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!

  1. Whose Authority?

    1. 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
      the question.)

      1. 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.)

      2. As you look at Mark 11:17, what authority was Jesus
        claiming? (He relied on the Bible ( Isaiah 56:7) as
        His authority.)

        1. How about you? Is the Bible your final authority
          – despite what humans may say or do to the

    2. 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?

      1. What was the basis for their answer? (Fear. They
        rejected John, so they must have decided that his
        authority came from men.)

      2. Are any of your religious beliefs based on the fear
        of others?

    3. 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.)

  2. Rejecting the Son

    1. 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.)

    2. 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.)

      1. Do the Jewish leaders understand this parable? (Yes.
        Read Mark 12:12.)

    3. 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.)

      1. Are you comfortable with this picture of God?

      2. 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.)

      3. Who is tending the vineyard today? (Us.)

        1. How well are you performing the task?

  3. Heaven

    1. 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.)

      1. 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.)

        1. 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.”)

    2. 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
      1. 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.)

    1. 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!)

        1. What does Jesus also suggest about the nature of
          those who are resurrected? (That they are dead
          before the resurrection.)

    2. 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?

      1. Read Deuteronomy 34:5-6 and Jude 9. What is the
        nature of the dispute in Jude?

      2. 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.)

      3. 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.)

    3. 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.)

    4. Are there any other resurrection examples in the Bible?
      (Yes, Jesus will be resurrected a few days after this
      discussion with the Sadduccees.)

      1. 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
        Thessalonians 4:16-18.)

    5. Friend, will you accept Jesus as your Messiah and Savior?
      Will you accept His offer of resurrection and eternal

  1. Next week: Predictions of the End.