Sunday, August 12, 2007

Part 1 - The First Cleansing of the Temple

SCRIPTURE READING

John 2:13 – 22

“And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the Temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the Temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them who sold doves, Take these things hence; make not My Father’s House a house of merchandise. 17 And His Disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of Your House has eaten me up.”

INTRODUCTION

I. Jesus’ ministry began on the Passover

He shows us HE is the Passover, and will do away with sacrifice because sacrifice was given to teach of Him.

His ministry also ends on Passover, for the same reason.

The Temple (as many at that time) had fallen for the love of money, they were using the Temple for a store front to gain profit for themselves, not raising money for the operation of the Temple.

It WAS the Lord’s Passover, but it had become the Jews Passover.

II. The Temple was cleaned before He began preaching

Jesus symbolically removed the authority of the Priests through the cleansing of the Temple, and replaced it with Himself and His teachings.

This shows us our state, and that we too must be cleansed by Jesus before He can fill us with what is Good.

Jesus displayed His Zeal for His Father’s House, and was not in kind in defending the Temple. This also shows us, that when Jesus cleans us out, and resides there, He will defend us with that very same zeal, for WE are the Temple of God and the Holy Spirit.

He drove all those out with their SHEEP, and OXEN, yet spoke to the one selling Doves.

Sheep are symbolic of sacrifice, which is no more because of Christ.

Oxen are symbolic of Christ being the “beast of burden” and taking all of our sins once for all!

Doves are symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and to the one selling Doves, Jesus said, “Take these things (doves) from here!” This is to show us, the Holy Spirit no longer resides in the Temple walls, for He is now available to all who receive Christ Jesus.

Jesus also says, “…make not my Father’s House a House of Merchandise.”

These sacrificial animals were being sold by those to make personal profit. And the money changers (who converted coin from around the world into Temple money) were cheating people in the conversion for personal profit. They turned the Temple into a department store.

The leaders of the Temple had allowed this because of their love for money.

1 Timothy 6:10

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grief’s.”

Matthew 6:24

24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

Hebrews 13:5

5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."

The Priests love for money allowed merchants who cheated for gain into the Temple.

The Priests love of money caused them to not believe Jesus, because they would lose their stature and people would stop giving to the Temple.

Judas’ love for money led him to be the Disciples treasurer.

Judas’ love of money caused him to sell out Jesus for a few thousand dollars (30 sheckles = 120 Danarii, which equals approx. 3 months wages.)

III. Yard Sales, Bake Sales & Raising Money

Why was Jesus upset with the people in the Temple?

o They were using the Temple for personal profit

o They were stealing from those trying to meet with God

o The Priests had become lovers of money

Should we have yard sales, bake sales, and fund raisers?

o We shouldn’t have to! If everyone tithes what God wants them to tithe, the church will operate as it is supposed to. Rent will be paid, lights will be paid, gas will be paid, taxes will be paid, etc…

o Churches usually do these things because bills need to be paid.

o Is it wrong for us? If we are making profit…if we are stealing from those who come to meet with God…yes. But to pay what we owe, to Caesar, we have to have finances.

Tithing is something that we do because God requires it.

10% is an amount most of us have come accustomed to, but that is from the Old Testament.

In the Old Testament, 10% belonged to the Lord, but in the New, ALL belongs to the Lord.

It’s not a question of “How much of my money am I going to give to the Lord?, the real question each week is “How much of the Lord’s money am I going to keep?”

Some of you may not think you can give much, but as with the Widow, she gave all she had, which is more than those who give a little of what they have.

It’s about obedience, and it’s about serving the Lord and not money.

There was a rich man, who was a lover of money,

And He asked Jesus in Luke 18:18b; 21-23,

18b …Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Calling Jesus Master shows he was a follower.

21 And he said (to Jesus), All these have I kept from my youth up (speaking of the commandments).

22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet you lack one thing:

Sell all that you have, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.”

He loved his money more than the Lord, and the only way he could ever serve Jesus, was to stop serving his money, for the scriptures say, “You can not serve two masters…”

CONCLUSION

So I ask you today, is your body the Temple of the living God?

Have you made Jesus Christ your Lord and savior?

Have you let Jesus clean out your Temple?

Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to dwell within you?

Knowing the Word of God and serving Jesus is two different things.

Salvation is FREE.

To follow Jesus costs little.

To serve Him costs EVERYTHING.

Today I ask you, which master do you serve?

ALTAR CALL

No comments: