Supplies: journal or index cards, paper, Bible, pen
The Pharisees and religious rulers were threatened by Jesus' teaching and followers. As He was gaining power, they could feel their own power slipping away. With every interaction, they came to despise Him even more and solidify their plans to get rid of Him.
After the interaction with the fig tree yesterday, Jesus and his disciples walked by it again only to discover it was dead. Jesus didn't want the disciples to simply marvel at His power; He wanted to let them know His power comes from the Father, and this same power is available to every one of them through faith in God.
Jesus then went on to give instructions on how to pray bold, faith-filled prayers.
1. Believe fully - knowing God can make it happen.
2. Ask with a heart of forgiveness - receiving forgiveness from God and offering it to others.
When we enter prayer in this way, it's not a guarantee God will do what we want because we are not perfect and do not always ask for what is best. However, asking God in this way puts us in the right posture to be in the center of His will and ask for the things He knows we need and wants to bless us with.
What are your big, bold prayers today? Write them down in your journal or on an index card. Search your heart for any doubt in God's ability to make it happen. Cleanse your own heart and consider if you are withholding forgiveness from anyone. Then wait expectantly and come back to your journal entry and record what God does!
Jesus made a bold entry into Jerusalem the day before and cleared the temple. When Jesus comes into our lives, He isn't a wall flower standing in the corner. He takes over and makes things right because all authority has been given to Him in Heaven and on Earth. Have you given Him all authority? Have you allowed Him to come in and make things right in your life? Or are you trying to keep Him at a distance and only allow Him to go so far? Write down your thoughts in your journal and confess where you might be holding back and limiting Jesus' authority
in your life.
Jesus answered their question with a question of His own. While the Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus into indicting Himself, Jesus was exposing their motives. He knew they didn't really want to know the answer. Their curiosity was surface-level: a sham to cover up darker desires. They desired to prove Him wrong, make Him look like a fool, and discredit Him in front of the people.
Do you ever use questions and curiosity as a facade for judgment and condemnation? Jesus called the Pharisees out on their false motives and He calls us on this same behavior today. Prayerfully consider your own motives when asking questions of others. Are you genuinely curious and open to learning or using that as a front for something more selfish?
In Mark 12-13, Jesus engages in a series of debates with leaders who are questioning His authority out of fear and protection of their own reputations and influence. Again and again they fight against Jesus' teachings, question His wisdom, and try to discredit him in front of the people who had just heralded Him as King. Read about their interactions in the passages below.