jesus is calling us to the same – to trust in Him, not in religion or religious systems.

To give us an opportunity to have access to Him, God had to be angry at sin. This is was what the Passover celebration was foreshadowing. It was pointing to the way God the Father would pour out His anger, His wrath toward sin on Jesus. In righteous anger, God put all His anger toward sin on Jesus on the cross so we don’t have to experience it. God put His anger on Jesus on the cross so that He might pass over His anger toward us when we’re in Christ.

Diving In
Diving In offers a few questions to help you re-engage the concepts from Sunday. Feel the freedom to use all of the questions, or to simply camp out on just one. These questions aren’t intended to answer all the issues that surface through the thrust of this weeks’ message, but to simply raise them and allow you time and space to process them, ideally in the context of your Community Group.

  1. What have you been unrighteously angry at in the past week? What have you been righteously angry at in the past week?
  2. Is there any way in which your life might look like the fig tree in Mark 11?
  3. Is there room for unbelievers in your life…….philosophically, personally, programmatically, physically?
  4. What is one thing you could do today to create more room in your life or unbelievers?
  5. How might Jesus be calling you to confront spiritual fruitlessness because of spiritual exclusivity in your own life or the life of the church?

Deep End
The Deep End is a short and simple formation exercise you can use to dive deep into your heart before God. Feel the freedom to divert from the directions if that makes it easier for you to connect with Jesus in this exercise.

  • First, quiet your heart before the Lord. If you find yourself distracted by various thoughts (things on your “To Do” list, etc.), don’t “fight” the distractions, but rather spend some time praying over those things. Hopefully soon your heart will quieted down and you will be able to hear the Lord speaking to you.
  • After this, take 5-10 minutes to read and meditate on Mark 11:15-17.
  • After you do, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you how your life, filled with His Holy Spirit, might look like the Temple Jesus cleansed. Is there room for unbelievers in your life as the temple of the living God (1 Cor.6:19)?
  • Next, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what Jesus would confront in your life if He were to ‘cleanse’ the ground of your life today. What things are keeping you from opening your life to unbelievers?  What things are ‘robbing’ others from seeing the glory of God?
  • End your time by making a commitment to do just one thing to open your life more to unbelievers. Share you commitment with someone in your Community Group.

Our digest section is all about helping you to memorize and meditate on God’s Word so you’ll be able to better digest it. Take some time to commit these short verses to memory this week:

And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. – Mark 11:22

My hope is that these simple exercises in The 60 will help what we discovered during this week be distilled, and deepened in your heart and life with Jesus.


For The Elders