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Sabbath School Lessons on Jesus Through the Eyes of Mark
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 9: Last Days in the Temple *
Introduction: Last week we studied how Jesus entered Jerusalem as the
Messiah and King. This week we see the Jewish leadership striking
back, not with brute force, but with questions designed to get Jesus
in trouble with the Roman authorities or with the people. How will
Jesus react? Our study this week shows that Jesus is still working
for the salvation of those who have declared war on Him. Let's dive
in and learn more!
- Whose Authority?
- Read Mark 11:27-28. Since we skipped over this account
last week, let's read Mark 11:15-17. Who would you think
would be in day-to-day charge of what happened in the
temple? ( Mark 11:27 - "the chief priests, the teachers of
the law and the elders" - the very people who came to ask
- Why do you think they wanted to know? (They probably
considered it offensive that Jesus was usurping their
authority. Jesus obviously did not like the way they
were doing their job.)
- As you look at Mark 11:17, what authority was Jesus
claiming? (He relied on the Bible ( Isaiah 56:7) as
- How about you? Is the Bible your final authority
- despite what humans may say or do to the
- Read Mark 11:29-32. We have a report of what was going on
in the "huddle" of the Jewish leaders. What do you think
about this discussion?
- What was the basis for their answer? (Fear. They
rejected John, so they must have decided that his
authority came from men.)
- Are any of your religious beliefs based on the fear
- Read Mark 11:33. The Jewish leaders are always trying to
trick Jesus with their questions. Now is payback time - He
gives them a trick question - or did He? (No. This is not
a trick question. Jesus acts on the same authority as
John. He is reminding them that they rejected John, and
now they are rejecting Him.)
- Rejecting the Son
- Let's continue with a parable on rejection. Read Mark
12:1-8. Who and what is symbolized in this parable? (Jesus
is the son. God is the vineyard owner. God's chosen people
are the tenants. The servants who were sent are the
prophets. The wall is God's historic protection for His
people. The watchtower is the temple. The winepress the
Scriptures. The grapes are potential converts.)
- Let's go deeper in the parable. What is the sin of the
tenants? (They do not respect authority, and therefore are
rebellious. They are selfish to the point of being
willing to beat and murder to keep the property.)
- Do the Jewish leaders understand this parable? (Yes.
Read Mark 12:12.)
- Read Mark 12:9. What are the penalties for these sins?
(They will be killed and others given the opportunity to
be tenants and do the appointed work.)
- Are you comfortable with this picture of God?
- Is this an accurate picture of God? (Jesus said it.
The evildoers understood it. It came to pass in a
terrible way with the destruction of the temple in 70
A.D. Yet, some Christians today are unable to
understand that our God will execute judgment on
those who are His enemies. Friend, salvation and
obedience are serious stuff.)
- Who is tending the vineyard today? (Us.)
- How well are you performing the task?
- Read Mark 12:18-23. This account starts out with the
statement that the Sadducees did not believe in the
resurrection. Why, if they did not believe, did they ask
this question? (They wanted to make fun of Jesus and His
belief in the resurrection.)
- Deuteronomy 25:5-6. What is the reason for this rule?
(Notice that the first son is to carry the name of
the dead brother. This is to prevent extinction of
the family line and to create a male heir.)
- Why is this practice not necessary in heaven?
(We will not die ( Revelation 21:4), and
therefore we do not need to produce children. We
will not be in a situation like Genesis 1:28
where God says "be fruitful and multiply.")
- Read Mark 12:24-25. What will not be happening in heaven?
(According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary, when Jesus
says we will not marry, He means we will not arrange our
own marriage. When He says we will not be given in
marriage, He means our parents will not arrange our
- This does not speak to those who are already married.
What happens to them? Do they remain married? (The
Mosaic rule was needed because of death and the need
for marriage to continue the race. Since in heaven
death is ended, marriage is not necessary. However,
whether specific marriages are permitted to resume is
not clear. Mark 10:8-9 gives hope to those who want
to continue to be married in heaven. God may have in
mind a more glorious order of things.)
- We do not want to miss the glorious statement in Mark
12:25. What is Jesus saying to those who do not believe in
the resurrection of the dead? (That it will take place!)
- What does Jesus also suggest about the nature of
those who are resurrected? (That they are dead
before the resurrection.)
- Read Mark 12:26-27. Jesus now turns to the major issue, is
there a resurrection? Were these patriarchs alive at the
time of the statement to Moses? Are they alive today?
- Read Deuteronomy 34:5-6 and Jude 9. What is the
nature of the dispute in Jude?
- Read Mark 9:2-4. How does this clarify Jude 9? (This
series of texts show that Moses died and was buried.
God then resurrected Moses' body and Moses was
available to talk with Jesus. Since Moses was
resurrected and taken bodily to heaven, it is
perfectly possible that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are
alive in heaven.)
- What other possible interpretation is there for Mark
12:26? (Since the subject is the resurrection of the
dead, it is possible that Jesus is speaking of what
will be - God looks at those who have died in light
of the coming resurrection.)
- There is a very common belief that when a believer dies,
his spirit goes to heaven, but his body remains here until
the resurrection when his body will be reunited with his
spirit. The texts we have just looked at are very clear
about the resurrection of Moses. What does this one
resurrection teach us? (God came for his body. If Moses
were a fully alive spirit in heaven, what would be the
need to bring his body from earth? The one example in the
Bible of a human dying and then going to heaven clearly
states (Jude 9) that God takes the body.)
- Are there any other resurrection examples in the Bible?
(Yes, Jesus will be resurrected a few days after this
discussion with the Sadduccees.)
- What do we know about Jesus' resurrection? Did His
spirit proceed His body going to heaven? (Read John
20:16-17. On Sunday morning Jesus tells Mary He has
not yet returned to His Father - and she should relay
that message to the disciples. If Jesus had been in
heaven, as a spirit, that statement would make no
sense. In the two actual examples of resurrections in
the Bible, the details are clear. Resurrection is a
"package deal" - body and spirit are taken together
to heaven. This can happen soon after death (as with
Moses and Jesus) or this can happen in the future at
the Second Coming (as Jesus suggests in Mark 12:25).
See also, John 11:21-27, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 1
- Friend, will you accept Jesus as your Messiah and Savior?
Will you accept His offer of resurrection and eternal
- Next week: Predictions of the End.
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.